U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Building Technologies Office – R&D Projects

Philips Light Sources & Electronics is Developing an Efficient, Smaller, Cost-Effective Family of LED Drivers

Image showing the interior mechanism of a Philips LED driver

Philips' new drivers are more efficient, smaller in size, and lower in cost.

With the help of DOE funding, Philips Light Sources & Electronics is developing a new family of LED drivers that are more efficient and cost-effective as well as smaller in size than currently available drivers. The new drivers are switch-mode power supplies that are similar to today's drivers, but with an improved design. In addition, they have a different topology—boost plus LLC—for wattages of 40W and above, but they retain the commonly used flyback topology at lower wattages.

The new drivers are expected to have efficiencies of 90 percent or higher and reduced cost as well as smaller size. For example, the new 75W LED driver housing dimensions are 55mm x 135mm x 36mm, compared with 55mm x 210mm x 36mm for current 75W LED drivers—a size reduction of 36 percent.

A microcontroller in the new LLC drivers enables precise adjustment of the dimming curve from 1V–8V, as well as precise current in the dimming leads to enable the use of a resistor for dimming. The microprocessor also facilitates thermal feedback using a negative temperature coefficient (NTC) thermistor to reduce output current in case of excessive temperature on the LED module.