LED drivers have been widely used for grow light systems within the horticulture industry, which can help save on operational costs, but at the same time, can also be frustrating because LED drivers notoriously fail. This can raise a significant issue that negatively affects operations, crop quality, and the bottom line since one of the key components of LED lighting is the quality of the LED driver itself. LED drivers directly affect the reliability of your lighting, and the stability of your grow operations and crop quality.
With how competitive the market currently is, you can’t afford to continuously have LED drivers fail that you constantly have to fix. LED grow light fixtures from most brands on the market come with an individual driver per light, usually attached to the local fixtures, that regulates power to an LED light or string of LED lights. Every time an individual driver fails, it must be fixed or replaced. This can end up being costly and interrupt operations. Whereas, MegaDrive from California Lightworks has a central power unit driver that runs multiple fixtures, eliminating the issue of frequent grow light driver failures and repairs.
Why other grow light drivers fail
There are several reasons why LED drivers can fail, including the quality of the brand and the driver itself. However, some of the most common reasons for individual LED drivers failing include the following:
- LED failure: Often, the LEDs fail because they have been connected to a constant LED driver in parallel. So, if the LEDs have failed, you may likely have to replace the driver as well.
- Improper installation: While LED driver failure can be a manufacturing problem, often, it’s because of an installation problem. If the LED drivers, or even the light, are not installed properly, it can lead to an almost immediate failure. It could also be caused by a connection in the lights that has shorted out, causing the power supply to fail.
- Environmental factors: Heat is another main reason LED drivers placed on the light fixtures fail. While LED drivers can operate in hot environments, being attached to the LED light fixtures, make the driver more susceptible to overheating, which is a primary cause of driver failure.
Preventing driver failure
California Lightworks spent five years researching and developing their MegaDrive series to provide growers with an optimal, one-of-a-kind driver solution to prevent driver failure and lower operational costs. The core component of MegaDrive that helps avoid driver failure is the individual driver has been taken out of the local LED fixture and substituted for a consolidated, central power supply driver.
The centralized power supply allows the driver to be placed offsite, outside the grow room, for optimal power performance and growth operations while eliminating the main driver failure point.
- No more replacing individual LED drivers. Unlike drivers that are placed on individual fixtures, if an LED fixture fails, you won’t have to also potentially replace the individual driver that goes along with it. This will ultimately reduce maintenance and operational costs and minimize daily operational disruptions.
- Since the MegaDrive driver is placed outside the grow room, the possibility of failure due to overheating or other environmental factors from having drivers inside the grow room or on the light fixtures is eliminated.
- Since there is only one driver to install for up to 27 fixtures, installation time is faster, and costs are lower. And because only one driver is installed outside of the grow room, there’s less room for installation error that could cause a potential driver failure.
CEO George Mekhtarian did a video on connecting and setting up your MegaDrive system. Your MegaDrive system is delivered with the fixtures, all cables, all electrical connectors, hanging hardware, and power supplies. All you have to do is install the components and have your electrician connect the power supply to the electrical panel – eliminating individual power drops in the grow room for each fixture.
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