Advanced applications such as lighting for health and trends such as connected lighting result in even greater reliance on a robust driver architecture, reports MAURY WRIGHT. The LED driver is now typically the most expensive element in a solid-state lighting (SSL) product. Five or six years back, the LEDs often represented more than 50% of the bill of materials of a general illumination fixture, but now the driver is far more costly than the packaged LEDs in most luminaires. Meanwhile, the driver design must enable flicker-free output and long life at a minimum. Most products also support dimming of some type, often with the expectation of smooth dimming to extremely low levels. Indeed, driver developers face these challenges before even getting to specialty applications. For instance, drivers for outdoor, horticultural, or hazardous applications may need enhanced environmental protection. Increasingly popular tunable-white products for applications such as human-centric lighting need multiple channels. And of course connected lighting is coming to all applications and impacting the driver. Read on for a look at some of the latest innovations in driver design. Let’s start off w...