Extend the life of your LED and control systems

Last month, we talked about the cause of early LED driver and electronic ballast failure. You want to talk about low-level transients on branch circuits and internally generated transients? I’ve got you covered.

We identified the problem. But now, let’s talk about fixing it.

Extend the life of your LEDs

Looking for a cost-effective way to address the issue? You can take two approaches:

Option 1: Have power-monitoring meters installed.

Even if you’re not having problems, this is a good idea. We have partners who do this well – call us and we’ll connect you. No matter who you work with, consider these factors:

  • Make sure you have transient capture capacity within your meter(s) and activate the metering software parameters to capture a low-level transient.
  • Many meters will simply look at a voltage or current trend, harmonics, flicker, ground current, etc. You need transient capture.
  • Install meters to capture data on the inside distribution panels as well as at the service entrance. Why? Some power-quality disturbances may originate from the electric utility. However, most are generated inside the plant from motor starts and switching activity.
  • Isolate some lighting panels or a lighting branch circuit to collect data.
  • If transients are present, install a surge protection device with filtering (SPD-F) at that panel.

Option 2: Install a SPD-F at the panel serving the problem area.

Many folks find it’s easiest just to follow IEEE recommendations and install SPDs with filtering on panels serving sensitive loads. We can’t say we blame them. Here’s what to keep in mind:

  • The SPD will obviously not repair previous damage. But it will prevent future damage.
  • One London City Hall approach was to isolate panels on a particular floor, replace the lights with new ones, and then install SPD-F as a test. The results compared to the unprotected floors were excellent. Want to see the full report? Just give me a call.

This EC&M article provides a good overview. It’s important to remember that all the drives, motors, compressors, contactors, relays, and machines running on the 480-volt power make an impact. This load means sensitive LED drivers are constantly subjected to dirty power.

Surge suppression best practices

The key to surge suppression success is filtering. Standard surge units (with no enhanced filtering) do not provide complete protection. Why? The high-frequency, quick rise time transients come in under the clamping point of the metal oxide varistors (MOV).

That is where our Total Protection Solutions (TPS) units with enhanced transient filtering come into play. The filter protects against high-frequency, quick rise time transients. When you protect lighting panels with TPS filtering units, you greatly extend the life of the LED drivers and bulbs.

The problem is probably at its worst in industrial settings. But it’s not limited to those environments. A neighbor with a welder can cause you problems as well.

LED lighting systems in any large building are also subjected to disturbances. These hiccups are often created by the operation of HVAC systems, elevators, copiers, printers, refrigeration equipment, and other switching loads in the building.

If you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers – and site-specific recommendations. Call CBG Technology at 479-244-0480.