FAQ

LEDs

 

What are LEDs?

An LED is a light-emitting diode, which is an electronic component that produces light by the movement of electrons within the diode. They were first produced in the 1960’s and were used mainly as indicator lights. There have been continuous advances in the amount of light produced and their efficiency, and today are a rapidly growing segment of the general illumination market. They are very efficient and use a very low amount of energy compared to conventional light sources.

Why do LEDs last longer than other light sources?

LEDs are “solid-state”, so they don’t have any gas or filaments to wear out like incandescent, fluorescent or high intensity discharge lighting. They typically provide many more hours of useable life than traditional light sources.

How do LEDs save me money?

LEDs consume much less energy than standard lighting systems, so they save money every month on your utility bill. In addition, their longer lifespan means they do not need to be replaced as frequently as other light sources. For example, a standard 100 watt incandescent light bulb has an average lifespan around 1,000 hours. A typical screw-in LED bulb averages about a 25,000 hour lifespan. That means you would have to purchase 25 standard bulbs to last as long as one LED bulb. When you add that savings to the monthly energy savings, you easily recoup the cost of the LED bulb and put more money in your pocket every month.

DEFINITIONS

 

What does CCT mean?

CCT stands for Correlated Color Temperature, and is the designation of the color appearance of the light emitted from a light source compared to a reference source. It is measured in degrees Kelvin (K). The CCT rating indicates how warm (yellow) or cool (blue) the light looks to us. CCTs below 3200K are usually considered “warm”, while above 4000K are usually considered “cool”. Many light sources are available in more than one color temperature so you can use different colors to suit different applications. For example, you may prefer a cooler color in a kitchen or office for better illumination while cooking or working, but want a warmer, cozier color in the living room or bedrooms. Some examples of CCT are: High Pressure Sodium, 1900K; Warm White Fluorescent, 2700K, Cool White Fluorescent, 4200K, Daylight 6500K.

What does CRI mean?

CRI stands for Color Rendering Index, and is a measure of the light source’s ability to show the colors of objects realistically as compared to a reference source such as standard incandescent light or daylight. It is calculated from measurements of eight standard color samples under the reference source and the source that is being measured. The maximum CRI is 100, and as you move down the scale, there is a greater chance that some colors may appear “unnatural” under that source. Some average CRIs are: Standard Incandescent lamps, 95; Tri-phosphor Cool White Fluorescent lamps, 89; Metal Halide lamps, 85; Tri-Phosphor Warm White Fluorescent lamps, 73, High Pressure Sodium lamps, 24.

GENERAL

 

Can I use screw-in Compact Fluorescent or LED bulbs in my fixtures with dimmer switches?

Yes and No. Both of these type of screw in lamps contain a ballast that converts the power to run the fluorescent or LED light source. Some of these ballasts will operate at a reduced current and some won’t. Consult the bulb’s package to confirm if it is designed to be dimmable.

What is the difference between delivered lumens and total lumens and how do they affect my lighting?

Are you comparing apples to apples when comparing the light output of fixtures? More often than not, the answer is no. For years people have been conditioned to refer to the illuminance of lamps and luminaires by their wattage rather than their lumens. This often leads many people to over-illuminate an entire area simply because they cannot adequately light a targeted location. 

One effect of the increased awareness of consumers, and the growing market share of LED lamps and LED luminaires, is that people are now starting to refer to lumens instead of wattage when trying to determine replacements for existing luminaires and new construction. However, with this new discussion of lumens a new question arises; are all lumens the same? No, not all lumens are the same. For example, of total lumens or delivered lumens, which one more accurately reflects perceived brightness (i.e., luminous flux)? The answer is delivered lumens. 

Delivered lumens represent the actual amount of light that is being projected from the light fixture. This takes into account any light that may be lost due to filtering through the lens, fixture positioning, dispersion within the fixture housing, or any of a number of other factors relevant to a specific situation. 

Total lumens, on the other hand, is the total amount of light that is emitted from a source. This does not fully represent what the brightness will be of a fixture. 

The illumination of a surface can be quantitatively measured with a photometer and its measurement is represented in foot candles. All in all, when you want to effectively design and light a specific area, consider the luminaire's delivered lumens and not its total lumens.
My customer wants to upgrade their existing metal halide lighting to LED. What should I take into consideration in performing this change?

Making the switch from HID to an electronic technology like LED is not always as easy as taking old fixtures down and putting up new ones. It is a known fact that electronic drivers and light sources are more susceptible to dirty power than traditional core-and-coil ballasts. In addition to determining what fixtures will work best for your job, there are factors of the location itself to consider when undertaking a lighting replacement project. 

Below are some jobsite specific questions that must factor into the project:

  • Is there sufficient ground resistance?
  • Is there stable and clean line voltage?
  • Are there overloaded electrical circuits?
  • Are there dedicated lighting circuits?
  • What is the ambient temperature and humidity at the fixture height?
  • Is surge protection needed for the new fixtures? 

You're making the switch to high-performance fixtures, can your location support them? The good news is, when armed with the correct information, it can be a simple switch from HID to energy-efficient lighting!

In additional to replacing inefficient lighting with energy-efficient lighting, what are some other ways I can save on my lighting energy costs?
  • Turn off non-essential or decorative lighting in unoccupied areas.
  • Clean your fixtures and/or bulbs of accumulated dirt or dust. This should be done at least once a year. Be sure to turn off, disconnect the power, and allow them to fully cool off before cleaning.
  • Replace existing bulbs or fixtures with lower wattages where possible while still maintaining visibility and security. Some older installations may have actually been “over-lit” with older, less efficient light sources.
  • Install photocells or timers to automatically turn lights on and off to match the times when lights are needed, or install motion sensors to automatically switch lights on when movement is detected, and allow the lights to go off when no movement is detected.
  • Paint interior walls and ceilings light colors to maximize the effects of existing natural and man-made lighting. Lighter colors reflect more light than dark colors.
  • Use task lighting to illuminate work areas, allowing the use of less general lighting to illuminate larger spaces.
  • Ask us about a free lighting audit for your business. 
ORDERING FROM THE LIGHTING FACTORY

 

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The Lighting Factory Transit Map

 

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