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Drivers for LED Lighting: Isolated LED Driver Vs Non-isolated LED Driver

What is the difference between isolated LED driver and non-isolated LED driver? Here makes one comparison as bellow:

Drivers for LED Lighting: Isolated LED Driver Vs Non-isolated LED Driver

1. Safety Requirements

What is isolated LED driver? Isolated LED driver applies to transformer, by which LED driver input end and output end are connected. Transformation process of transformer has gone through electric-magnetic-electric without reaching ground connection. So isolated LED driver is safe for application with no electrical shock risk. As for non-isolated LED driver, input power supply is loaded on LEDs after pressure lifting up and down. Output voltage is sometimes higher than human body bearing voltage. That is one potential security liability.

Concerning non-isolated power supply, it is a bit difficult to pass safety certification like UL, CE, VDE,etc. Because VDE, UL, CE for safety requirement has stipulated insulation class and creep distance for safety standards. So LED lamp driven by non-isolated LED driver should make perfection on physical design if they want to meet strict safety requirement. For LED lamps buyers and suppliers, the most reliable alternative option should take insulation and isolated power supply into consideration.

2. Performance Requirement

Non-isolated LED driver is higher on power efficiency than isolated LED driver due to no loss of transformer electricity consumption. The electrical efficiency of non-isolated LED driver can reach up to 90% while isolated power supply is 88%.

isolated power supply with transformer is safer and more stable in application

Why is non-isolated LED driver poorer on stability than isolated power supply? The reason is that non-isolated circuit design is hypersensitive to surge and shock. The instability and unsteadiness of state grid result in overload and damage on LED chip. To solve this problem, voltage dependent resistor is indispensable in non-isolated LED driver circuit design. Compared with non-isolated power supply, isolated LED driver is safer as the result of MOS protection in electrical circuit design.

3. Cost and Volume

Compared with isolated LED driver, non-isolated LED driver is less on cost consumption with its advantage of simple and reasonable structure design.

4. Load Range

For isolated power supply, output voltage can reach DC30-42V. And non-isolated power supply output voltage bears AC30-84V. Concerning the load range and stability, it is obvious that non-isolated power supply is superior and applicable to high voltage low current circuit while isolated power supply is suitable for low pressure and superior to non-isolated power supply for high electrical current input.

Conclusively, isolated or non-isolated LED driver has its advantages and disadvantages for application. Non-isolated power supply is superior on electricity efficiency . Whereas, isolated LED driver is excellent on safety requirement. LED lamp manufacturers should take essential factors into account when selecting LED driver.

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