Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Top Tips for Selecting the Right LED Light Source

Buying an LED lamp  appears to be a difficult and confusing task. there are many variations of LED lamps on the market but which one is right for you? Here we take you through the key criteria for LED lamps. 

Firstly, colour temperature consideration is crucial! Lighting installations whose colour temperature varies will emit an unsightly patchwork of colours. 

Quality of the LED lamp is indicated by numerous features; the information on the packaging of the lamp is a key indication of the manufacturers confidence in the colour temperature consistency. Ranges of colour temperatures e.g. 4000-4500K suggest poor quality control, contrastingly lamp packaging offering precise colour temperature e.g. 2700K indicates high quality control.

Selecting a high quality LED is especially important when purchasing white LEDs, these use a similar mechanism to fluorescent lamps using blue LEDs which excite a phosphor which in turn emits white light. Top quality manufacturers will have invested heavily in quality control during each step of this process, checking everything from colour consistency of the blue LEDs to the consistency of the phosphor coating.

A key difference between LEDs and incandescent lamps which one should bear in mind is, with incandescent lamps there is a clear correlation between wattage and light output. This is NOT the case with LEDs, lumen output is a much more meaningful point of reference than wattage when selecting an LED lamp. 

However, it is important to watch out for manufacturers quoting a misleadingly high figure; this may be due to them quoting the lumen output of the raw LED before it has been incorporated into the lamp. Quality manufactuers will quote relaisic figures!

LEDs are able to acheive the required lux levels from a lower lumen package than incandescent lamps demonstrating less light wastage and more effective lumens. This occurs because LEDs are directional and therefore do not rely on the luminaires optics to direct light to where it is needed. 

There is some debate about how the term "lifetime" is characterised. Lifetime is a slightly ambiguous term, some LED lamps are claiming unusually high lifetimes of 10,000 hours plus. While this may be true for the LED alone, the LED does not operate alone, it operates as part of a system. Poor management of this system may result in shorter lifetimes, so questions must be asked about how the LED system will operate as a whole when considering an LED's lifetime. 

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