LED ballast - definition and application examples
It´s job is to transform (convert) AC voltage. For example, an output voltage of 12V or 24V is generated from a 230V AC input voltage.
Devices today referred to as LED transformers are usually special electronic ballasts (electronic control gear) with a low minimum load and small ripple.
This is an LED transformer with 12V output and usually on the input side for 230V mains. Most of the time, however, it is overlooked whether the output voltage is now directed in the same way or whether it has only been transformed down to 230V and is accordingly non-directional.
One speaks of AC or DC (has nothing to do with music :-).
AC stands for "Alternating Current". The output supplies an AC voltage and is suitable e.g. for 12V retrofit lamps such as LED spot 12V with GU5.3.
Recommended product is e.g. the TCI MW70.
Dimming is done exclusively by phase dimming. Trailing edge dimmers are preferred. Make absolutely sure that the connected LED light sources are also dimmable.
If dimmability is to be maintained, all three components must fit together. The LED lamp must be dimmable, the power supply 12V LED transformer must also be suitable for dimming and also be compatible with the trailing or leading edge dimmer. Since there is no standardized interface here, it is worth taking a look at the compatibility lists, e.g. to avoid flickering. Basically, however, this solution has to compromise on dimming comfort.
DC, on the other hand, stands for "Direct Current". The output voltage is polarized, as with the car battery.
Areas of application are usually LED bands or LED modules.
LED strips in particular are increasingly operated with 24V instead of 12V. The reason is the halving of the current with the same power. The voltage losses in the supply line and on the LED band are therefore lower.
When choosing the right LED transformer for e.g. LED strips, the following criteria must be observed:
- Power range:
For e.g. 22m LED band with 10W / m each, a 240W power supply is perfect, e.g. the HLG-240H-24
Version B is equipped with an additional control input. Here the power supply can be dimmed via an external potentiometer or a control voltage (1-10V).
We recommend checking the power range used and the dimming characteristic in advance.
- DALI control
The perfect way to dim. Modern LED transformers have a DALI control input similar to the 1-10V input
e.g. from the Meanwell ELG-Series or Meanwell PWM-Series.
- Phase dimming is also available for DC transformers. Due to EMC restrictions, we only offer LED transformers up to 80W.
For the outdoor use there is a selection of LED transformers IP65 / IP67 to choose from.
Depending on the version, there is IP 65 up to IP 67 protection against ingress of water and dust. So they are ideal for use in street lights or other outdoor lights. In our experience, our customers are happy to use these as control gear for LED strips. Examples of use are winter garden, facade lighting, railing and bridge lighting etc.