LED Driver Solutions That Add Intelligence To Connected Lighting

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The devices allow OEMs to easily develop smart LED luminaires with visible light communication (VLC) and indoor positioning systems

The NCL31000 and NCL31001 LED drivers by ON Semiconductor are two devices that enhance the performance of connected lighting systems. Manufacturers of such systems can benefit in developing LED luminaires with light-based positioning technology and visible light communication. Addition of data intelligence and accurate positioning (up to 30 cm) equips these solutions to introduce innovative lighting in places such as supermarkets, warehouses, hospitals and airports.

As a part of the company’s extensive LED driver family, the NCL3100 is a highly energy efficient buck LED driver that supports both high-bandwidth analogue dimming and PWM dimming down to zero current. It has an integrated 3V3 fixed DC-DC converter and a further adjustable DC-DC (2.5 – 24V), which can power system components such as sensing devices and microcontrollers, thereby simplifying system design while boosting efficiency.

The accurate linear dimming enables visible light communication (VLC) that allows the development and safe implementation of indoor light-based positioning systems in locations where RF-based solutions cannot be used such as hazardous spaces such as mines or hospitals and aircrafts that are RF sensitive. The ability to accurately dim to true dark up to 0.1% ensures that there is no ghost light at the lowest dim settings. Highly accurate diagnostics further reduce system complexity by integrating a 10-bit analogue to digital converter (ADC), which measures system voltages, currents and temperature for monitoring LED and overall system efficiency, and detect any anomalies. A serial (I2C / SPI) interface makes all diagnostic data available to an external MCU that can monitor and control the intelligent lighting system. In tests, the NCL3100 has shown excellent EMI performance with >14 dB below the requirements of CISPR15 / EN55015.

Along with the NCL31000, the NCL31001 helps create a solution for multi-string lighting applications, including those with colour control. The NCL31001 offers the same features as the NCL31000 except for the DC-DC converters to avoid unnecessary duplication.

“There is a growing demand for lighting intelligence as LED luminaire manufacturers recognise how these features improve convenience for users while reducing operating expenses and energy consumption. By supporting these features alongside market-leading efficiency and functionality, the NCL31000 and NCL31001 will open a variety of new opportunities for smart lighting systems,” said Michel De Mey, Vice President, Industrial Solutions at ON Semiconductor.

The new LED drivers are part of a comprehensive portfolio of Connected Lighting solutions from ON Semiconductor including the Connected Lighting Platform, which features multiple connectivity options (Bluetooth Low Energy and Power over Ethernet (PoE)) for smart LED control.


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