When installing LED lighting in or around the home, there will always be a need to switch the available AC line voltage down to a safe direct current (DC) power for the lights. One way of doing this is to hardwire in an AC to DC converter. These switching power sources can be grouped into two main categories: constant current LED drivers and constant voltage power supplies. Learn more about the difference between these two options and discover which type of power your LEDs need here. When LEDSupply became an authorized Mean Well distributor our LED driver and power supply catalog grew significantly. As one of the industry leaders in LED transformers, Mean Well has many options to choose from, whatever your LED application may be.
Constant Current Drivers
Mean Well has some great options for LED drivers delivering constant current to your LEDs. Mean Well’s hardwired LED drivers take a wide AC input range, typically around 90-264VAC. This makes them usable around the world whether there is low line AC (110-130VAC) or high line AC (200+VAC). Each LED driver outputs the current of your choice and has an output voltage range that the LEDs you are powering have to fall within…so make sure you know the total voltage of your system so you can select the right driver. Below are some of the bestselling Mean Well LED drivers.
APC – Super compact, low cost driver
The AP constant current LED driver from Mean Well is the most discrete hardwired constant current source from Mean Well. These low-profile drivers come in 8, 12, 16, 25 and 35 Watt models that can output constant currents from 250mA to 1050mA. The unit is packed into a fully isolated (IP42) plastic case with (18-20AWG) wire connections for output and input connections. This Class 2 power unit is great for applications indoors where you do not have a lot of space to work with or want to build the unit right into your fixture. The current is limited as it can only go slightly over 1 Amp but this still will make LEDs like the Cree XHP35 and XP-L pack a punch.
LPC – Waterproof, high wattage driver
Mean Well’s IP67 rated LP constant current LED drivers are fully waterproof, making them great for both indoor and outdoor applications. These drivers are larger than the APC options, coming in a linear, butterstick form. The LPC is also made for larger loads as it is offered in 20, 35, 60 and 100 Watt models that can be driven from 350mA to 2100mA. The linear design of the driver still allows for it to be fit into tighter spaces for such a high capacity driver. This driver can be used in any indoor application where you are running a decent amount of LEDs and need more power and it is definitely the go to driver for the outdoors as its IP67 rated case protects from all the elements. Use this for LED-based decorative, architectural lighting, theater lighting, electronic displays…you name it.
Dimmable LED Drivers
IDLC – 45 Watt Driver with dimming options
The IDLC driver series is a 45 Watt AC/DC driver with an active, built-in PFC function. The driver offers constant current outputs of 350-1400mA which deliver a steady, flicker-free light. The IDLC takes 90-295VAC while staying extremely efficient within its fanless design. Unlike the APC and LPC this driver offers dimming, actually in two different forms: 0-10V and PWM signal. This driver is great for applications within the home where you need to control the light down to low levels without any flicker. The smooth dimming control will really allow you to control the light to your liking at any specific time.
PCD – TRIAC dimmable driver
The Mean Well PCD is another compact LED driver for indoor use. The driver is offered in 16 and 25 Watt models that can output 350-1400mA. What makes this particular driver so special is that it offers AC phase-cut dimming. This basically means that it will work with leading edge and trailing edge TRIAC dimmers. This is helpful as most household lighting controls will work with this driver so there is no need to switch out the entire dimming set up. This allows for quicker installation and smooth dimming through nice dimmers from the likes of Lutron and Leviton.
LCM-U – Multi-Output LED driver
The Mean Well LCM-U series has 40 and 60 Watt AC/DC constant current LED drivers that feature multiple output levels that are selected via dip switch. The driver operates on low line AC (90-132VAC) and can switch between output currents from 350-1400mA. This allows for a highly versatile driver that can handle an assortment of loads and light output levels. This is perfect if you are testing different outputs or happen to change out LED lights frequently as you can easily change the specs of the driver. Take a look at the page to see the different dip switch combos for multiple drive currents. The LCM-U also offers 3-in-1 dimming: 0-10V, PWM, or resistance (non DA-type) dimming.
Constant Voltage Power Supplies
Many finished LED fixtures or LED strips will already have current limiters built into their systems, so all they need is a constant DC voltage to operate. The most common are LED lights requiring 12V power supplies like LED strips, LED puck lights and many smaller LED lamps. Sometimes the lights require more voltage, however, which is great as Mean Well offers power supplies that output as much as 48VDC. Let’s take a look at some of the power supplies that can easily power your LED lights to get them up and running.
APV – Compact, constant voltage supply
This low-profile AP series constant voltage power supply is offered in 8-35W models. With output voltages of 5, 12, 15, 24 and 36 it should be easy to find one that will work with your lights. This is a low cost, highly reliable option for your LEDs needing a constant voltage source. The APV is best used for indoor lighting and moving sign applications. Many people use this for an led strip power supply for shorter run lengths.
LPV – Waterproof power supply
This is the constant voltage model of Mean Well’s LP series. Like the LPC, it is fully waterproof with an IP67 rated, fully isolated plastic case. The LPV comes in 20-100 Watt models with voltage outputs from 5-48VDC. The 12V output models like the LPV-60-12 are extremely useful in LED flex strip applications. The power supplies can handle a good amount of strips with their high wattage ratings and can also stand up to all the elements as it is fully waterproof, just like the strips themselves.
LRS – Open Frame, caged power source
The LRS is an open frame, caged style power supply. The name comes from the design of the power supply as it has a mesh metal frame that allows for passive cooling. The power supply comes in 35-350 Watt models, making it handle more than all other power supplies on the site. The LRS series can output 5, 12, 15, 24, 36 and 48VDC so there are plenty of options, whatever your needs may be. The open frame power supplies have screw-in terminal ports on the front where all connections are made. This is sometimes preferred to the wire connection types (like the APV and LPV) as it is easier to connect multiple runs to the power source.
Dimming the Power Supplies
None of the constant voltage supplies from Mean Well are dimmable on the AC side of the installation. If you are looking for something that can use a Lutron or Leviton TRIAC dimmer than you will want to check out the Magnitude Power Supplies. For Mean Well and most constant voltage power supplies you can still dim if your lights allow. The only difference is you put a PWM dimmer on the low voltage (output) side of your installation. So basically your set up should go AC Input Power > Power Supply > PWM Dimmer > LED Strips (or whatever lights you have).