Project Planning

Where should drivers be located on a project?

Some lights have the drivers built into the fitting, but many of those available on the market need a separate driver.

These will need to be installed in a suitable and accessible place in the building.

Sometimes each individual fitting will have its own driver which can be located next to it. These would include recessed downlights, with the driver sitting in the ceiling void behind it. To access the driver, you would simply remove the downlight.

Other fittings, such as uplights, low-level lights, and LED strips, will need to have the drivers installed in a remote location. This needs to be considered very early on in the project, as it is hard to compensate for errors once the project has progressed beyond a certain point.

When deciding where they will be located, remember that the drivers will need to be accessible for maintenance. Therefore, placing them inside a sealed wall will be a problem waiting to happen. A more common, and sensible, place to locate them is a cupboard or utility room. By planning this early on, you will be able to ensure that enough space is left for them and the electrician can run the cables to the right locations.

You will also need to think about the distance between the driver and the fitting. If it is too far away, there will be a volt drop, and power will be lost in the cables. This will result in the lights not working properly. A typical maximum distance would be 10-20m away, but this is dependent on the type of cable used. Your electrician and the lighting supplier should be able to advise on the maximum operating distances between your chosen fittings and drivers.

If you are working with lights that will be exposed to water, such as in a bathroom or a garden, the driver will need to be located in a safe and protected place. This should be outside of the bathroom zones, and if it is external, it will need to be located in a waterproof enclosure. The alternative to this is choosing a waterproof driver. To gain more insight into choosing a waterproof solution, refer to our article on IP ratings.

If you are interested in how Ember could help with your project then contact us today.

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