OnSemi LED drivers enhance connected lighting

  • July 6, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

Arizona-based electronics company On Semiconductor has announced two devices designed to enhance the performance of connected lighting systems.

The NCL31000 and NCL31001 LED drivers allow manufacturers to develop LED luminaires with light-based positioning technology and visible light communication. By adding data intelligence and accurate positioning (up to 30cm), these can improve lighting in supermarkets, warehouses, hospitals and airports.

The NCL31000 is part of an LED driver family and is designed for luminaire applications. At the heart of the device is an energy-efficient buck LED driver that supports high-bandwidth analogue dimming and PWM dimming down to zero current.

The driver includes an integrated fixed DC-DC converter and a further adjustable DC-DC (2.5 to 24V), which can be used to power system components such as sensing devices and the microcontroller. Integrating these in the driver simplifies design while boosting efficiency.

The accurate linear dimming enables visible light communication, allowing for the development of indoor light-based positioning systems that can be safely implemented in many locations where RF-based products cannot be used, such as 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% ensures there is no ghost light at the lowest dim settings. Diagnostics further reduce system complexity by integrating a 10bit analogue-to-digital converter (ADC). The ADC measures voltages, currents and temperature to monitor LED and overall 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. The architecture of the NCL31000 ensures EMI performance – in tests it has been shown to be more than 14dB below the requirements of Cispr 15 and EN55015.

The NCL31001 is a companion driver to the NCL31000 that supports multi-string lighting applications, including those with colour control. It has 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,” said Michel De Mey, vice president at On Semiconductor. “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.”

The LED drivers are part of a portfolio of connected lighting products from On Semiconductor including a connected lighting platform with Bluetooth Low Energy and Power over Ethernet (PoE) connectivity options for smart LED control.