securing your power and your future

Getting To Know LED Lighting

LED light bulbs for efficient lighting

LED Lighting is becoming a very popular low energy lighting option, especially when comparing them to halogen and conventional incandescent filament lamps. A big advantage is their very long lifespan, and the energy saving potential of LED lighting is especially valuable when used in standalone power systems.

LED lighting is a great new technology, and as with all new technologies there are some important things to know and pitfalls to avoid.

Some things to check when purchasing LED Lighting:

  • Keep quality in mind; the lights need to last a long time to be economical. Consider the best colour temperature (Kelvin) for the room/application.
  • Make sure the beam-spread angle, and emitted direction is suitable for the application.
  • Check the Colour Rendering Index; the higher the value the better for interior applications.
  • Take care not to over or under illuminate different areas with the wrong power level.
  • If using recessed lighting (down lights), try to obtain the new sealed or flush mount versions – these won’t create a leaky air draft from the room into the ceiling cavity.
  • Most LED lights are not dimmable. If these are required, choose specifically dimmable lamps, the correct dimmer type, and suitable lamp drivers.
  • If unsure about a large lighting project, consult a lighting specialist about the correct ones to buy for different areas of the home. 

Problems to watch out for:

LED lighting works very differently from other lighting types; it has its own unique operational characteristics and problems to watch out for. Many people have experienced problems with LEDs, but with some knowledge these problems can be avoided.

  • Use LED lights that need a separate driver/supply. The LED driver/supply unit needs to be specifically designed for that lamp, and have a well-filtered output. Never use halogen lamp transformers to power LED lights as they will damage or shorten the LED lifespan, and can cause low speed light flicker (very annoying!).
  • LEDs are very susceptible to ripple current damage from unfiltered or incorrect lamp driver units. LEDs powered from unfiltered or incorrect lamp driver units can also have a high speed light flicker problem, which may not always be immediately apparent. By using a high quality filtered lamp driver, high-speed light flicker can be completely avoided. For outside lighting applications high-speed flicker may not matter at all.
  • Only use a licensed electrician for installation, and ensure safety and fire standards are fully complied with.

High-speed camera and light flicker

Ask your supplier whether the lamps will flicker at high speed, and ask if a high-speed camera is available. High-speed LED flicker can be tested with the aid of a high-speed camera. LED lights powered from a well-filtered or constant current LED driver will have no or very minimal flicker.

Related Posts