Frequently Asked Questions
Below you will find some of the most commonly asked questions that relate to LED driver selection and installation. We understand that with the advancements in technology there can often be questions regarding which driver to choose, dimmer compatibility and more. If you don’t see the question below, feel free to send us an email and our team of experts will be happy to help.
Where can I find Magnitude's Products?
Magnitude supplies to various Wholesalers and Dealers. To find a dealer near you – click here
How do I know which Driver is best for my application?
Determine what voltage your lights require, normally 12 or 24 volts, and then total the wattage of all the lights controlled by the driver based upon the rating provided by the light manufacturer.
Example: You have 20 12VDC LEDs each drawing 3 watts for a total of 60watts. The best Driver to use would be a M60L12DC Driver.
How many feet of LED tape lights can I put on a driver?
You need to determine the total wattage of your LEDs. Wattage is usually per foot or meter. Once you know the total wattage you can select a driver. Add 15% to 20% cushion onto the total LED wattage to determine minimum driver wattage size.
What is the best way to mount LED Drivers? (Voltage & AC)
We recommend mounting the drivers vertically for best heat dissipation.
If the driver is installed at a distance from the LEDs, how do I calculate voltage drop?
There are several factors that influence the voltage drop: AWG of the wires, the length of the wires, the load wattage and minimum operating voltage of the lights. This calculation is called “Drop Voltage” and is rather complicated. Clik on the following link for Voltage Drop Chart: Wire Run distance chart (Voltage Drop)
I want to use a currently installed dimmer with a Magnitude driver. Is that possible?
Magnitude drivers are compatible with any standard MLV (Magnetic Low Voltage) dimmer. Please refer to our dimmer compatibility list.
What is the best compatible dimmer & How do I check which Dimmers and LED’s are compatible with Magnitude Drivers?
There are thousands of different dimmers and more becoming availible everyday. The best dimmer will depend on what function you would like. Wireless, occupation sensor or integration with a home automation system. To ensure the dimmer will fuction with the driver you selected you need know the type dimming the driver requires. We work to keep a list of the most common dimmers that are compatible. you can contact us if there is a specific dimmer you have a question about.
We are continuously testing dimmers and LEDs with our drivers and have built a compatibility list. New dimmers and LEDs are becoming available on the market all the time. Magnitude is continually testing new dimmers to verify compatibility. The basic rule when selecting a Dimmer is to check that it is MLV- (Magnetic Low Voltage) compatible. If you choose to use a dimmer that does not appear on our list of compatible dimmers, we advise you to test the configurations prior to installation.
What can happen if the Dimmer is not compatible?
When testing a combination of Driver, dimmer and LEDs that are not compatible, you can experience flickering, audible hum, and higher output at low dimmer levels. Running such an incompatible configuration can shorten the service life of the driver.
Can I connect more than one Driver to the same dimmer?
Yes, there is no problem connecting more than one driver.
What is the difference between Constant Voltage LEDs and Constant Current LEDs?
Constant Current drivers will have a fixed current level and vary the voltage depending on the load size. The output is measured in ma (milliamps) and will have a wide voltage operating range. Down lights, LED recessed lighting are common examples.
Constant Voltage drivers supply a fixed output voltage and will vary the current depending on the load size. Common voltages ar 12vdc and 24vdc. The most common use is with LED tape and under cabinet lighting.
What is the difference between your Magnetic drivers verses the Electronic drivers?
Magnetics are more robust and tolerant to input flucuations. Less prone tofailure because of simple design. Long live expectancey. Electronics can have a small form factor. Can be more efficient (use less power). Allow for more advanced technologies like programability.
What could be causing the flicker I'm experiencing?
Flicker can be caused by a an incompatiblity between the dimmer, driver or LEDs. Also having to small of a load on the driver or dimmer can cause flicker.
Can outdoor units be used indoors?
Yes, all outdoor units can also be used indoors.
Do Magnitude Drivers have circuit protection?
Yes. All of our Voltage Drivers have circuit breaker protection on both input and output. Our drivers use Auto-Reset breakers that quickly respond to abnormal conditions. They will automatically reset once the condition is resolved. This design proves helpful when the driver is located in a difficult-to-access area and provides you much better protection. Auto reset circuit breakers are available up to 150W. High power units (200-300W) are equipped with “push-to-reset” circuit breakers.
How does load affect the voltage output?
Please refer to the unit spec sheet which shows a chart of different loads and the effect on the voltage.
What specification listings do your drivers have?
All Magnitude products carry ETL or UL listings.
What is “Boost Tap” and how to use it?
The boost tap is for use in applications that require longer distances between the driver and the lights. It compensates for the extended distance by increasing the voltage output by 10%. In cases that the voltage on your lights is less than 10.5V for 12V drivers and 21V for 24V drivers, it is recommended that you use the boost tap wire. To be certain, connect your power to the black transformer wire then check voltage using a voltmeter. If your voltmeter reads less than the voltage mentioned above, use the orange boost tap wire. In order to use it please disconnect the black wire and replace it with the orange boost tap wire. Be certain to disconnect power by turning off the switch prior to rewiring.
Are Magnitude Drivers Class 2 rated?
All of our 20-watt through 60-watt 12 volt DC Drivers, together with our 20-watt through 96-watt 24 volt DC Drivers are Class 2 rated.
Can I have more than one driver on a dimmer?
Yes, Multiple drivers can be on one dimmer put you must consider the maximum wattage the dimmer can handle. To calculate the load (wattage) the the dimmer is “feeling” , you need to add the LED load and the power the driver is using together. This will be the total wattage for that driver.
Example: A 100watt driver that is 90% efficient with a 80 watt load. The dimmer will “feel” the 80watts from the LEDs and 10watts from the driver, for a total of 90watts. You will add the totals for each driver on the dimmer to determine if the dimmer can hadle the full load. (simple method).
What is the maximum operational case temperature?
The maximum case temperature is 90°C. We recommend installing the driver in a well-ventilated area to allow heat dissipation.
Can I have more than one driver on a dimmer?
Yes, With home automation you can have Multiple dimmers or dimming modules controled manuallly or through a central processor. It just depends on simple or extensive you wish to incorporate your ligthing system. Most times the dimmer or dimming module can be setup to Adaptive phase. This will allow the dimmer to detect the driver type and choose the correct dimming style. These dimming system will also allow you to select a specific dimming style.
What is the difference between Class 2 drivers and non-Class 2?
Class 2 is an National Electrical Code (NEC) for fire and shock. For a driver to be rated as Class 2 it will be limited to 96watts for 24vdc output and 60watts for 12vdc output. Non-Class 2 drivers will normally have higher wattages over 100watts. Class 2 is becoming the requirement for most projects now. Refer to NED standards for more information.
What are NEMA and IP Ratings and what do they mean?
NEMA and IP are different rating systems rating an enclosure system for protection from solid objects, dust and moisture. NEMA uses a 1 through 13 system while IP uses a 2 digit number. The first IP number is 6 through 0 for objects and dust protection. The second number is 9 through 0 for moisture protection. Most all Magnitude products are NEMA 3R (Damp and Dry locations or IP 65 (full dust and water spray protection).
What is the most common reason for driver/LED failure?
The basic enemy of any type of electronics is heat. If the driver is overloaded and has to “work” harder it will generate more heat. If the driver is placed in a location where the ambient air temperature is high and there is no airflow, the driver can’t dissipate heat. This can cause the life span of the driver to decrease and /or fail.
What is the maximum distance between the driver and the LEDs?
When a driver is located a long distance from where the LEDs are, you can experience a “Voltage Drop” at the LEDs. This could cause the LEDs to not operate at their full potential. This is caused by the resistance of the wire(s) between the two. To minimize this you can use thicker gauge wire. Calculating the best wire gauge to use depends on distance, load size (wattage), voltage used by the LEDs and if a dimmer is being used.
What difference is there in using 24volt LEDs vs. 12volt LEDs?
24v driver dist. 12v low light applictions. The quick answer is if you have a short run of LEDs 12vdc is fine. If you have a long run of LEDs 24vdc is better. If the wire runs from the driver to the LEDs there can be a voltge drop. With 24vdc the percentage of the drop will be less than with 12vdc.
Does the Solidrive constant voltage power supply dim through DC voltage reduction or with PWM?
The SoliDrive dims uses voltage reduction. We have a chart on the specification sheet showing wattage vs dim voltage for 96watt max load.