Choosing Whether to Use AC or DC Powered LED Lighting Systems

An explaination of AC LED Lighting and DC LED Lighting

The required form of power for all LED’s at the diode level is DC power. DC power is also required for all microprocessor based driver technologies. The Silescent Lighting fixtures therefore require DC power internally to function. This DC power can be supplied by using a power converter to convert AC to DC, and using the DC product line, or alternatively, AC power can be supplied directly to Silescent AC model products. These AC powered Silescent products internally convert AC power to DC power in a power conversion section of the LED driver.

Silescent Lighting has also developed centralized power and control systems that plug into AC power, and then convert this to a class 2 low voltage DC power distribution system that provides power to multiple lighting fixtures and controls. This is the recommended procedure and equipment for utilization of DC fixtures and controls. This technique provides for a quicker and less expensive installation of a lighting system. This also provides maximum operating efficiency and component warranties for the system installation. This is because the standard warranty for DC powered LED light fixtures is inherently longer, and their performance is inherently more efficient than the AC product versions. The use of modular pre-engineered kits also delivers a known quantity of light to an area of known dimensions. This has been studied, quantified, and confirmed at numerous installation locations.

Silescent Lighting recommends considering the utilization of DC power for all new construction installations in order to reduce installation costs, improve efficiencies, and increase product longevity and therefore increases warranty and service life.

Silescent Lighting also recommends using the AC/DC- Class 2 low voltage kit concept to power a central power and controls distribution system for retrofit interior lighting system applications such as classrooms, bathrooms, conference rooms, offices, hallways, lobbies, etc. These systems are pre-engineered and packaged in modular form to accommodate any installation. This significantly reduces installation time and cost while making the systems more readily financeable.

Silescent Lighting recognizes that there are situations where replacing the existing fixtures and associated wiring infrastructure in order to convert to an “intelligent” DC system is cost prohibitive. Similarly, it may be too expensive to run additional control wires from each light to a central location in order to use the” intelligent” aspect of the Silescent light fixtures. In these situations, Silescent AC powered fixtures can be installed at each existing fixture location using the existing AC power wiring. The electrical load will be reduced due to the efficiency of the LED lights, so no change to the system infrastructure is required. Unfortunately, in these situations, phase dimming or on/off controls using the existing wiring and controls infrastructure are the only options at present. Theoretically, RF interface could be added to each light, and individual control of each light could be regained in these systems. Silescent has plans to introduce this feature to all new models of AC powered lights by no later than the 1st quarter of 2013.

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