LED Lighting: All You Need To Know
|LEDs are small, very effective solid bulbs. New LED bulbs are grouped in clusters with diffuser lenses which have broadened the applications for LED use in the home. LED technology is advancing rapidly, with many new bulb styles available. Initially more expensive than CFLs, LEDs bring more value since they last longer. Also, the price of LED bulbs is going down each year as the manufacturing technology continues to improve.|
LEDs are solid light bulbs which are extremely energy efficient. When first developed, LEDs were limited to single-bulb applications, such as instrument panels, electronics, pen lights and, more recently, strings of indoor and outdoor Christmas lights.
Manufacturers have expanded the applications of LEDs by clustering the small bulbs. The first clustered bulbs were used for battery-operated items such as flashlights and headlamps. Today, LED bulbs are made using as many as 180 bulbs per cluster, and encased in diffuser lenses which spread the light in wider beams. Now available with standard bases which fit common household light fixtures, LEDs are the next generation in home lighting.
A significant feature of LEDs is that the light is directional, as opposed to incandescent bulbs which spread the light more spherically. This is an advantage with recessed lighting or under-cabinet lighting, but it is a disadvantage for table lamps. New LED bulb designs address the directional limitations by using lenses and reflectors to disperse light more like an incandescent bulb.
- Long lasting:
LED bulbs last up to 10 times as long as CFLs, and far longer than typical incandescents.
Since LEDs do not have a filament, they are not damaged under circumstances when a regular incandescent bulb would be broken. Because they are solid, LED bulbs hold up well to jarring and bumping.
These bulbs of not cause heat build-up. LEDs produce 3,4 BTUs per hour (compared to a regular incandescent’s 85); they do not contribute to heat build up in a room and, therefore, reduce the costs of keeping your home cool.
- Mercury free:
No mercury is used in the manufacture of LED bulbs.
- More efficient:
LED light bulbs use only 2 – 17 Watts of electricity and last 10 to 15 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
- Cost effective:
Although LEDs are initially expensive, the cost is recouped over time.
Choosing an LED bulb
Many different models and styles of LED bulbs are emerging in today’s marketplace. When choosing a bulb, keep in mind the following:
- Estimate desired brightness
Read the package to choose your desired brightness level. You can use Wattage to compete bulb illumination, for example, a 9 W LED is equivalent to a 45 W incandescent. However, the new method for comparing bulbs is lumens. Lumens is the measure of perceived brightness, and the higher the lumens, the brighter the bulb.
- Choose between warm light and cool light
New LED bulbs are available in ‘cool’ white light (ideal for task lighting) and ‘warm’ white light (commonly used for accent or small area lighting.
- Do you need a screw-in base or pin-base?
LEDs are available in several types of sockets, including those suitable for recessed or track lighting.
- Do you want standard or dimmable bulbs?
LED bulbs compatible with standard dimmer switches are now available.
LED Light Bulb Styles
In this style LED bulb, clusters of LEDs are covered by a dimpled lens which spreads the light over a wider area. Available in standard bases, these LED bulbs have many uses, such as area lighting for rooms, patios, reading lamps, accent lamps, hallways and low-light applications where lights remain on for extended periods.
|Dimmable Globe LED bulbs
Designed for bathroom vanities or anywhere a globe bulb is required, these bulbs produce light equivalent to a 40 Watt incandescent bulb, yet only consumes 10 Watts of power. Dimmable from 100% to 10%, these bulbs have a 200 degree beam angle to cast light in a wide area.
|Track Lighting, Pin Base
Available in pin base, LEDs are ideal for track lighting. LEDs do not contribute to heat build up in a room because no matter how long they remain on, they do not get hot to the touch. Also, because they are 90% more efficient than incandescents, and last 10 times longer than CFLs, the frequency of changing bulbs is greatly reduced.
|Flood Reflector LEDs for Recessed Cans and Track Lights, Screw-in Base
LEDs are now available for standard recessed lighting pots and housings. They range from 7,5 Watts to 17 Watts, with beam widths from PAR 20 to PAR 38. Several models are dimmable. Also, because they are 90% more efficient than incandescents, and last 10 times longer than CFLs, the frequency of changing bulbs is greatly reduced.
|Flame Tip, Candelabra Base LEDs
Designed to replace incandescent candelabra bulbs, these flame tip LEDs deliver the equivalent light of 25 – 35 Watt incandescents while only drawing 3,5 Watts of electricity. Because of the heat sink in the base, light doesn’t disperse downwards as much as a typical incandescent candelabra bulb.
|LED Tube Lights
Designed to replace fluorescent tube bulbs, these LED tubes are available in 8 and 16 Watts, which replace traditional 25 Watt and 40 Watt fluorescent tubes. Because fluorescent lights are often installed in high ceiling in commercial sites, there are additional savings because the frequency of changing bulbs is greatly reduced.
LED Bulb Colours
Most LED bulbs in use today are clear or white bulbs, commonly available in ‘cool’ or ‘warm’ light; but LEDs are also available in colours and used as individuals, or in clusters, for special applications.
Red is the traditional colour for maintaining night vision. Some LED headlamps and flashlights have the option of switching to red light for night use.
Green is now the preferred colour for pilots and the military. The green colour is also great for retaining night vision, and it doesn’t erase or render invisible the red markings on maps and charts.
Many people like the blue because it is easy on the eyes. Blue appears to be a good reading light for elderly eyes.
The most popular of the LED colours, it is a soft light without harsh reflection, glare or shadows.
LED amber bulbs of not attract flying insects. Amber LEDs are used outdoors in areas such as patios or decks where insects can become a nuisance.
LED Compatible Light Fittings from Selective Lighting
These are a small selection of the many LED-ready light fittings available at Selective Lighting. Click on the products below for more detail, or browse our website to see them all.