LEDs (light emitting diode) are essentially diodes that use only electrical current flowing in one direction, commonly known as direct current. In conventional LED lights, a converter circuit, called a driver, is required to convert the high AC voltage to a lower DC voltage with a constant current for the LED light engine. However, the converter circuit not only increases costs but also shortens the lifespan of the LED lights.
However, AC (alternative current) LEDs can be connected directly to normal power supplies (usually 110V at 60Hz or 230V at 50Hz) and do not require a driver, like normal LEDs. The sinusoidal waveform circuit means that at each particular time half the LEDs are off while the other half is on, emitting light. This stage is reversed and repeated continually and, thus producing a constant stream of light.
AC LED light fixtures can operate directly from the normal power supply and work on voltages from as low as 12V to up to 240V. Common models use a 55V peak for the rising edge or a 110V trailing edge. Many modern AC LED units use a high performance electronic transformer which is capable of a very high intensity signal (typically over 1,000Hz), meaning that flicker is not problem and the light is continuous.
There are three types of AC LED lights available on the market: low-voltage AC LEDs, high-voltage direct AC LEDs and high-voltage rectified AC LEDs. Smaller fixtures used in private gardens or small architectural light units use low-voltage AC LEDs, which operate between 12V to 24V. High-voltage AC LEDs typically operate between 15V to 55V and can work in combined settings to reach the desired voltage, with a maximum combined value of 277V. This means that the applications of these fixtures can range from small cove lighting and retail lighting to various light fixtures for alleys, roadways or parking areas. High-voltage rectified AC units are specially designed to stop the current from running too high during peak usage, thus reducing damage to the LEDs.
The most important quality of AC LED lights is their scalability, offering endless applications, ranging from small private uses to public area illumination. Lighting applications requiring high-voltage units can be run in series, reaching a top voltage of 277V. The recently developed LED technology allows maximum efficiency even if one unit in the system fails to operate. In this case, alternative circuits ensure that the other lamps operate perfectly, reaching an overall fixture efficiency of 98% even in case of failure.
Typically, small AC LED units are used as downlights, mainly because of their small size. These units have a wattage of 16W and a lumen output of 1250lm. Their correlated color temperature (CCT) is listed at 3000K and the viewing angle is 120 degrees. The unit has a diameter of 1.5 inches, making it an ideal fixture for tight spaces.
An important element of the AC LED lights is the dimming feature which is compatible with phase-cut dimmers. A dimming rate of 2% can be easily achieved which will result in the CCT going from 4000K to 2000K.
No longer do you have to sacrifice power factor, luminous efficiency, or light quality to gain the benefits of using AC LED lighting technology. Our AC LED lights use highly efficient Samsung chips, featuring low total harmonic distortion, improved power-factor correction, high luminous efficacy, and is flicker-free, which overcome the shortcomings of traditional AC-powered LED solutions.
AC LED lights can become a compelling platform for retrofit lamps and other small scale lamps. Our patented technology is sure to become a serious contestant to the more traditional DC LED lights.
This technology has the potential to revolutionise the way we use and build LED replacement lamps as we no longer have to be concerned about the electronic driver within the lamp and its compatibility, dimming capability and failure issues. In most cases, the driver is the weak link in the chain leading to early failures while the LED chip remains serviceable. This is fantastic news for the industry and consumers alike as it has the potential to lower the cost of production making lamps more affordable in the future.
Driverless AC LED light engines have now become a commonplace item of commerce in the lighting industry. Nearly all of them use high voltage integrated circuit switching chips to intelligently change the number of LEDs in a string during a power line