19th May 2017

What's the Difference Between Constant Current LED Drivers and Constant Voltage Drivers?

LED lighting

If you’re building or retrofitting a residential or commercial LED lighting system, there are plenty of options available. Choosing the right components for your specific application is the key to achieving optimal results, and the driver is the heart of your LED setup.

Let’s learn about drivers, and how to choose the right one. Once you understand the differences between constant current LED drivers vs constant voltage driver, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed decision based on your needs and budget.

What Does the Driver Do?

The driver is an electrical device that regulates power to your LED lights. It’s comparable to a ballast for fluorescent lighting systems. In short, the driver keeps your LEDs running safely and consistently, even when the LED’s electrical properties shift due to fluctuating temperatures. Now that you understand the general purpose of a driver, we can look at  constant current LED drivers vs constant voltage driver.

Constant Current

LED driver constant current

Constant current drivers provide a steady, unwavering current to the LEDs despite changes in voltage. It accomplishes this by varying the voltage across the electronic circuit. Constant current drivers are useful because they prevent burnout and thermal runaway because they ensure that the current never surpasses the specified maximum current.

Constant Voltage

Constant voltage drivers have a fixed voltage – usually either 12VDC or 24VDC. You should only use constant voltage drivers with anLED or array that has a designated specific voltage. If you’re using LED strings that are connected in parallel, it may be difficult to match the current to all units properly. A constant voltage driver forces an equal current across all LED units.

Which Is Right for You?

There are a few factors to consider when comparing constant current LED drivers vs constant voltage driver. If your LED or array isn’t specified to take a certain voltage, you will need to use a constant current driver. A constant current driver provides a more consistent brightness and overall more reliable performance.

If your lighting system does specify the voltage, you may be able to save money by using a constant voltage driver, especially in large-scale LED systems. Constant voltage technology also is more familiar and streamlined, but constant current drivers provide more control and flexibility.

Contact Our Experts to Learn More

If you’re still having trouble choosing constant current LED drivers vs constant voltage driver, we’re happy to offer our expert advice. With over 36 years of experience as industry leaders, our qualified specialists can provide relevant information to your specific application. Much more than just a retailer, we strive to be the only lighting resource you’ll ever need.

To speak with a knowledgeable lighting specialist about selecting constant current LED drivers vs constant voltage driver, give us a call at 1-888-988-2852 or  send us a message online. We carry a wide range of the best brand-name constant current and constant voltage drivers on the market, and our prices can’t be beat. Get in touch today to learn more.