Architectural Lighting Applications Need Compact, Easy-to-Use Power Components

January 6, 2016
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Vicor enables architectural lightingArchitectural lighting is an increasingly popular way to draw attention to buildings and the urban environment. LEDs are a popular choice of lighting technology, allowing large structures to be illuminated using minimal energy. These LED lights require power chains that convert an AC utility supply to a constant current DC supply.

Efficiency is an obvious concern in these applications. Perhaps less obviously, designers of these lighting systems also want solutions that are small, light, and therefore easy to install.

Although the structures being lit are large, and there is little physical constraint on space needed, people want to see the building and not the power supply. So small size is a key criteria for designing lighting power chains that can be installed without being seen.

Power engineers don’t only need to consider electrical requirements. The installation of the lighting system creates additional requirements to ease the challenges involved by climbing on buildings in various weather conditions.  These activities are dangerous, making installation expensive in both time and liability. By developing solutions that are smaller and lighter, and thus faster and easier to install, power engineers can make the lighting system cheaper and safer to deploy. The high reliability of the Vicor solution also means that it’s much less likely that repair will be required, further reducing the need for working at height.

Figure 1 shows a power chain created by using the Power Component Design Methodology to combine ZVS Buck Converters with a PFM to produce a compact, lightweight, and efficient constant current power source for the LEDs from an AC input. The solution is also easy to install, reducing the time spent working at height, which cuts the cost of installation and improves safety.

Figure 1 - Architectural LED Lighting Power Chain

Figure 1 – Architectural LED Lighting Power Chain

Learn more about the ZVS Buck Converters by visiting the product page on the Vicor website or downloading the family overview.

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