Why is that LED lamp designed with LED driver IC may sometimes cause power supply startup failure? (Output voltage gets clamped by LEDs and cannot rise to rated level)

Depending on the circuit design, there could be different operational problems. See below:

  • Boost mode driver IC:

The startup voltage of such driver IC is significantly lower than the total LED forward voltage. For this reason, the IC will start up at very low voltage level usually about 1/2 of the power supply’s rated voltage and to meet rated power requirement, the startup current will reach 2 times the power supply’s rated current. When the power supply is unable to provide this current, the LED CC driver will not activate.

  • Buck mode driver IC:

If the selected power supply voltage is significantly higher than the LED forward voltage. For example, power supply provides 48V and the LED lamp only needs 24V and the power ratings are equivalent. When power supply voltage reached the LED conduction voltage, the power supply will immediately go into constant current mode. At this moment, the required power to start up the LED + driver is larger than what the power supply can provide causing malfunction of the driver circuit and the power supply to be clamped at LED forward voltage. For boost mode design, we recommend raising the startup voltage of the driver IC to be as close to the power supply voltage as possible or incorporate soft start function (see fig. 3). Wait until the power supply voltage is established before starting the driver. When selecting power supply for buck mode, the output voltage of the power supply should be as close to the LED total voltage as possible with excess power available (LED power/0.85).

DIM PIN is the startup pin for most PWM based driver. It can also be designated as EN (Enable). DIM (or Enable) is at 0V the internal connection to SW pin will be open. When the DIM voltage reaches 1.5V (Typ), the IC will Turn ON. To set the Vstart for the DRIVER IC: Vstart = (VDIM/RB) x (RA+RB). The general rule is to set the Vstart at 5~10% higher than the total LED forward voltage.

Categories: LED Lighting, Operation

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