NFC programming for LEDs using a PWM output to control analog LED-drivers

September 04, 2019 // By Dr. Qi Zhu
NFC programming
In the LED market, more and more LED power suppliers to offer two novel functions: near-field communication (NFC) programming and constant lumen output (CLO). The NFC programming function is designed to replace the labor-intensive “plug-in resistor” current setting method to improve the flexibility across the value chain.

Products with the CLO function can compensate for the luminous flux drop (ageing effect) of the LED module by adjusting the LED current during the lifetime. Besides gaining customer satisfaction with improved lighting quality, this function is also beneficial for the environment since it reduces the total energy consumption by avoiding over-current for most of the lifetime. However is there a cost-effective solution in NFC for lighting applications that can target the cost-sensitive middle- and low-end LED power supply markets? In this article, we expose a new concept from Infineon that offers full flexibility via NFC function to its customers’ convenience.


The promise of NFC technology for lighting

NFC programming in LED luminaires is a relatively new concept. The term, NFC, refers to a set of communication protocols that enable devices to communicate wirelessly if they are in a near distance from each other. In the lighting world, it is used to set the operating characteristics of the LED luminaires wirelessly and mains-voltage freely. The transmitted parameters

Figure 1: NFC programming of drivers – system overview.

are predefined and configurable for a desired setting of the luminaire. It is faster and simpler than traditional LED programming ways and can enable more feature-rich and flexible LED driver products. The system consists of an NFC reader (the hardware) and an NFC tag integrated into a driver. This NFC tag is responsible for data storage. The NFC reader is connected to a host PC.

This PC instructs, and an application software controls the NFC reader to program the NFC tag wirelessly via NFC commands. The transmitted parameters are pre-defined and configurable in the application software based on the manufacturer’s specifications for a desired setting of the luminaire.

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