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How Can LED Dimmable Driver Prevent Flicker Problems

Source: Author: Published: 2017-03-22 13:27:46 Clicks:

The general problem of light flickering is well known. In the modern LED lighting it seems as if there are more problems with flickering. Users generally think that it is a problem of the LED luminaire. That is not true: LED luminaires do not flicker. The LED luminaire is more sensitive to bad quality of the LED dimmable driver that is supplied to the luminaire. If the electric power is “clean” there is no flickering. In most cases the LED dimmable driver is not clean, or there is a device like a dimmer that pollutes the power that is supplied to the luminaire.

When a new source comes to market, the issue of flicker begins to bubble to the surface. However, LEDs may oscillate in light output even more than incandescent or fluorescent lamps did. Unlike HID or fluorescent, solid-state lighting is a direct current (DC) device, meaning that as long as constant current is supplied, the LED will illuminate without flicker.

In the case of a simple LED circuit in which no constant current regulation is implemented vis-à-vis a LED dimmable driver, the LED’s brightness will vary in phase with the cycle of the alternating current. When a LED dimmable driver exists, it presents both a source and a solution. Rectifying the AC to DC conversion causes a ripple in the voltage and current output from the driver to the LED. This ripple typically occurs at twice the frequency of the incoming line voltage—120 hertz in the U.S. The LED output then correlates with the output waveform of the LED dimmable driver.

The key to mitigating flicker thus lies in the LED dimmable driver, which can eliminate the problem by supplying the LED with a constant, non-oscillating current. But manufacturers have to weigh several factors—cost, size, reliability, and efficiency—when choosing which driver to build into their products. Manufacturers are always trying to optimize what’s good enough for this application, and how we can make it acceptable from a flicker standpoint without driving the cost point up.

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