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Thread: LED Driver Failures

  1. #1
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    LED Driver Failures

    I have received several calls from customers that are requesting PQ monitoring.

    The reason for the monitoring is to ascertain if there are voltage issues that could be affecting their LED drivers.

    From what I have read assuming you are utilizing quality drivers (all the customers claim they are using quality components)

    Reasons for premature failures of LED Drivers

    1. Over temperature that can be ambient or heat generated from the LED
    2. Overloading the LED Driver.
    a. Were these sold as a matched set? Driver and LED?
    b. Overloads with the driver can occur if the LED Driver is exposed to over temperatures. There are derating curves for LED Drivers detailing the percentage of load the driver can handle based on temperature


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    Brian John
    Leesburg, VA

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    Quote Originally Posted by brian john View Post
    I have received several calls from customers that are requesting PQ monitoring.

    The reason for the monitoring is to ascertain if there are voltage issues that could be affecting their LED drivers.

    From what I have read assuming you are utilizing quality drivers (all the customers claim they are using quality components)

    Reasons for premature failures of LED Drivers

    1. Over temperature that can be ambient or heat generated from the LED
    2. Overloading the LED Driver.
    a. Were these sold as a matched set? Driver and LED?
    b. Overloads with the driver can occur if the LED Driver is exposed to over temperatures. There are derating curves for LED Drivers detailing the percentage of load the driver can handle based on temperature


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    We've been told by numerous lighting manufacturers that it is recommended to place surge protection for a dedicated lighting panel, or protect the lighting circuits with surge protection devices as they are providing us with first hand experience of having to replace luminaires on many of their projects due to this.

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    there was recently a multi issue article in i think EC&M about this common problem. common-mode noise and harmonics kill drivers, older facilities with bonding that would be less than adequate in a building built today is very susceptible to this problem especially with noise generating equipment, like other lights, motors, etc. driver manufacturers are making advancements and improvements for reliability even in noisy environments.

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    LED Drivers

    I do not know about all the things you are saying about why they fail, but I do know we have well over 2000 in our plant. They have been in for about 2 years and we have to this piont replaced about 5% of the drivers. It matters not if they are in a hot, worm, cool or cold room they fail.

    At first we had to sent them back to the manufacturer until they they believed us. Then they sent us 2 cases of drivers, still not enough. Now they sent us a skid of guts and want us to return the old guts.

    The problem now is the ones that flash may do so for an hour or so but by the time we get there to replace them they are no longer flashing. They may be fine for days or weeks but will start again.

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    Realizing this technology is evolving but am seeing a lot of failures that we are replacing. Both inside and exterior fixtures.

  6. #6
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    181214-0704 EST

    LED light assemblies are made up of semiconductor and other components that generally start to fail around 100 degrees C. Enamel insulated wire is in the range of the melting point of solder, 188 C, but not good to this high a temperature. And glass to possibly a substantial value below its melting point of 1400 C.

    To get components in a small package increases the problems of removing heat.

    An incandescent bulb can work well in an enclosed fixture that in which a much lower wattage LED will fail.

    Also a lot of input energy to an incandescent is radiated out of the fixture as IR. But LEDs are not as hot as incandescents, and thus much of their waste heat has to be removed by conduction rather than radiation. Conduction is much harder than radiation to remove from an enclosed fixture.

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