Do LEDs Need a Driver?

LED lights require a unique tool called an LED driver to activate and operate. LED drivers execute a similar feature to what a ballast provides for fluorescent light bulbs. The ballast brings electricity into the circuit and then powers the light bulb. Similarly, the driver brings electricity into the LED driver to turn it on and off. The driver is similar to a fuse that regulates the amount of electricity flowing through it.

The power is continuous

One of the common misconceptions is that because the power is continuous, the light should also be. This is not the case. Each LED driver only runs for a fraction of a second when turned on. LED drivers are similar to fluorescent ballasts because the power is continuously flowing through them. The difference is that the ballast provides light constantly, whereas the LED driver only provides light when a specific condition is met.

LED drivers to extend the life of the lighting system

Another misconception is that you can add more LED drivers to an existing system to extend the life of the lighting system. LED drivers are designed to be added to an existing fluorescent or incandescent lighting system to extend its life. Adding an LED driver will void your manufacturer’s warranty.

Replace a failing LED driver with a new one

Another misconception is that you can replace a failing LED driver with a new one. There is no easy way to reverse engineer a circuit to hook a fluorescent or incandescent driver up to an LED driver. If you were to attempt this, you would be dealing with the internal circuitry of the LED driver, and there is no replacement for the original. It would be very dangerous to attempt this.

This being said, it is possible to extend the life of your existing lighting system by replacing your failing driver with a brand new one. A brand-new driver will include all electronics and circuitry to hook it up to an existing LED driver and come with a warranty. If you were to purchase a new driver, the best way to hook it up is with a new power distribution board that hooks to the original wiring in your home. This will allow you to connect all of your halogens, LED, and conventional lighting to a common circuit. This will extend the life of your lighting system without requiring you to replace all the drivers.

Fluorescent tube light is similar to an incandescent bulb in that it heats up to emit a beam of light. However, unlike an incandescent bulb, the tube light has a filament that stays lit instead of burning out as the filament of an incandescent bulb does.

Because fluorescent tubes have no thermal protection, they do not need the thermal shock protection of an incandescent bulb. This means that they will not work in a damp environment and may not work at all in these areas. Because they are rated for no more than 60 volts of power, they are not safe to use near water. Because they are rated at 1-degree Celsius, they will warm the room to over 40 degrees. Because they are rated at 1 watt of illumination, they consume anywhere from 25-75 watts of power. Because of the above, they will consume anywhere from 250-1200 watts of power depending on how many fixtures they are hooked up to.

Fluorescent lights are not recommended for use in an outdoor environment because of the high temperatures they generate. They are also not recommended for areas that experience extreme heat and extreme cold. Because they are not thermal-fused, they will overheat in humid or damp conditions, and they will overheat in dry or dry conditions. Because they are dimmable, they are not safe in rooms with high overhead lights. They also are not safe in rooms with over 40 electrical outlets, and they are not safe in rooms with over 20 fluorescent tubes. Because they use 75 watts of power, they will deplete quickly from 35 watts to zero watts in as little as three hours.


Ena Leung

Ena Leung

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