LED drivers add smarts to connected lighting

Designed to enhance the performance of connected lighting systems, ON Semiconductor has expanded its LED driver family with the introduction of two new LED drivers – the NCL31000 and NCL31001. These LED drivers allow manufacturers to develop LED luminaires with light-based positioning technology and visible light communication (VLC). By adding data intelligence and accurate positioning (up to 30 cm), these solutions will enable new lighting applications in a variety of spaces including supermarkets, warehouses, hospitals, and airports.

LED drivers add smarts to connected lightingThe NCL31000 is designed specifically for luminaire applications. At the heart of the device is a highly energy-efficient buck LED driver, said ON Semiconductor, that supports both high-bandwidth analog dimming and PWM dimming down to zero current.

The accurate linear dimming enables VLC, allowing for the development of indoor light-based positioning systems that can be implemented in many locations where RF-based solutions cannot be used (e.g., hazardous spaces such as mines, or RF sensitive areas such as in hospitals or on board aircrafts). The ability to dim to true dark with an accuracy of 0.1% eliminates ghost light at the lowest dim settings, said ON Semi.

The NCL31000 driver includes an integrated 3.3-V fixed DC/DC converter and an adjustable DC/DC (2.5 – 24 V), which can be used to power system components such as sensing devices and the microcontroller. “Integrating these power solutions in the driver dramatically simplifies system design while boosting efficiency,” said ON Semiconductor.

LED drivers add smarts to connected lighting

NCL31000 block diagram (Image: ON Semiconductor)

In addition, accurate diagnostics further reduce system complexity by integrating a 10-bit analog to digital converter (ADC), said the company. The ADC measures system voltages, currents, and temperature to monitor LED and overall system efficiency, and detect any anomalies. A serial (I2C/SPI) interface makes all diagnostic data available to an external microcontroller that can monitor and control the intelligent lighting system. The architecture of the NCL31000 ensures excellent EMI performance, said the company, at >14 dB below the requirements of CISPR15/EN55015.

The NCL31001 is a companion driver to the NCL31000. It creates a solution that supports multi-string lighting applications, including those with color control. The NCL31001 offers the same features as the NCL31000 except for the DC/DC converters. These drivers are part of the company’s portfolio of Connected Lighting solutions.


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