In our last blog we discussed the importance of selecting LED lights based upon a set of well defined specifications, including things like Color Rank Index, Efficiency, and Color Consistency. In this blog, we will review LED lighting power supply options. Selecting the right power supply option is vital to ensure the proper functioning of your LED lights and for avoiding problems with installation and maintenance.
There are 3 primary types of power supplies:
Plug and Play Power Supply- This plugs directly into a power outlet. The ones we typically use are available in 36W, 60W, and 120W transformers, but others may be available in the market. To calculate the size of transformer you will need, multiply the length of LED lights (ft) by 3.6 Watts (or your specified Watts) x 1.3 (provides a 30% buffer to handle surges). By way of example, a 10 foot LED bar would require a 60W transformer as follows: 10 x 3.6 x 1.3= 46.8. Since 46.8 exceeds the capacity of a 36W transformer, you would have to bump up to the next largest transformer size which is 60W.
Hard Wire Power Supply- This is wired directly into the wall wiring. These power supplies are generally available in 60W, 120W, 240W, and 320W capacities, but other capacities may be available in the market. To calculate the transformer needed for a hard wire power supply, multiply the length of LED light (ft) by 3.6 Watts (or your specified Watts) x 1.3 (30% buffer). For example, a 10 foot LED bar would require a 60W transformer as follows: 10 x 3.6 x 1.3= 46.8. As with the plug and play power supply, you would need to upgrade to a 60W transformer since 46.8 exceeds the capacity of a 36W transformer.
Dimmable Power Supply- This is wired directly into the wall wiring. The power supplies are available in 60W, 100W, 150W, 200W, and 300W, but other transformer sizes may be available in the market. The calculation for the transformer size of a dimmable power supply is different from the two calculations that we discussed above. To calculate the transformer size required for a hard wire dimmable power supply, multiply the LED length (ft) by 3.6 Watts (or your specified Watts) by 2 (100% buffer). As an example, 10 feet of LED bar would require a 100W transformer as follows: 10 x 3.6 x 2= 62. Since 62 exceeds the limits of a 60 W transformer you would need to go with the next largest size which is a 100W power supply.
Understanding the type of power supply you need and the size required is important to ensure that your LED lighting works as planned. It is worth taking the time upfront to make sure you have calculated your requirements correctly to avoid any installation delays or post-installation problems.