Prize-winning LED lamps demand high-efficiency LED drivers

The race to build replacement LED lamps for the Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize will require the development of advanced LED drivers, according to Doug Bailey.

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Combining a serious challenge with a considerable cash prize has always been a great way of inspiring invention, innovation and change. From crossing the Atlantic to combating climate change, the formula of fame and fortune still holds sway. The most obvious example of the lure of fame and fortune driving change dates back to 1927, when Charles Lindbergh won $25,000 plus a ticker tape parade for being the first to achieve a non-stop flight from New York to Paris.

Nearly a century later, driven by the desire to take a very significant step towards reducing the amount of energy we waste lighting our homes, offices, factories and municipal buildings, the US Congress has offered a $10 million prize for the first company able to develop a 60-watt incandescent lamp replacement using an LED in a standard A19 form-factor.

Designing a power supply that can efficiently drive the LED at the required brightness level, yet is small enough to fit into the normal bulb fitting, while still meeting EMC regulations, presents a huge challenge. This article describes a 10W power supply that is able run at over 91% efficiency while providing a constant LED current and meeting EMI requirements in a simple low cost design.

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This article was published in the May/June 2008 issue of LEDs Magazine.

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