Everything You Need to Know About LED Lights
How much do you know about LED lights? Or better yet, are you looking for answers concerning these incredible light fixtures?
In this post, you’ll get answers to questions about:
- Common Industry Terms.
- How LED Lights Compare.
- Durability, Efficiency, and Cost-Effectiveness.
- Side Effects Among Other Questions.
Therefore, if you have any questions, your answer is somewhere within this post.
If not, feel free to leave it in the comments section.
Q: What are LED lights and do they save energy?
A: LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. So, LED lights use Light Emitting Diode technology to emit light. But, unlike other lighting technologies, LEDs comes with tons of benefits and unique features. And energy saving is one of their biggest advantages. LED light fixture can cut down your energy consumption by up to 80%. LEDs are designed to be extra efficient. That means that no energy is lost in terms of heating.
A typical LED luminary will have an efficiency rating of ~100lm/W. That means that a 15W LED fixture can yield up to 1500 lumens. However, a typical 100W incandescent bulb only yields around 1300 lumens; which is very inefficient.
Basically, this means that:
One 15W LED light fixture offers more lights than one 100W Incandescent bulb.
Also, a 100W Incandescent bulb consumes more energy than SIX 15W LED lights.
So, LED lights save you a lot of energy and help to reduce your lighting costs.
Q: What is wattage?
A: Wattage – in lighting – is the unit of measurement that shows electrical power consumption.
Take this, for example:
If a lighting fixture is labeled 15W, it means it consumes 15 joules of electrical energy per second.
That means that the higher the wattage, the higher the rate of energy consumption.
Q: What is CRI?
A: CRI is the abbreviation of the words Color Rendering Index. It is simply the measure of a light fixtures ability to reveal the colors of objects as seen under an ideal or natural light source e.g. the sun. The higher the CRI, the more accurate the color representation.
Q: What is color temperature (K)?
A: Color Temperature is merely a description of how light from a lighting fixture appears. In general, color temperature is categorized into three: cool white, normal white, and warm white. However, when it comes to LED lights, measurement is a bit detailed. An LED light fixture’s color temperature is measured in Kelvin temperatures (K) with measurements ranging from 1000K to 10000K. Most commercial and residential LED lighting fixtures often come with color temperatures ranging between 2000K and 6500K.
Q: What does RGB LED mean?
A: RGB comes from the colors Red, Green, and Blue. And when it comes to lighting, RGB LEDs often merge these colors to yield over 16 million different hues of light. However, there are a few limitations to this since RGB LEDs cannot produce all colors. Basically, there are special colors that fall outside the RGB triangle. And also, some pigments are difficult, if not impossible, to achieve e.g. pink and brown.
Q: What is luminous efficacy?
A: Luminous efficacy is the measure of how much light a fixture produces. In technical terms, it’s the ratio of luminous flux to power usage measured in lumens per watt (lm/W). You’ve probably the luminous efficacy label somewhere on your LED light fixture. It’s usually a simple “(X) lm/W” label where X is a number.
Your LED light fixture may be labeled 100lm/W. If so, that means that it has a luminous efficacy of 100.
Q: What does IP stand for?
A: IP is short for Ingress Protection. It is yet another very common label on electrical devices and appliances. Generally speaking, an IP label will take the format: IPXY.
Where X is the light fixtures protection against intrusion by dust and other solids and Y is its protection against water and vapor penetration.
X(or protection against solids and dust intrusion) ranges between 0 and 6; with 0 being the least protected and 6 being the most guarded.
Y(or protection against liquid and vapor intrusion) ranges between 0 and 8; with protection strength increasing as you move from 0 to 8. There’s a special 9K protection level that indicates the device is completely impenetrable.
An IP40 LED fixture is not as protected against dust and water intrusion as an IP66 or IP69K fixture.
Q: What is a beam angle?
A: Different LED lights come with different beam angles. Spotlights usually offer narrow, intense beams of light that can be directed to light up a specific area of a room with precision. On the other hand, most residential LED fixtures are designed to offer uniform and widely distributed illumination across a space. Therefore, the beam angle is simply the measurement of light distribution. A smaller beam angle results in little light distribution and a concentrated, directional illumination. The opposite is also true.
Q: What does flicker-free mean?
A: If you’ve used fluorescent lights before, you’re familiar with the term “flickering”. It’s usually the abrupt switching on and off of light – almost concurrently. However, LEDs do not flicker. And that why you’ll find the “Flicker-Free” label on the fixture, packaging, or user manual.
Q: What is the warranty of LED lights?
A: A warranty is often a manufacturer/seller’s promise to repair or replace damaged items within a specified amount of time. Most LED lights often come with lengthy warranties ranging from three to five years. But that is depending on the type of LED fixture. That means that if you bought an LED fixture and it broke down before the warranty period elapsed, your manufacturer/supplier will repair/replace it for you for free. However, you should note that warranties come with conditions that need to be met including the fact that the product’s damage or failure should not be caused by you.
Q: How do LED lights work?
A: LED lights are based on Light Emitting Diodes (LED) technology. This technology uses semiconductors that light up when electrons are shot through them. Unlike incandescent bulbs and fluorescents, LEDs usually converts a lot of the energy into light instead of heat.
Q: How Long Will An LED Lights Last?
A: On average, an LED light can last up to 50,000hrs. That’s roughly 22 Years if the fixture is used for only six hours a day. However, there are some that last longer, while others last for less than that amount of time. Also, you should note that LED lights’ efficiency and output degrades gradually with time.
Q: How much money can you save if you convert to LED lights?
A: Up to 80%! If you’ve been spending $100 on lighting expenses, the fact that LEDs reduce energy consumption by almost 80% means that your lighting expenses will also reduce proportionally. Hence, an 80% reduction in power costs. Meaning, you’ll only be spending ~$20 on lighting with LEDs.
Q: Does Increasing The Wattage Of LED Lights Increase Their Output?
A: Every LED fixture comes with its own energy efficiency rating.
In most cases, it’s usually around 100lm/W; which means that for every watt of power the fixture outputs 100lm of light.
Sadly though, each fixture always comes with its specific wattage e.g. 5-Watts, 15-Watts, or even 70-Watts.
Exceeding the recommended wattage can damage your lighting fixture.
However, finding a similar (100lm/W) LED fixture that has a higher wattage can be a better way of getting more lumens; hence, increasing output.
Given that the energy efficiency in both fixtures is 100lm/W…
A 5-Watt fixture will yield ~500 lumens.
While 15-Watt fixture yields ~1500 lumens.
Q: Why Do Some LEDs Flicker When Dimmed Or Turned Off?
A: In most cases, flickering is often as a result of incompatibility between the control system and the driver. For an LED light to work seamlessly, these two items have to be in sync. And that’s why it’s always advisable that you buy the correct driver type for your LED fixtures as stipulated by the manufacturer. Another common cause of flickering is often due to the fact that the fixture is not dimmable. Therefore, before you try dimming, ensure that your fixture is marked as dimmable or supports dimming.
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