The Best Drivers for Single COB Systems

There’s a ton of information out there about finding drivers for your 4+ COB systems, but not a whole lot regarding drivers for setups with only 1 COB. The main problem is that most of the popular drivers for bigger systems have constant current ranges that are too high for a single COB, so they won’t work. We’ll need to find smaller drivers with similar characteristics in order to properly power your single COB grow light.

This post will examine a few different constant current drivers that will work for single COBs of different voltages. Note that these models are chosen with 120V AC power in mind, and may not work if your mains are 230V or whatever else. Always check the input voltage rating in the data sheet to be sure.

 1. Mean Well LPC Series

Mean Well LPC-60-1400

The LPC series is one of the most versatile out there for single or dual COB setups. It’s a great all-around driver, and offers a range of models that cover low currents like 700mA, all the way up to 3150mA for those power-hungry Veros. These drivers are relatively inexpensive as well, which is always nice.

Dimming – NO   Power Factor Correction – NO   Case – PLASTIC   Warranty – 2 YEARS

Which model do I use for my drive current?

If you’re using a COB with a typical forward voltage of ~36V, like:

  • Cree CXB3590
  • Cree CXB3070
  • Citizen CLU048-1212
  • Bridgelux Vero 18 Gen 7 “C” Array
  • Bridgelux Vero 29  Gen 7 “D” Array

Use these models for a single COB setup:

700mA = LPC-35-700   1050mA = LPC-60-1050   1400mA = LPC-60-1400

1750mA = LPC-100-1750   2100mA = LPC-100-2100   2450mA = LPC-150-2450

2800mA = LPC-150-2800

 

If you’re using a COB with a typical forward voltage of ~51V, like:

  • Citizen CLU048-1818
  • Citizen CLU058-1825
  • Luminus Gen.3 CXM-27/CXM-32
  • Bridgelux Vero 29 Gen.7 “B” Array

Use these models for a single COB setup:

1050mA = LPC-100-1050     1400mA = LPC-100-1400     1750mA = LPC-150-1750

2100mA = LPC-150-2100     2450mA = LPC-150-2450     2800mA* = LPC-150-2800

*Check your particular COB’s Vf at 2,800mA as it may be just out of range.

2. Mean Well NPF-D Series

Mean Well NPF-60D

The NPF Series is a good option if you want dimming, power factor correction, and a better warranty. It’s a little more expensive, but the ability to dim is super handy. The rated drive currents are not the typical round numbers you’re used to seeing (e.g. – 700mA, 1400mA, etc.), but get the job done and can always be dimmed down to whatever you need.

Dimming – YES (Requires Potentiometer)     Power Factor Correction – YES     Case – PLASTIC     Warranty – 5 YEARS

Which model do I use for my drive current?

If you’re using a COB with a typical forward voltage of ~36V, like:

  • Cree CXB3590
  • Cree CXB3070
  • Citizen CLU048-1212
  • Bridgelux Vero 18 Gen 7 “C” Array
  • Bridgelux Vero 29  Gen 7 “D” Array

Use these models for a single COB setup:

840mA = NPF-40D-54   1120mA = NPF-60D-54   1430mA = NPF-60D-42

1880mA = NPF-90D-48   2150mA = NPF-90D-42   2500mANPF-120D-48

2900mANPF-120D-42

 

If you’re using a COB with a typical forward voltage of ~51V, like:

  • Citizen CLU048-1818
  • Citizen CLU058-1825
  • Luminus Gen.3 CXM-27/CXM-32
  • Bridgelux Vero 29 Gen.7 “B” Array

Use these models for a single COB setup:

1120mA = NPF-60D-54   1670mA = NPF-90D-54   2300mA = NPF-120D-54

2500mANPF-120D-48

 

3. Honorable Mentions: Mean Well PLC and PLN

The PLC and PLN series drivers will also work for some low-power single-COB setups. They tend to top out at 100W and are a little less flexible, a tiny bit less efficient, and don’t offer dimming, but if you need a driver right away and can only get your hands on one of these, they’ll do.

 

What drivers are you using for your single COB? Leave a comment below.

4 Comments

  1. Hey, I wouldn’t mind getting your new posts to my inbox. If you think adding a subscriptions widget to the sidebar is a good idea, the WordPress JetPack plugin offers a free one as part of their package. Actually, this sounds a bit like spam, but don’t worry, I found you from r/microgrowery

    • LEDGardener

      April 6, 2017 at 11:46 pm

      Man, I’m so sorry! I was just going through my trash tonight after deleting a ton of spam links and found your comment in here! I actually did implement a sub button on the side awhile back – again, sorry I missed this and I hope you’ve got a butt-kickin’ grow on the go.

  2. Terry Clarkson

    August 7, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    What cob would be a good choice for the Meanwell hbg 100-48b? I know I’m doing this backwards but I already own the driver.

    Thanks

    • LEDGardener

      August 7, 2017 at 3:35 pm

      Hi Terry. I’d run something like a Gen.7 Vero 29D on that driver. Make sure it’s the D version.

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