Understanding The Global Line/Hot Voltages

aerial view of a high voltage substation picture id1340413200 640x400

When designing high quality luminaires, designers always try to use a single design platform to cover as much global area as possible so as to save developing cost and get more markets. Then do you know how the global electricity mains voltages or line voltages distribute? This article helps you to understand how to select suitable input voltages for your luminaires.

Here is the global electricity voltage by country from Wikipedia.


And the original map does not include the 3 phase voltage and we upgraded the map by 3 phase input voltages.

the map

Generally, it is quite easy to understand the single phase voltages as the map shows by different colors, nevertheless, for luminaire designers, understanding that is now enough since most of the high power luminaires like sports light, industrial light and grow lights are used in 3 phase high input voltage applications.

American Grids

In America, there are 3 kinds of single phase input voltage, 120Vac as the major consumer electrical device voltage, 230Vac and 277Vac as the industrial and commercial usage supply voltage while 277Vac is more widely covered. Thus if those single phase voltages are used by 3 phases, the voltages should be 208Vac, 400Vac and 480Vac. The equation is as below:

3 phase voltage = 1 phase voltage x √3 (~1.732)

the equation

In Canada, 347Vac single phase voltage is more frequently seen than 277Vac for industrial application. There are also 3 phase 347Vac which comes out with over 600Vac and it is a great challenge for luminaire designers to find a 600Vac input LED driver, so when there is 600Vac grid, an AC-AC transformer is required to stepdown to a voltage like 277Vac, but it increases the application cost, as well as the failure chance.

Rest of the World

Most of the areas of the world use 220-240Vac for single phase voltage. Thus the line to line voltage could be 380-420Vac. uPowerTek TLD or SLK series are able to cover most of the cases. There are also some small areas like Japan and Taiwan who use 100Vac grid voltage and the situation is quite similar to 120Vac in US.

Wiring of the 3 phase to LED driver

Wiring the high voltage input driver to 3 phase network is nothing special but just need to make sure the line to line voltage is within the LED driver input range as below. The other consideration is that for 3 phase connection, it is highly suggested that the load for each phase be balanced, in other words, if we connect 1000W between line A and C, we should also make sure that there are 1000W loads between line A and B, line B and C respectively.

wiring of the 3 phase


More and more high power LED luminaires are now connected to high input voltages to save the wiring cost, thus understanding the input voltage feature is essential for luminaire designers. For more questions, please contact with us by sales@upowertek.com.

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