Why are LED drivers often potted? Is it necessary?

- May 22, 2019-

The purpose of potting is twofold. First, it enhances the ingress protection (IP) rating of the unit by

providing a waterproof barrier protecting the components from the intrusion of water under most

circumstances. This is critical for outdoor applications such as streetlights.

Second, since the potting compound normally has much better thermal conductivity than the air, the

potting is used to conduct heat generated by the key power components to the surface of the enclosure. This helps to greatly reduce the thermal stress on these components and thus increases the

lifetime and reliability of the drivers substantially. It is estimated that the potting can typically reduce

the operating temperatures of some of the key power devices by 20-40°C.