LED Lighting Buying Guide
What is An LED light?
LED (Light Emitting Diodes) are a unique type of electronic lighting equipment. They are different from the normal lighting sources that you may come across such as halogen lamps. They have a higher durability, consume much lesser amount of energy and produce a minimal amount of heat. They are not produced from fragile elements like glass tubes and are considered more safe as they do not contain any mercury or lead. They are usually available with common light fittings like MR16 and B22.
How Much Power Do LEDs Consume?
LED bulbs consume around 90% less energy as compared to incandescent or halogen bulbs which have the same brightness. The former are more energy efficient in converting electricity into light and are measured in lumens.
What is The Life Span of LED Bulbs?
One of the major benefits of LED usage is their long life span because of efficient thermal management. LED bulbs can remove heat through their heat sinks which helps in enhancing their life span through slowdown in lumen depreciation. An LED lighting source with excellent thermal management can have a life span of 50,000 hours. Be careful from retailers who make exaggerated claims about the durability of their products.
Types of LED Lights
Miniature LEDs: They normally come with a predefined size and shape. This enables them to comply with a wide range of circuit boards. Most of the miniature LEDs that you would come across are available in 5V and 12V range. These lighting sources come with a ready to fit mode due to which they can be installed in circuit boards directly. They normally do not require support of heat sinks.
LED Bulbs: LED bulbs consume a limited amount of power and are easy to install and use. LED bulbs can turn on within a short span of time and have a longer life span as compared to the normal automotive bulbs that you would come across. As in case of normal bulbs, LED light bulbs fit per-existing sockets.
LED Strips: LED Strip lights come with high powered LEDs which are placed on super thin flexible circuit boards with adhesive coating on their back. LED strip lights can be used in a variety of ways such as accent lighting on vehicles, kitchen lighting as well as for general lighting within rooms.
LED Down-lights: These lighting sources can be installed easily and consume minimal amount of energy as compared to halogen globes. But they produce the same amount of light as in case of the former. These lights have a long life span and can produce photons (light energy) when electric current passes through it. These lighting sources are also resistant to voltage spikes. They can be turned on and off every now and then without any negative impact on their life span. They are free from mercury and do not have any adverse impact on the environment and have a lower temperature as compared to halogen lighting sources. LED down-lights do not come with gas filled globes and as a result, are not exposed to the dangers of breakage.
These lights are designed using a cold light source. They can be easily transported and installed. They are vibration resistant as well. They do not contain any mercury which is detrimental to the environment. The parts of these lighting equipment can be disassembled and recycled easily. They do not emit infrared light. These lights power up within a short span of time as compared to high pressure sodium lamps.
LED Spotlights: These lighting sources are eco-friendly and have long durability. They produce a limited amount of infrared light and do not make UV emissions. As a result, they are widely used in heat sensitive items. They can be effective in reducing power consumption and involve minimum maintenance costs.
LED Footlights: These lights are mostly used in staircases, passages, driveways etc. Produced from the best quality of aluminum, they are best suited for offering illumination to pathways, landscapes and staircases. normally available in various grades like rectangle, square and vertical. LED footlights come in different colors such red, blue, cool white, green, warm white and neutral white.
LED Floodlights: LED floodlights offer a high quality of illumination and are energy efficient. They come with non-burying cables and have a long durability. They are ideal for lighting stadiums, playgrounds, parks etc. These lighting sources are eco-friendly and are widely appreciate for their high performance.
LED Street Lights: These lighting sources emit directional light and are best suited for directing lighting in a particular direction. Unlike traditional sources of lighting, they can be dimmed and offer users with more flexibility to control the amount of illumination.
LED Garden Lights: LED Garden lights are mostly used for illuminating gardens, parks and patios
Decorative Lights: Decorative lights are highly energy efficient and adds sparkle within rooms. Available in numerous shapes, sizes & styles, the most common decorative lights include chandeliers, sconces & pendants. At Moglix, we deal in a wide range of LED decoration lights for home decor. Wall sconces are ideal for adding a bit of sparkle within small areas of the room. They are usually used in place of vanity bar of lights in the bathroom. Pendants on the other hand are used as task lighting solutions. The chandeliars are used for ambient lighting and for decorations during festive occasions such as Diwali and Christmas.
What is The Brightness of LED Lights?
Brightness of LED lighting equipment are measured in lumens(Lm). The higher the amount of lumens, the brighter will the light produced. Though LED lights use very light wattage, they emit the equal amount of brightness as traditional lighting equipment do. Keeping the convenience of users in mind, most retailers quote an equivalent incandescent bulb’s wattage so that the former can replace their existing equipment and get the same amount of brightness.
LED Bulbs emit white light in different shades such as bright white in bright tined fluorescent tubes, soft white, similar yellow shades incandescent light and bright light mostly for use in security. Your lighting needs will decide the exact color and brightness of the bulbs that you will use. CRI (Color Rendering Index) is used for measuring the closeness in color of a bulb to incandescent. The pattern and shade of light is measured in Kelvin, a type of temperature rating.
The higher the K temperature of a bulb, the brighter will the light it produces. LED bulbs offer satisfactory color rendering, i.e. a bulb’s ability to show the actual color of objects. It is measured on a scale between zero to 100, of which 100 is best. LEDs normally provide 85 in this scale. Apart from white hues, LED lighting bulbs are available in other colors also. One notable feature of LED lights is that you can adjust the light to the full range of colors.
Choose According to Brightness and Energy Efficiency
Opt for bulbs that come with high lumens and low wattage for ensuring substantial energy savings. Divide lumens by wattage to find out best brightness to energy usage ratio.
Choose According to Shape
Spotlights are most suitable for use for track lighting. Flood lights are ideal for use as outdoor and recessed lights. LED candles can be used as wall sconces as well as decorative fixtures.
Choose According to Color Rendering Index(CRI)
CRI is used for measuring a light bulb’s capacity to show the colors of items in its neighborhood with the help of bright natural light. A CRI of 100 indicates precise color appearance. On the other hand, a poor color rendering could be rated zero or even lesser. An LED lighting source with high CRI will show its surroundings in same colors that you would view in bright sunlight. In case of poor CRI, you could come across red or blue tone. Most of the LED bulbs that are available in the market have a CRI of 80-90. 90 or above ratings are regarded as excellent. In case of domestic use, precise color rendering isn’t essential and a rating of 80 is considered OK.
Choose According to Bulb Shapes
LED bulbs are of different shapes. A shaped bulbs are of two types-A19 and A15. The latter is smaller and is used in bath bars, chandeliers and fridges. The GU-10 base is normally used for track lighting and ceiling fans. The E-26 or E-27 medium base is one of the most widely used LED bulbs. The LED bulbs with E-39 and E-40 Mogul base are made from ceramic and are mostly used in torchiere lamps. The E12 candelabra base is normally found in chandeliers and wall sconces. They have a blunt tip on the top and a flame tip.
B shaped bulbs are also called Candelabra light bulbs. They come with a bulged base which tapers to an either rounded or pointed tip. PAR light bulbs make use of either reflective surface or parabolic mirror to focus illumination. In case of LED bulbs, the PAR designation is used to denote the shape since most of them don’t have a reflective lower surface because of their directive nature. Some of the most common bulbs of this type include PAR20, PAR30, PAR38 and PAR42. They come with different beam angles and are mostly used in spot and flood lamps.
Are LED Lights Cost Effective?
Be it a residential property or office, lighting consumes a significant amount of the total power consumption. By opting for LED, you can save a sizable amount of money because most of these lighting sources have low wattage. As LED lights last for a long time period, there is no need to replace them. Neither would they incur heavy maintenance costs. As a result, you can save a sizeable amount of money on your energy bills.
How are LED Lights Environment-Friendly?
LED lights help in minimizing carbon emissions. Once an existing CFL or incandescent bulb is replaced, you can reduce the amount of CO2 being released in the air. The main reason behind this is the fact that LED lights use lesser energy than factories and power plants by burning fossil fuels. They do not waste energy like incandescent bulbs do to offer limited light. The excess energy is converted into heat and released into the environment.
LED lights do not contain harmful metals. Lead and mercury are considered as some of the most toxic metals. Normal CFL, halogen and incandescent bulbs contain these metals. Rejecting these bulbs or throwing them in landfills can cause the lead and mercury to mix with water or air. LEDs do not contain these harmful metals.
Do LED Bulbs Fit Existing Settings?
LED bulbs are retrofit and are designed in a manner to ensure that they fit into existing light fittings and be utilized as a suitable replacement. While fitting them in bathrooms, you will need to ensure that they are waterproof and fire rated and hold the IP65 configuration and complies with important building regulations related to bathrooms.
What Colors of LED Lights are Available?
The LED light output is normally of three colors-warm white, cool white and daylight. Warm white is normally used in homes and is the usual color opted as a replacement for halogen bulbs. Cool white is cooler and is normally used in fluorescent tubes in offices and retail outlets. The daylight color produces very warm light, and has a shade of blue in it. It offers the best color of lighting.
Can LED Lights Operate Outdoors or Under Cold Temperature?
LED lights are best suited for use in cold, low outdoor temperature settings. This is not the case with CFL bulbs. They are also highly durable and prepared from sturdy components which can tolerate inhospitable weather conditions. As LEDs are shock resistant and can survive external and vibrational impacts, they are best suited for use in outdoor lighting systems.