Frequently Asked Questions
- What is LED Lighting?
- What temperature and where would I use Warm White, Cool White or Daylight White?
- Are all the different bases available?
- What are the advantages of using LEDs over traditional incandescent lighting?
- What types of LED Lighting products are readily available?
- How do I compare my current lighting with LED lighting so I can make intelligent decisions?
- Who is using LED lighting?
- With all the buzz around compact fluorescent bulbs, should I skip this step towards efficient lighting altogether and move directly to a LED bulb?
- What is lumen?
- What is Lux?
- I live outside of the United Kingdom and would like to use your LED lighting. Are your products adaptable to different line voltages?
Q1: What is LED Lighting?
LED lighting has been around for many years and is just now really coming into its own. For years, the Light Emitting Diode was simply used as an indicator or display light in various small-scale applications. Think of those old Texas Instruments calculators, or your blinking VCR light.
LED is a solid-state technology. This means there is no glass bulb, no pressurised gases, no mercury and no burning filament. In the traditional bulb, heat was the main result while light stood as a mere by-product of electrifying the filament.
With LED technology, what you have is a circuit board and a computer chip. The properties of the chip create light that is generated and focused through a plastic diode to create light. Depending on the chip and materials used, different colours in the colour spectrum can be created. Early on the easiest colour to create was red, which is why your calculator and VCR had red display lights rather than any other colour. For many years, there were no advancements in LED technology and very little change in lighting technology over all; changes that did occur were mostly just plays on a theme.
In recent years, LED technology has completely changed and reinvented the light bulb and the way we think about lighting in general. This was not really possible prior to the technological revolution of the ‘90s and the rapid advancement of the microchip. The same advancements that spurred the computer to reach dizzying levels of efficiency have also done the same for the LED. Just as computers have become faster and cheaper, LED lights have become brighter, smaller, less expensive, and more sophisticated.
Q2. What temperature and where would I use Warm White, Cool White or Daylight White?
Daylight White lamps cover the full spectrum of natural daylight and give off a bright, crisp white light and are ideal for a number of applications including showrooms, shop displays, kitchens, bathrooms, SAD units, reception areas, conference rooms, corridors, offices, hotels, restaurants, craftwork, needlework, painting, reading and graphic design.
Recently, scientists have found that using full spectrum Daylight Light Bulbs in schools and at work improves general well being, significantly lessens fatigue and improves academic performance.
Performing tasks using daylight light bulbs reduces eyestrain and lessens fatigue.
Warm white is the same colour as the majority of halogen lamps you’ll see and is very well received for lounges and similar areas where a softer more homely feel is being sought.
Cool white is between the two and gives a clinical or high tech feel to the lighting; as such it is used in all areas dependent upon taste.
Q3: Are all the different bases available?
The easiest way to answer this is to say yes – although there are odd exceptions. Pretty much every type of base you might ever use is available. The common ones are E14 (Small screw), B15 (Small bayonet) and B22 (Large bayonet).
Q4: What are the advantages of using LEDs over traditional incandescent lighting?
There are quite a few advantages to using LEDs. Generally they are heatless, use 90% less energy, and last ten years. They are also smaller and do not contain any dangerous chemicals like mercury. They can readily be put in places that have always been too small or out-of-the-way for many incandescent lights, as well as in places that were always very dangerous or difficult to get at. Also, the more sophisticated LED apparatuses like wall washers and spotlights are DMX-controllable, which means they can be used in some really impressive ways.
The bottom line is that LED's are easier and safer to use than all previous lighting technologies. Furthermore, LEDs will save you money by consuming much less power, lasting much longer, and generating much less heat, which in turn combine to result in lower climate control costs.
Q5: What types of LED Lighting products are readily available?
Today there are hundreds of different products available in varying brightness levels, colour temperatures, and sophistication levels to meet every lighting need – from those of an architect's latest high-rise condo project, to those of a rural homeowner's kitchen renovation. There are replacement bulbs for screw-in Edison-style bulbs and for nearly every style of Fluorescent. Plus, the LED replacements are of the “plug and play” ilk with no other modifications needed. There are also many different types of architectural lighting, such as wall washers and spotlights.
Q6: How do I compare my current lighting with LED lighting so I can make intelligent decisions?
In the past, we have generally referred to the brightness of a bulb in terms of its wattage, or the amount of power that the bulb uses (or energy it consumes). Because of the disparity between incandescent and LED technologies, we have to change our language a bit in order to account for progress.
When referring to brightness, we now find ourselves comparing lumens (see Q: What is a lumen?). However, when comparing LEDs with incandescent lamps, there is no easy mode of comparison because the typical incandescent is projecting light in 360 degrees – everywhere, not just where you need it.
Because LED lights are directional, they focus all the light they generate exactly where you want it, and nowhere that you don't.
Another consideration is colour temperature. In the past, this has been very difficult to control because you basically got whatever colour your particular bulb produced. Typically this was a Warm White (about 3200K) if you had an incandescent bulb, and a Daylight white (6500K) or a Cool White (around 5000K-5500K) if you had a fluorescent bulbs. Because the LED is an intelligent, solid-state technology, we are able to sell LEDs that not only produce the popular Warm White, Daylight White and Cool White, but are potentially able to produce up to 16 million different colours, each a different temperature - much more than you would ever need.
Q7: Who is using LED lighting?
The world! Anyone who wants better lighting for less money and less environmental damage is using LEDs.
Architects and lighting designers are specifying entire lighting packages in their new designs. Contractors are using them in everything from custom kitchens to retail stores. Many homeowners are replacing their incandescent laps with LED bulbs. LED lighting can replace every instance of old lighting technology; as well create entirely new lighting applications due to its versatility. Your imagination is its only limitation.
Q8: With all the buzz around compact fluorescent bulbs, should I skip this step towards efficient lighting altogether and move directly to a LED bulb?
Yes! Compact fluorescents are great bulbs, but they lack all the advantages of LEDs namely size and environmentally friendliness because they contain mercury and do not last as long.
Q9: What is lumen?
A Lumen is amount of light emitted from light source. If a light source emits one candela of luminous intensity into a solid angle of one steradian, the total luminous flux emitted into that solid angle is one lumen. Alternatively, an isotropic one-candela light source emits a total luminous flux of exactly 4π lumens. The lumen can be thought of casually as a measure of the total amount of visible light emitted." For example, a standard 100 Watt incandescent bulb emits about 1500 lumen.
Q10: What is Lux?
A Lux is lumen per square meter. The difference between the lux and the lumen is that the lux takes into account the area over which the luminous flux is spread. 1000 lumens, concentrated into an area of one square meter, lights up that square meter with an illuminance of 1000 lux. The same 1000 lumens, spread out over ten square meters, produce a dimmer illuminance of only 100 lux.
Q11: I live outside of the United Kingdom and would like to use your LED lighting. Are your products adaptable to different line voltages?
Many of our LED lighting and systems are 100-240VAC (universal voltage), so we can meet the entire worlds lighting needs during this LED revolution. We can also meet your custom needs of other voltage levels if required including up to 277V.