Analysis of Isolation and Non Isolation of LED Driving Power Supply

At present, in the general LED lighting market, there are non isolated design and isolated driving power supply. The non isolated design is limited to double insulated products, such as alternative products of bulbs, in which the LED and the whole product are integrated and sealed in non-conductive plastic, so there is no risk of electric shock for the end user. Secondary products are isolated and relatively expensive, but where users can access led and output wiring (usually in LED lighting and street lighting applications), this product is essential.

The LED driving power supply with isolation transformer or electrical isolation means that the LED can be directly touched by hand without electric shock. Although the LED driving power supply without isolation transformer can still realize partial mechanical insulation with the help of protective shell, the LED can not be directly contacted during operation.

Insulated bulbs will become the mainstream in the future

The physical design determines whether the drive is isolated or non isolated. Safety rules usually require the use of two separate isolation layers. Designers can choose two physical isolation layers, namely plastic astigmatism cover and glass cover, and use non isolated power supply. If the cost of physical isolation is too high, there are mechanical difficulties or absorb too much light, the problem of electrical isolation must be solved in the power supply.

The isolated power supply is usually larger than the non isolated power supply with the same power level. Lighting designers must do a lot of cost and design optimization in each product they design. Because it is suitable for different applications, whether to use isolated insulated transformer or isolated protective lampshade shell, designers will always have different opinions from different angles.

Usually, they will analyze from many aspects, such as cost and manufacturing process, efficiency and volume, insulation reliability and safety specification requirements, and so on. The driving cost with transformer is high, but it also makes LED lamps more practical, which can meet the needs of end users who accidentally touch led. When the glass shell of incandescent lamp is easy to be damaged, an ordinary bulb of model E27 can be replaced with LED lamp.

In addition, lamps in industrial areas or office equipment applications do not need to contact end users, such as street lamps and mall lighting. At this time, LED lamps do need isolation transformers.

As a product that can be safely used by end users, the reliability of insulation and isolation will be considered. As a complete product, the parts of the product surface that can be touched by users must be isolated from electric shock. In terms of the whole product system, isolation is inevitable, and the difference is only that the isolation location is different. Some designers use isolated transformer design, so they can simplify the design of heat dissipation and lampshade. If the non isolated drive design is used, the reliable insulation requirements must be considered in the structure of lamp shell and so on. Therefore, as a power driver, isolation and non isolation schemes always exist at the same time.

The main challenge that Chinese LED drive power manufacturers may face is to find low-cost AC / DC drivers, so as to achieve more stringent power factor and efficiency performance in low-cost power supply systems. In the future, the use of high-quality and reliable power supply in systems with limited space and difficult heat dissipation (such as LED lamps) will no longer be free. However, before the end user has used many bulbs with a service life of about 10000 hours, it is very difficult to prove their high quality.

Transformer based isolated LED driving power supply will be the mainstream

Isolated and non isolated LED driving power supply schemes have their own advantages and disadvantages. Industry insiders believe that ClassII will be the mainstream because it simplifies the problem of LED heat dissipation. Class I or II systems rely on the grounding system, which in most cases is closely related to the installation site. ClassII is more common. It requires two-stage or reinforced isolation, that is, it requires transformer magnetic winding, insulating tape and physical isolation. The classi system requires a grounded enclosure and / or mechanical barrier, which is not required by the ClassII system.

At present, several trends are promoting the development of LED lighting market. The first is the continuous improvement of high brightness LED efficiency and the continuous emergence of highly efficient and reliable constant current LED driving power supply. The second is the global legislation prohibiting incandescent lighting (due to its low efficiency) and the gradual fading out of CFL energy-saving lamps (if broken, it will flow out mercury harmful to the environment). The combination of these factors is making LED lighting a long-term development trend. Of course, low system cost (including LED, thermal management system and LED driver) will always be the driving force for consumers to widely adopt LED general lighting.

In fact, in many LED lighting products, failure is a common phenomenon, most of which is due to the failure of power supply rather than the failure of LED. At the design level, this means that the OEM must become an expert in system thermal design. LEDs provide high efficiency, but they also produce more conduction heat than incandescent or energy-saving lamps.

Because many LED lighting applications are enclosed in a small space, it is difficult to dissipate heat by ventilation. Without careful thermal design, led and power drive circuits are easy to degrade or permanently fail due to high temperature.

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