This paper deals with power electronic drivers for LED strings. Due to the enormous progress recently achieved in the technology of light emitting diodes (LEDs) it can be expected that LEDs lighting will replace incandescent and halogen bulbs in general illumination in the near future. A LED light source typically consists of a series connection of single LED cells. It shows a similar behaviour like a zener diode. For efficiency reasons LED strings can not be supplied via series resistors but need switched mode power drivers with current control. Different standard DC-DC converter topologies are discussed which can be adapted to feed a constant current into a LED load. For future LED driver developments it has to be considered that LEDs can also efficiently be supplied by pulsating currents. This simplifies the converter and control design and reduces the number of components. Hence, different converter topologies are studied which are able to stabilise the average value of a pulsating output current. This also includes topologies with galvanic isolation. Resonant operating LED drivers seem to be specially suited for this task. Hence, a series resonant galvanic isolating LED driver is studied in detail. Under certain conditions this converter does not need a current sensor to stabilise the average current in the LED load. Finally, the features of different pulsating current waves are investigated concerning their peak, RMS and high frequency content.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.