1. What are LED lights designed for?
LED is the latest consumer lighting technology that are designed to reduce your energy consumption between 40% to 80%, while producing a cleaner, brighter light. With LEDs lasting up to 50,000 hours or more, you will minimize your lighting maintenance expenses.
2. What components make up LED?
LEDs are comprised of 3 main components: the LED (the chip set that produces light), the driver (converts AC to DC) and the heat sink (to keep everything cool). LEDs take DC power from the driver to create light while the heat sink dissipates heat from the LEDs and the drivers.
3. What are the main benefits of replacing your bulbs with LED?
There are many benefits. Here is a list of a few:
• Immediate reduction in your electricity bill.
• Less heat. LED fixtures are extremely efficient converting electricity into light.
• LED Bulbs last a very long time, typically 50,000 to 100,000 hours.
• They are virtually indestructible, composed primarily of metal and plastic components.
• Environmentally friendly – They are highly recyclable with no hazardous parts.
4. Are all LED lights dimmable?
It varies as not all LEDs are dimmable. The LED driver must be designed to allow dimming. Connecting a dimmer to a non-dimmable LED will cause the bulb to fail and void the warranty.
5. Is my existing incandescent dimmer switch compatible with LEDs?
No, you must purchase dimmers made specifically for LED bulbs. When used with incandescent dimmers, there will be just enough current flowing through the wiring that the LED bulbs will glow when the dimmer switch is powered off.
6. What are 0-10V dimmers?
These are dimmers made for industrial and commercial LED fixtures (high bays, floods, area lighting, panels, and retrofits. These requires special wiring and a special type of dimmer.
7. What color temperatures are available with LED bulbs?
Correlated color temperature (CCT) is a measure of light source color appearance measured on the Kelvin scale. LED Bulbs come in a variety of colors, ranging from 2700K (warm white) to 6500K (cool white). The warmer the light color, the more yellow the tone, the cooler the light color, the bluer the tone. Below is a list of color range and their names:
• 2700-3200 – Warm White (WW)
• 4000-4500 – Natural White (NW)
• 5000-5500 – Day White (DW)
• 6500-7500 – Cool White (CW)
8. What is CRI?
CRI is Color Rendering Index. It is a measurement of the quality of light. Where as lumens is a measurement of the quantity of light, CRI is the measurement of quality. It is a scale between 0 and 100. 0 is bad, 100 is great. LED’s typically are in the 70-95 range. The higher the CRI, the more expensive the LED chip, and therefore the more expensive the product itself.
9. UL vs ETL. What’s the difference?
If a product comes with a UL mark, it signifies that it has passed Underwriter Laboratories’ (UL’s) safety requirements for use by consumers and in places of business. ETL is another electrical safety certification. It’s doled out by Electrical Testing Labs, which is operated by Intertek. ETL tests products to the same safety standards as UL.
In the lighting world, UL is a more common mark than ETL. But there really is little difference between the two, especially for those trying to pass inspection. Inspectors and Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) accept both, as both show compliance with the minimum safety standards put forth by NRTL.
10. What is DLC?
DLC is DesignLights Consortium, the governing body that certifies the quality and efficiency of LED Lights. A DLC Qualified product may be eligible for rebates. Your local utility designates whether you are eligible for rebates or not, and it varies between utility companies.
Currently there are two standard, DLC Standard and DLC Premium. DLC Premium is more efficient and will save you more money in terms of operating costs.
11. Does the size of LED bulbs differ from CFL or Incandescent?
In most cases, are bulbs are the same size if not slightly smaller than the bulbs they replace. That is because LED technology packs a lot of light in a small package.
12. Single ended power vs. double ended power.
In single ended powered tubes, you power only one end. This type of installation is referred to as un-shunted. Since the tube has two pins on that end, you would send line to one pin and neutral to the other. (think of line and neutral as the black and white wires of electrical wire)
In double ended powered tubes, you power both ends, one with line source, the other with neutral. This type of installation is referred to as shunted.
13. When I buy LED, should I buy based on watts or lumens?
Always buy based on lumens, watts is a number that is used to determine how much energy it takes to produce those lumens. As LED technology progresses, the lumen efficiency, measured in lumens per watt (lm/w), becomes more efficient. The higher the number, the less energy you will need to produce the light. You will notice that some lights take less energy to produce the same amount of light, and this is something you should watch for. Typically, the higher the ratio, the better.
14. What component of the LED system is often the first to fail?
Almost always, it is the driver. That is why it is important to know who makes the driver in the LED fixture or retrofit you purchase. Brand names like Meanwell and Philips are good. Typically a good driver should last more than 50,000 hours.