13 Tips for Choosing an LED Controller You Need to Know

In the process of designing the LED controller, I believe you will encounter various problems. LEDs use more and more in daily life. We need to realize different functions of LEDs and show different effects.


In this article, we will provide readers with some tips. The design process of the LED controller and PCB board is a crucial step, and we will provide you with 13 notes in the article. Help you quickly build the LED controller you need. And choose the appropriate LED Controller manufacturer to turn your ideas into reality.

1、Constant Voltage or Current LED Controller

While you are manufacturing LED fixtures or just thinking of changing the controller, the main point to identify is that the output current and voltage remain valid for the LED itself. If the unit you are using already contains a current controller or has inbuilt resistors, then you might have to think about using a constant voltage controller as well.


These voltage controllers will supply your LED unit with the necessary power if you are using current controllers or resistors. Since these units always need a stable source of operating voltage, which could differ from the one you are getting from the power outlet.


For example, the voltage varies from when you use an LED in a car to when you use it in a house. Constant voltage supply for PCB might not be required if you already have a current controller, which matches the voltage supplied from multiple power sources.


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Depending on the wattage of the LED product, you will have to consider the voltage of your power source. If you need more than a single unit of LED, then you have to calculate how much wattage it uses. The overall goal is to ensure that your complete LED unit has enough power supply based on the wattage.


As discussed before, the constant voltage supplies can keep a LED unit operating when you are using resistors and current controllers. While manufacturing a LED unit for your PCB board, you must account for both of these factors. The simplest way to do so is to ensure that you have checked the manufacturing requirements. Also, this should be compatible with the power source.

4、Dimming Importance

Dimmable LEDs can change their brightness, which means you have to consider a controller that can handle this. The power source is usually good for determining whether or not your LED will be compatible with dimming. Read the specification to understand what kind of dimming control you need for the power source you are using, and follow that as the sample guideline.


Consideration for flickering is a complicated issue. The LED lights with this capability usually use a 120-Hz alternation. This way, the complete line can withstand the fluctuation level up to twice the recommended power frequency for the LED.


When the limits approach almost 100%, you will see much less flicker. A good rule of thumb is that the controller output of the LED should be below 10% in a workplace setting. Decorative lighting might be able to accept near to 100% flickering.


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6、Dimming Methods and Flickering

The dimming method used in LED manufacturing will also determine how the device will withstand flicker. Usually, the LED output goes above twice the frequency of the power line.


A lot of controllers handle this problem by switching the lights on and on frequently to achieve dimming, which is known as PWM or pulse width modulation. Our eyes cannot comprehend the change of such high frequency, and we simply see dimmed lights.

7、A Lifetime of LED Controller

It is a primary concern while selecting the LED controller for your PCB. The temperature control device, after opening 50,000 hours, the machine should still run at above 70% capacity.

8、Power Quality Measures (THD, PF, Universal Input Voltage)

The THD of the device should not go above 20%. Anything below 10% is considered extraordinary.


When you are considering a residential setup, PF is not as relevant. However, if you consider using it for commercial purposes, you should choose LEDs carefully.


A. S. conventional voltage setting is 277V. Commercial usage LED should be able to operate at this voltage. However, general consumer lighting runs at about 120V. Your LED controller should be capable of working on both ends to be considered to be universal input voltage abled.


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9、Multiple Outputs

The benefit of using a LED controller with multiple outputs that are also independent, needs to be considered. The controller will have the power to control each of these outputs separately. It means each of these channels will have their fault handling and current regulation.


That way, when one of the channels fails, the controller is still operable. So, instead of considering a single output of 2A, you might find four outputs of 500mA to keep a minimal load on the line.

10、Temperature and Weather Resistance

When keeping the LED controller in the working environment, they work best with LED controllers. The manufacturer specification will list the ideal temperature and environment for using the LED. You can determine this from the IP rating of the power sources.

11、LED Controller Size

The surface area where you will fit the LED device or the complete LED setup is a significant concern. If you want to meet this controller inside a cover, the controller needs to fit comfortably inside. The installation area should have enough space for the controllers.


Therefore, consider measuring the installation area to buy the right side of the LED controller. They are available in a variety of sizes that will fit the need of any customer.

12、IP Ratings

C The IP rating is what you look at when trying to understand what kind of environment the device can withstand. You can find the complete chart from a manufacturer. 

To read the rating, here is a breakdown of the naming convention. 


1. The 1st digit signifies whether your device has robust object protection.


2. The 2nd digit signifies whether your device has water protection.


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13、Tradeoff Considerations

The LED device cost could require you to consider some vital tradeoffs, and here are the five most important factors you can find for the same.


Output Ripple

By introducing a power conversion that can alternate between two stages, the LED controller can deal with the output ripple requirement. Alternatively, you can use a two-step conversion. The first step would be to provide a steady power source, and the second stage will create the output current. This kind of design comes with two separate chips and costs more. 


If you are willing to use the single power conversion, you will get the device at a much-reduced cost.


Startup Time

The startup time of the device can determine the price of it. It is all about the efficiency of the equipment at the cost you are willing to pay. In general, the quick starting LEDs have high power utilization, which can fast charge the capacitors. But this high power remains steady throughout the usage, and that means the device does not operate efficiently.  


The excess power usage is a waste and will end up costing you much more in the long run. If a fast startup time is not mandated, then you can switch it out for a lower cost version and save electricity in the process for as long as the device is in use.


Dimming Level and Efficiency 

The lower efficiency devices will provide lower levels of dimming. Fortunately, some improvement is being made in this area to counteract the effect of balancing the dimming and efficiency.


Cost and Efficiency

When you are using high-frequency transformers, the device is likely to cost much more. The same is true for bigger fluctuating transistors.


Universal Input Voltage and Cost

The universal input voltage has the power to handle both high and low current levels. It all depends on the current level you are using. If the LED can work in single voltage mode, then you will save money on buying a product that does not have universal input voltage.


However, if you have a confusion regarding what voltage is needed, it is best to pay the higher price to get a product that won't fault out after a few uses.


Selecting the LED controller for your PCB should be a careful consideration due to the lifetime of the product. But this does not have to be a difficult task. Utilize this guide to identify the optimum performance of your lighting system.


If you need a specific production, you can contact us. We have more than ten years of PCB board manufacturing experience and can give you reasonable suggestions.

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