We often get the question “What’s the difference between passive and active LED drivers?” and “Should I use a passive or active driver?”. There are a few major advantages to point out when comparing passive to active LED drivers (with external or internal power supply). We are a big fan of passive LED drivers. Here are 5 reasons why:
Multiple passive drivers can be used on one power supply. This is more cost effective than most active all-in-one drivers.
Fewer inrush current
Because less power supplies are required, the inrush current can be lowered significantly; this enables reduced infrastructure requirements.
A lot of active LED drivers in the market have a low power output. When using a liniLED® Dim 4-DMX-PRO or liniLED® Dim 4-DALI-PRO in combination with an external power supply, you can have up to 20A/480 Watts of power at 24 V DC (for one single dimming circuit)!
Freedom to choose
When using external power supplies, you are free to choose which power supply and technical specifications you need in order to meet application specific requirements (such as: adjustable outputs, AC-DC capability for emergency systems, etc.).
Voltage drop compensation
When using constant voltage Pulse-width modulation (PWM) dimming, voltage drop is always an issue when distance between drivers and LED strips are getting bigger and wire gauges are getting smaller. It can cause light output differences, colour differences (when using RGB) or even failure.
In order to overcome most voltage drop issues, you can increase the output voltage from the driver. However, this is usually not possible with active power supplies. By using passive power supplies in combination with liniLED® LED drivers a world of possibilities and flexibility will open.