Compatibility and reliability are key factors in the design of LED lighting devices and systems (MAGAZINE)

For everyday operational scenarios, LED lighting devices and systems must be compatible with power systems and electrical infrastructure, explains Philip Keebler.

The use of electronic systems and components in the design, development and manufacturing of lighting technologies is changing the future of lighting devices and systems. Much progress has been made, from the early days when electronic fluorescent-lighting ballasts were just beginning to use diodes and transistors to rectify AC line power, to internal DC power with inversion to high-frequency AC power to drive high-efficiency T8 lamps. Nowadays, designers of electronic lighting devices are no longer just designing electronic ballasts—they are designing intelligent AC-to-DC converters, some with sophisticated internal microprocessor-based systems for lighting control and dimming systems.

Ironically, designers are also gaining much experience in utilizing light-generating semiconductor diodes—LEDs—to design LED light engines, or arrays of LEDs. Intelligent converters, called electronic drivers, are used to power and control LED arrays ranging from a few tens of LEDs to as many as several hundred LEDs. The dynamics of designing a set of electronics to drive a light source has gone far beyond discharge tubes filled with gas mixtures at various pressures. With LED lighting devices and systems, the LED light sources are part of the electronics package.

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This article was published in the September/October 2010 issue of LEDs Magazine. To read the full version of this article, please visit our magazine page, where you can download FREE electronic PDF versions of all issues of LEDs Magazine. You can also request a print copy of LEDs Magazine (available by paid subscription) and sign up for our free weekly email newsletter.

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