The world’s best driver – by a brand you’ve never heard of

IF THIS LED driver were a car, it would be a top-of-the-range Aston Martin.

It can, say its makers, smoothly dim every LED on the planet to under .001 per cent. Instead of 255 step resolutions – the standard for Dali dimming – it has no fewer than 65,000.

Its reliability? Best in class. Specifically, it has a mean time between failures of 100,000 hours.

The list goes on…

So why haven’t you heard of the manufacturers? Well, it’s the same way that not everyone knows the names of the tailors on Savile Row. This is bespoke, lighting luxe by a team of veteran 'gentlemen engineers' based at Multiload Controls in Finchley, north London.

Brian Cuthbertson says that too often the promises and claims made for LED are not realised, especially when it comes to dimming

No surprise then that the company’s client list includes high-end residences in Cadogan Square, London, Scottish castles and the five-star Connaught Hotel in London.

A recent shortlisting in the 2017 Lux Awards in the Controls Product of the Year category has, however, brought the company some unaccustomed attention in the lighting community. Eyebrows were raised when the unfamiliar name appeared in the list of contenders for the industry’s top prize.

Company boss Brian Cuthbertson is not one to court publicity, but he is keen to point out the limitations of much of the control systems on the market currently.

‘Too often the promises and claims made for LED are not realised,’ he says. The company’s driver is designed to overcome the shortcomings of LED and deliver the reliability and smoothness that clients expect from lighting.

The LEDrose LDR100 is essentially a constant current driver. Designed in-house by Multiload using its self-developed algorithms, it will smoothly dim from the maximum current set to zero light output, flicker-free, any LED light source requiring a remote constant current driver. Dimming is by a 1-to-10V input control signal; DALI and DMX interfaces are also available.

The driver also offers short- and open-circuit protection and ‘hot plugging’ (the ability to replace lamps while power is supplied to the driver).

There are ten different current settings on a multi-position switch, which are customer selectable between 100mA and 750mA, although any current setting can be provided to customer requirement. Multiload has recently supplied the LDR100 with 900mA and 1.05A outputs.

Any LED or string of LEDs with forward voltages between 3V and 48V can be catered for.
The unit is DIN-rail mounted and can be positioned hundreds of metres from the LED light sources using small-gauge two-core cable, allowing placement in electrical distribution cupboards or other convenient locations.

This eliminates the need for drivers to be placed in the ceiling, simplifying control wiring, making maintenance easier, eliminating ceiling clutter and allowing DC voltages to be used in the installation.

This is all made possible because the RFI along the cabling is kept to an absolute minimum by proprietary Constant Current Reduction (CCR) technology which means that the current is not constantly switched on and off as with industry-standard pulse width modulation (PWM) dimming.

The unit has onboard monitoring of current settings over time, ensuring warranties from lamp and fittings suppliers can be honoured. By using the LDR100 the manufacturer’s stated lamp life should be achieved.

 

  • The winners of the Lux Awards 2017 will be announced on Thursday 16 November at the InterContinental at the O2 in London. See the full shortlist HERE