LED driver EMC
LED driver is responsible for all EMC related problems. Other parts– such as LEDs, cables, heat sinks, enclosure acts as antennas and reference ground planes and can increase radiated emissions and conducted emissions.
If LED driver is available on market it should be tested to be certified and marked by FCC, CE or other marks. LED drivers usually are tested using the same standards as LED luminaries or LED lamps:
- EN 55015 Limits and methods of measurement of radio disturbance characteristics of electrical lighting and similar equipment
- EN 61000−3−2 Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) — Part 3 – 2: Limits — Limits for harmonic current emissions (equipment input current ≤16 A per phase)
- EN 61547 Equipment for general lighting purposes — EMC immunity requirements (IEC 61547:2009)
Very often LED lighting equipment manufacturers buy tested and marked LED drivers, install them in their devices and send them to EMC test laboratory. Afterwards, they get the official results from EMC test lab: “Device do not comply with emission standards”, manufacturers cannot understand– why?
There exist three main reasons:
1. LED driver manufacturers are cheating and have not tested driver at all or have not tested current LED driver version or have changed electronic components in LED driver during manufacturing process, after the testing and certification.
2. LED driver is tested in EMC laboratory and passes all tests. Driver is tested as separate device– without LEDs as load, without enclosure and real wiring as in real LED lamp. LED driver is usually tested with 1,5m long AC power cable and few tens of cm long DC cable with resistive load or sometimes with resistive load in parallel with 10uF and 0,1uF capacitors. This situation is different, than in real LED lamp, therefore the testing results can be different. Especially, in case if LED driver is tested and measured emissions are very close to limit lines.
3. LED luminary manufacturer are not following the installation guide provided by LED driver manufacturer and driver emits excessive amount of emissions. The usual points not taken into account are grounding of primary– AC side of driver, grounding of secondary– DC side of grounding– heat sink of LEDs.
RF EMC DEVELOPMENT has tested hundreds of LED drivers from various manufacturers from all over the world: MeanWell, TDK-lamda, ММП-Ирбис etc. There are companies whose LED drivers are ALWAYS complying with EMC requirements and there are no problems in any configuration. There are companies that have their cheap, low quality LED drivers that in no configuration comply with EMC standards, but they offer also high quality LED drivers that are compliant. But we have also discovered LED driver manufacturers that distribute non-compliant drivers with false test reports certification and marking which exceeds the emission limit lines so much that they are included in RAPEX list.
RF EMC DEVELOPMENT recommends to check and verify the documentation and afterwards to order precompliance tests– especially radiated emissions, conducted emissions and harmonic current emissions.
RF EMC DEVELOPMENT offers EMC precompliance testing, accredited testing and development for LED drivers, LED lamps and other lighting equipment. We can provide evaluation of LED drivers quality, before they are installed in LED luminaries and give recomendations.