Products, Materials & Tools | Mar 16, 2011

IST Launches the World’s Highest Power DALI Driver: iDrive® White Knight 32

The latest addition to IST’s portfolio of world-wide patented LED driver technology is the iDrive® White Knight™, the world’s highest powered 32 channel DALI LED driver, which boasts a super slim 1U 19” rack-mounted chassis. Designed specifically for the demanding professional white light market, the White Knight 32 offers unprecedented step-less dimming capabilities down to <1% independently on each of the 32 channel outputs. The White Knight can be configured to drive up to 512 LEDs from 672W of output power.

The new iDrive® White Knight offers one of the most complete DALI ballasts available and implements over 90 DALI commands from the official DALI BS EN 62386:2009 standard, including Part 101 and the extended Part 107 DALI commands, which relates specifically to LED ballasts.

The White Knight offers powerful dynamic power control with the ability to tune each output to offer exact LED forward voltage and current, enabling near limitless LED array configurations to be connected.

Additional features of the White Knight include real time LED current and voltage feedback, Universal Input Mains voltage between 110-240V AC as well as providing high efficiency LED output stages (>98%).

The exclusion of electrolytic capacitors on the LED output stages serves to prolong the life of the driver, avoiding one of the major reasons behind the failure of LED drivers. In addition, the multiple channels enable faster programming of DALI projects, which in turn reduces installation times.

At the core of the White Knight is the Texas Instruments 32-bit Digital Signal Processor with high performance embedded DALI software. The eco-DSP platform enables the installer to programme each channel for LED currents up to 1A per channel and Vf voltages up to 48V. Channels can also be bonded together, enabling simple optimization of fixtures designed with LED arrays such as Bridgelux, Sharp and Citizen, as well as bespoke light engines designed with OSRAM, CREE, Seoul Semi and Philips Lumileds products.

Matt Fitzpatrick, a Director at IST enthused: “The iDrive® White Knight 32™ is the first DALI LED driver to be based on the popular 19” rack-based format, which is becoming commonplace in other lighting market segments. Rack-based systems offer a new level of project integration, enabling large installations to be deployed quickly and with a minimum of fuss. A further advantage of rack based systems is that they enable the DALI drivers to be deployed remotely from the lighting fixture in an easy to access area, allowing routine maintenance or upgrading of driver firmware to be undertaken without having to remove fixtures or cordon areas off.”

Elliet Jones at IST added: “The White Knight 32 offers a significant step forward in lowering the average output channel price of DALI drivers, whilst increasing the driver performance and flexibility. Imagine the price of procuring 32 individual 21W DALI drivers with limited DALI functionality and having to set forward current or forward voltage ranges, compared to fully configurable output channels and over 90+ DALI command functions all within a 1U 19” rack format. Not to mention how long it would take an installer to fix and connect 32 individual drivers.”

Dr Geoff Archenhold, head of the engineering team that designed the eco-DSP engine at the core of the White Knight 32, stated: “The technology platform within the White Knight 32 offers the best LED dimming performance of any DALI driver we know of. The system is capable of dimming down to forward currents of <2mA, regardless of how the installer configures the maximum forward current. Most DALI drivers we have seen in the marketplace only manage to dim down to 5 or 10% at best, which equates to 35mA for a 700mA fixture – that is not exactly dim. In May, the ultraDIM option will enable LED dimming down to microAmps (a millionth of an Amp), so LEDs can be perfectly and smoothly dimmed exactly the same way as incandescent bulbs have been in the past.”

The iDrive® White Knight is the first in the range of DALI drivers being launched by IST this year and will be closely followed by the DALI+, which covers 5W - 40W and boasts up to 86% efficiency with a PFC of 0.95.

The White Knight 32 will be available as engineering samples during April, with volume production from end May 2011. For more information and to find out how your white light projects can benefit from the White Knight 32, please contact nina@istl.com.

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