Not all drivers are created equal when it comes to power LED lights. When it comes to lighting systems, understanding the differences between the classes of LED drivers is key. There are two separate ways to classify LED drivers. Pay attention to the way the class is written. It is common to see descriptions for classes 1, 2, I, and II. A classification using roman numerals has a totally different meaning than a description written in Arabic. But what’s the difference between them? Let’s explore this important topic in more detail.
Class 1 and Class 2 LED Drivers
These safety classifications are specified by Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL). UL is a well-known and respected organization that excels in the certification and standards development of products for safety. LED drivers with UL designation have had rigorous tests to ensure peak quality and performance to industry standards.
An LED driver with a UL Class 1 rating has a high-voltage output, and safety protection is required within the fixture. This type of driver is best suited for medium-to-large scale projects where energy efficiency and cost savings are desired results. They can also be used for industrial applications where constant illumination is required over long periods of time.
UL Class 2 LED drivers comply with standard UL1310, meaning output is considered safe to contact, and no major safety protection is required at the LED/luminaire level. UL Class 2 drivers operate using
Class I and II LED Drivers
International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is the world's leading organization that establishes and publishes international standards for all electrical, electronic, and related technologies. LED Drivers depend on IEC Class II and Class I Insulation Protection standards to meet LED driver safety requirements. These two insulation levels indicate how an LED driver is electrically isolated from the main power supply.
IEC class I protects against electric shock by combining a safe earth ground and basic insulation. A common example of basic insulation is the insulation present on wires.
The driver will have double-insulated construction or a single layer of reinforced insulation. The first layer of insulation is typically called “Basic Insulation.” The second layer of insulation is often an insulating case enclosing the product, such as the plastic case present on wall mount This class requires no ground connection.
More Class 2 vs. II Considerations
In addition to UL and IEC designations, the NEC (National Electric Code has a separate rating system. That can confuse the difference between Class 2 and Class II-rated ac-dc power supplies. The differences are important to understand. The NEC Class 2 refers to the output voltage and power capabilities of ac-dc supplies. In contrast, the IEC is a designator of protection.
GRE Alpha’s LED Drivers
GRE Alpha’s unique approach to modular LED lighting allows its dimming modules and drivers to be used in either new or existing lighting installations. Most of our LED drivers are UL /cUL Listed* Class 1 and 2. Lighting designs can be customized or upgraded, and designers can create unique configurations adapting to size and space requirements.
Some of the most common applications for our LED drivers and dimming modules include:
Looking For More Information?
It’s clear that there are some major distinctions between LED drivers – from their electrical configurations to their ideal applications. Now that you know more about the different types of LED driver classification, you should be able to select the right one for your needs. Please browse GRE Alpha’s selection of high-quality LED drivers by checking out our product page or reviewing our catalogs.
Filed in: Company News