[VIDEO] ERP Power: What is the Best Location for Mounting the LED Driver?

By Sarah RonkoskeMarch 29, 2017

Today, as lighting designers are increasingly becoming familiar with LEDs, they should also get accustomed to one of the most crucial components of an LED system — the LED driver.

When it comes to LED drivers, the most frequently asked question is: What is the best location for mounting the driver? Well, there isn’t just one answer to that question, but there are certainly some factors that could help you determine the most ideal location when installing LED drivers.

In Part 4 of ERP Power's "Ask the Expert" video series, FAE Director for the Americas Vachik Javadian discusses the best location for mounting an LED driver. Below, we also talk about some of those factors to consider when deciding where to mount the LED driver.

Ventilated Space & Access Route
Firstly, the LED driver should be placed in a ventilated space and an access route should be made available for common maintenance purposes.

IP Rating
Additionally, the IP, or International Protection Code or rating of the driver must be considered before finalizing the location for mounting the LED driver. Simply put, only those LED drivers that are specifically designed for outdoor environments should be installed outdoors.

Distance from Light Source
The distance between the light source and the LED driver also needs to be considered to prevent voltage drop, which leads to reduced output performance of the LED system.

LED fixtures are usually complicated, and there are several things that must be thought of before you decide on where to mount the driver. These top two principles that should be considered while mounting the LED driver:

  1. You should try to mount the driver as far away as possible from the heat generation source, which most likely in all lighting fixtures is going to be where the LEDs are.
  2. You should take care not to mount it on top of the LEDs because if you mount it on the top the rising heat is going to heat up the driver, which will dramatically reduce the driver's life-cycle.

For example, the street lighting industry has adopted these two concepts fairly well, and most of the street light luminaire manufacturers have implemented the idea by housing the LED driver in a separate chamber away from the LEDs.

Customers looking for the best-LED fixture should integrate these principles to create an ideal model. Although there are conditions where installing the driver per these guidelines might not be feasible, it would be a great idea to maintain them as much as possible for an extended LED life span.