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Home /  Support Center /  Knowledge Base /  LED Drivers /  Do we need an electronic transformer to avoid the LED Strip from blinking?

Do we need an electronic transformer to avoid the LED Strip from blinking?

We would like to control 24V LED strips with a combined power draw of 800-1000W (part #3002.56) from one location. The LED strips are wired in parallel to minimize voltage drop and are well below the maximum length (more than 50% lower). We have verified they work correctly using a test on a subsection of the circuit using one of your power supplies (part 3092). 

However, when we switch to a 1000W magnetic low voltage power supply (Seagull Ambiance) we get flickering - more like blinking on and off because of the slow rate. We have tried several magnetic power supplies with no luck; do we need an electronic transformer to avoid blinking? If so do you have recommendations on a manufacturer? We would like to be able to add dimming capability through a dimmer at some point. 

Based on the information provided, I believe that our LED strip lights are installed correctly. As you mention, since they are connected in parallel and none of the LED strip sections are exceeding their max run length limits, it does seem that there is a compatibility or performance issue with the Seagull Lighting transformer.

We did a quick search for the Seagull Lighting 1000-watt transformer and was unable to locate any detailed specification sheets. It does seem, however, like an older product designed for incandescent lamps and not LED lamps. The reason this could be significant is that incandescent lamps typically use AC power, while LED lamps are designed for DC power. (If you have any additional detailed manufacturer documentation, please let me know and I'd be more than happy to review it.)

If my hunch is correct that the Seagull Lighting product outputs 24 volts AC, and not 24 volts DC, this may explain the blinking behavior you are seeing. This is because 24 volts AC is actually an average voltage rating (called RMS) and at certain points in the AC sine wave cycle, the input voltage actually far exceeds 24 volts (approximately 34 volts at the peak). During these peak voltage input timeframes, the LED strips are overdriven and exceed their rated power draw (> 1000 watts), potentially leading to the blinking behavior you are seeing.

Our recommendation would be to double-check the voltage rating and ensure that the 24 volts output by the Seagull Transformer is DC and not AC. If it is AC, we would recommend using an alternate solution that uses DC output.

You mention this is for a photo booth application, so in addition to avoiding magnetic drivers (which introduce line voltage flicker at 60/120 Hz), we would also recommend making sure you avoid PWM-induced flicker by choosing a flicker-free (high PWM frequency) power supply solution.

We do have several electronic DC power supply units with flicker-free output which may be of interest. The downside is that the power supplies are limited to 96 watts of output each (to meet Class 2 limitations) but each power supply can be connected to the same dimmer switch by connecting them in parallel. Below are product and layout configuration links that you may find helpful:

I have ordered some alternate supplies. Unfortunately, I need something bigger than what you offer but I am trying to get as high a PWM frequency as possible. I have two driver units on order and will test them in actual still photography settings. We have been and will continue to order lots of LED reels from you. 

​As you mention, we unfortunately limit the output of each power supply to 96 watts to meet Class 2 limitations, so while our products would be a perfect fit from the perspective of high PWM frequency dimming, the only workaround would be to use multiple power supplies connected in parallel.

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LED power suppliesLED strip lightsLED dimmersLED Drivers

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