Home :: LED Lighting: Advice and Facts

LED Lighting: Advice and Facts

ï»

 

Facts about LED lighting and advice on what to look for

The amount of greenhouse gases we excrete into the Earth’s atmosphere, with regards to energy consumption, are at all time highs and concerns are growing. Although energy saving lighting such as CFLs are now commonly used, with many incandescent lamps now abolished, LED's (light emitting diodes) have recently progressed to become the new ‘big thing’. Although it is evident that LEDs are the most eco friendly of 240v and 12v lighting, many variants have caused confusion amongst the public in the form of wattages, ratings, drivers and much more. We have therefore come up with some simple information below to guide you regarding LED's, their outputs and top tips.

The main point most people notice is the initial cost. LEDs are known to have a very long life whilst using little energy and the purchase price reflects this,being a lot more expensive than halogen or CFL lighting..
As with post outdoor lighting, be prepared to pay that little bit extra for added reliability; it is well worth it and the initial cost will be compensated through the reduction of energy bills and maintenance costs. It is true when they say “you get what you pay for”.

Many fittings are available with replaceable Lamps,but some have built in non replaceable LED's.. If the fitting has a built in LED and fails the entire unit will need to be replaced, not just the lamp. This will result in further maintenance costs, including purchase costs for a brand new light fitting and the removal / installation of the fittings by a qualified electrician. Although LED lamps are advertised with a life of 10-20 years it is not uncommon for them to fail in a much shorter time.

TOP TIP: If purchasing a light fitting with a built in LED which cannot be replaced, always ensure that a guarantee of at least 2 years is offered. LEDs are designed to last much longer than this, usually between 30 – 50,000 hours, however should the LED be faulty and should fail in less than two years, it will be covered by the guarantee, but remember this will not cover labour costs.

REPLACING HALOGEN BULBS WITH LED BULBS

Most of the light fittings sold by Lumena have standard E27 (ES), GU10 bulb holders for mains 230 volt or MR16,MR11, G4  bulb holders for low voltage 12v systems. Instead of standard Halogen bulbs LED bulbs can be fitted by the user without any modifications.Todays prices mean that the cost of a LED bulb is only around 5 times that of a Halogen. A halogen bulb uses around 5 times the electricity that a LED bulb uses. For example a 5 watt LED  bulb will be equivalent to a 50 watt halogen. It will last around 20 times as long so really its a no brainer!

There is a variety of LED retro fit lamps available on the market today which give off a powerful light for the wattage, and those which are not quite so good. For GU10s, you are looking for a lamp at approximately 3-6 watts. When comparing lamps of the same wattage for quality, the main area to check is the lumen output. This distinguishes which lamps give off a powerful light, which are generally of higher quality.The more lumens the more light.

Also bear in mind if you need to dim the lights,LED lights that are dimmable are more expensive and only work with some types of dimmer.Also be aware of "Colour temperature". Halogen bulbs give a light that is normally described as warm white and with a colour temperature of around 3000K ( Kelvin). LED bulbs are available in a variety of colour temperatures. The early ones were often a higher temperature of around 6000K known as " Daylight White" but nowadays they are availble in a variety of colour temperatures. As a general rule the higher the Colour temperature the whiter the light and vice versa. More details are on a separate section of this website. Although two lamps are the same wattage, they may have completely different lumen outputs – the higher the lumen output the brighter the light.

For some applications such as large Floodlights  for garden lighting Metal Halide lights which are very similar in efficiency to LED bulbs will still be the best option for years to come.