Frequently Asked questions

What is LED Lighting? (Light Emitting Diode)

LED lighting has been around since the 1960s. LED's are semiconductor diodes which work by creating a positive - negative junction (or p-n). Once power is provided to the diode, a current flows from the anode (positive) to the cathode (negative). Electrons and electron holes then flow into the junction from electrodes, so when an electron meets a hole it creates a lower energy level providing energy as light. In practice 90% of the electricity consumed by an LED is converted into light, whereas a standard bulb only converts around 15%.

LEDs last considerably longer than incandescent or fluorescent lighting. LEDs don't typically burn out like traditional lighting, but rather gradually decrease in light output. The "useful life" of an LED light is often 50,000 to 100,000 hours. LEDs are resistant to thermal shocks and vibration. LEDs perform well when subjected to frequent on-off cycling.

Why are LED lights becoming so popular?

LED lights draw much less electrical power than other lights. The newest generation of Super Bright LED lights (sometimes called SMD or Luxeon LEDs) is about three times brighter than the original LED lights. They do not produce UV radiation or contain harmful mercury (like fluorescent and CFL bulbs). The tiny size of LED lights allows them to be manufactured in many different configurations. They also last about six times longer (on average) than fluorescent tube lights.

Where can LED lights be used?

LEDs can be used anywhere other forms of lighting are used. We offer LED light products for indoor and outdoor applications. Because LED lights are cooler than other lights, they save energy when used indoors by lowering cooling costs. The long life of LED lights makes them perfect choices any place where normal maintenance is very difficult.

If you have to move retail racks or food preparation equipment, or disassemble a luminaire, the labour cost to replace a bulb or string of lights can be high. There’s always the risk that the person changing the bulb will break the luminaire or something under it, so a 50,000 hour LED has a big advantage over a 2,000 hour halogen, for example, because the re-lamping occurs much less frequently. Additionally, there’s a risk the bulb will be dark for a while before being changed.

If the light is inconvenient to change because of its location, you’re even better off with the LED because it lasts so long.

Do LED Lights produce CO2 or other Green House Gases?

No. LED lights do not emit any CO2, or contain mercury. Replacing fluorescent bulbs with LED light tubes also reduces a significant amount of CO2 that would normally be produced by electric plants due to their much lower usage of electric power.

Do LED lights require a ballast like fluorescent lights?

No, LED lights do not require a ballast.

Are LED's costly?

When comparing the life cycle costs of LEDs against Halogen lamps, LEDs are considerably cheaper e.g. a GU10 LED will last 24 times longer than a conventional halogen. See Energy Savings Calculator.

Where is it appropriate to use LED lamps?

LED lamps should be used when powerful directional light is needed such as spot lights, flood lights, track lighting and any other lighting that has long running hours.

What are the advantages to using LED lights?

LEDs bring several advantages to the lighting industry, including high efficiency and durability, and, with superior life over other lamp sources, their required maintenance is greatly reduced. This translates into energy savings, maintenance savings and an overall reduction in running costs over the product’s lifetime.

Can I use my existing 12V DC transformers?

Yes you can, however, when using your existing DC transformer you must identify the output in watts so that the LED replacements meet the minimum requirements of the transformer.

Do LED lamps produce UV?

Our LED lamps do not produce any UV although it is possible to buy LEDs that are specifically designed to produce UV of certain frequencies.

Can LED lamps be used in existing light fittings?

Most LED bulbs work in standard light sockets and can be easily fitted in the same way as any other bulb. Fittings generally are the same.

How is the lifetime of an LED determined?

The lifetime of an LED is determined by the time taken for the output of the LED to fall to 70% of its original lumen output. An LED lamp will continue to function after this time.

Do LED's give off any heat?

LED light emits 90% less heat than a conventional bulb therefore producing more light than heat and gaining maximum energy efficiency.

LED lamp designs use heatsinks to move heat away from the LED junction to allow the LED to remain at their optimum operating temperature. As a result the heat-sink will get quite hot but no where near as hot as a halogen or filament lamp. The LED bulb will remain cool.

LED light bulbs will always operate at a lower temperature than a CFL or incandescent which has immediate benefits in reduced cooling bills in the summer months where we are paying for our Air Conditioning to cool our offices.

What is the light quality of an LED?

LED's produce a cleaner light quality than a standard bulb as there is no radiant glare. The brightness of the LED is determined by both the colour temperature and lumens. As the LED's are directional the light they create is focused on where you want it, not a 360 degree angle like standard bulbs.

LED's are available in a number of different colours. Warm white and cool white tend to be the most popular but there are blue, yellow, green, red and RGB. Other colours are available but are usually special order.

Is LED light a different type of light?

Yes, LED light is said to be a safer, healthier light. LEDs do NOT produce any sort of ultraviolet radiation which causes fabric fading, color fading in art, carpeting and other soft goods. There is none of the 'buzzing' or 'flickering' that many people are sensitive to with LED Lights.

Do they work with dimmers?

In short, the old-fashioned style of dimmer switch CAN be used with LED bulbs. The internal variable resistor in the dimmer switch simply reduces the amount of voltage available for the bulb which in turn reduces its brightness.

LED bulbs are far more sensitive to voltage than conventional incandescent and halogen bulbs, and so small changes made to the dimmer switch setting have a much larger effect on bulb brightness.

The new style of dimmer switch which turns the supply on and off CANNOT be used with 240V AC LED bulbs as it will seriously reduce their operational lifetime.

To find out what kind of dimmer switch you have it is not necessary to be an electricity-whizz. If the dimmer switch feels warm to the touch when the lights have been on and dimmed for a while, you have the old type, otherwise you have the modern version.

Note that 12V DC LED bulbs CAN be used in 12V DC dimming circuits.

Can I afford to change to LEDs?

You can’t afford NOT to. LEDs are more expensive initially, but being more energy efficient than conventional lighting, energy consumption is much lower delivering substantial savings on your electricity bill. Because the illuminators are more robust and ‘lamp’ life is much longer, you will also save money on maintenance. Improved and more reliable lighting will enhance your site safety and security generally. Carbon emissions are much lower, so you’ll also be doing your bit for the environment.

Do LED light bulbs contain mercury?

No. LED bulbs do not contain mercury or any other hazardous substances.

How do LED light bulbs compare to CFL bulbs?

Studies show LED light bulbs use 50% less energy than CFL bulbs and in many cases last 10 times longer. They are much more durable, environmentally friendly, vibration and shock resistant and offer excellent light quality, both indoor and outdoor.

What about CFLs?

Many consumers have made a genuine effort to reduce their energy consumption and save money in the long run by using Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL's).

Although 'CFLs' are seen as the "green alternative" to incandescent with their 10,000 hours lighting and provide the same amount of light as a normal lamp, CFLs still have their disadvantages. Many take a long time to warm up to the optimum light output and tend to flicker, you may also find that you get other types of light radiation and glare emitted from them that many people find uncomfortable.

The biggest issue with CFLs is their requirement of various chemicals to allow their efficient performance. CFL lamps contain both phosphor and mercury. These chemicals are hazardous to human health and the environment (Mercury has been banned from most electronic components). CFLS also tend to be made of glass so present an obvious health hazard of broken glass if they shatter whilst in use or when being disposed of. In Actual fact you now must make special arrangements when you want to dispose of CFL's. (see recycling service).

What about Halogens?

Halogens, a type of improved incandescent lamp, are somewhat energy efficient, but are losing ground to more energy-efficient technologies. They tend to get really hot, too - halogens can reach over 350 degrees. Incandescent lights, the ones Thomas Edison commercialized over 100 years ago, are obsolescing rapidly. The bulbs are really cheap, but they don’t last long and they consume far too much energy to be competitive except in locations where they are rarely used, such as an attic.

How long do LEDs really last?

LED’s are Solid State devices (SSL – or “solid state lighting”); they will not burn out. Life expectancy for SSL lighting is upwards of 50,000 to 100,000 hours or more, which means very low maintenance costs for facilities workers to replace lights.

What does the symbol CE stand for?

The symbol stands for “Conformité Européenne” which is French for “European Conformity”. When the symbol is affixed to a product it is the manufacturer’s declaration that the product conforms to the essential requirements of all European directives. The essential requirements would include Safety, Public Health, Electromagnetic Compatibility and consumer protection, among other things.

CE marking is a mandatory requirement for selling all products that it applies to into EU Countries. It implies that the product has been subject to all applicable evaluation and assessment procedures as defined by the CE directives. CE marking is not a quality symbol. It only indicates that the product conforms to the directives set forth by the EU. It is not an indicator of the overall quality of the product.

What is RoHS?

RoHS is the acronym for Restriction of Hazardous Substances. RoHS, also known as Directive 2002/95/EC, originated in the European Union and restricts the use of specific hazardous materials found in electrical and electronic products. All applicable products in the EU market after July 1, 2006 must pass RoHS compliance.

What are the restricted materials mandated under RoHS?

The substances restricted under RoHS are lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), hexavalent chromium (CrVI), polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE).

Why is RoHS compliance important?

The restricted materials are hazardous to the environment and pollute landfills, and are dangerous in terms of occupational exposure during manufacturing and recycling.

How are products tested for RoHS compliance?

Portable RoHS analyzers, also known as X-ray fluorescence or XRF metal analyzers, are used for screening and verification of RoHS compliance.

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