Led Lighting

LED and low energy lighting is the future for homes and businesses.

We can help you make the right choice when upgrading your lights

Introduction LED Lighting

LED bulbs are far more efficient than traditional light bulbs, which give off most of their energy as heat. If you had to change a light bulb recently, you’ve probably noticed that it’s getting harder to buy non-LED bulbs – for good reason. Compared to incandescent, halogen and CFL bulbs, LEDs come out on top in the energy saving stakes.

Traditional incandescent bulbs work by passing an electric current through an extremely thin filament which becomes very hot, thereby emitting light. Of all the electricity that goes through the filament, only a small proportion is given off as light. The remainder is wasted as heat (approximately 90%), so these bulbs are grossly inefficient, and waste electricity. In September 2012, the EU issued a directive banning the commercial sale of any incandescent light bulb over 40 watts to homeowners.

What are LED’s?

Light-emitting diodes – or LEDs for short – last much longer than their older model counterparts, due to them consuming far less energy (up to 90% less) and emitting minimal heat. They also operate without the need for the fragile elements, such as glass tubes or filaments.

LEDs are often referred to as solid-state lighting which simply means that the light is emitted from a solid object (a block of semiconductor), rather than because a current passes through a filament, causing it to glow. They also operate without the need for the fragile elements, such as glass tubes or filaments.

LEDs can also weigh in on providing the required level of illumination – a typical 4 watt bulb can easily achieve a light output comparable to a 50 watt halogen.

Replacing just one 50Watt halogen spotlight in your kitchen with a 5Watt LED equivalent could save you over £15 a year (just one bulb!) but produces the same amount of light.

Due to their very low energy use, the bulbs are sold in categories of lumens as opposed to watts – showing how bright you can expect the bulb to be once lit. As a rough guide, the below table matches watts to lumens:

Watts

Lumens

150w

2600lm

100w

1100lm

40w

450lm

 

Unlike CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps), LEDs power and illuminate instantaneously, so you’re not waiting round for the bulb to warm up. They’re also available in a number of colour temperatures, ranging from a warm and inviting amber glow, to a crisp and lively daylight shine.

Just like any other bulb, there are a range of styles and applications available to fit in with your existing or planned decor, including spotlights, candles and dimmer switch models. How can I save money with LEDs?

The cost saving provided by LED lighting is due to two factors:

  1. 1. LEDs require much less electricity to power than both traditional incandescent and halogen light bulbs, and energy efficient light bulbs (CFLs).

 

  • 2. They last much longer than their incandescent, halogen and CFL equivalents.

 

Lighting makes up a substantial part of our energy bills and is a difficult cost to avoid – especially when the dark nights start rolling in. Due to the lower wattage requirement of the bulbs, as well as the fact they last for up to 50,000 hours, you’ll start saving money almost instantly.

Not only does the lower wattage decrease your energy bills, but it also helps cut carbon emissions, due to you using less of the energy from power plants powered by fossil fuels.

How can I save money with LEDs?

The cost saving provided by LED lighting is due to two factors:

  1. LEDs require much less electricity to power than both traditional incandescent and halogen light bulbs, and energy efficient light bulbs (CFLs).
  2. They last much longer than their incandescent, halogen and CFL equivalents.

Lighting makes up a substantial part of our energy bills and is a difficult cost to avoid – especially when the dark nights start rolling in. Due to the lower wattage requirement of the bulbs, as well as the fact they last for up to 50,000 hours, you’ll start saving money almost instantly.
Not only does the lower wattage decrease your energy bills, but it also helps cut carbon emissions, due to you using less of the energy from power plants powered by fossil fuels.

Why are LED lights more expensive?

  • Components on the circuit board are often assembled by hand because it’s still too complicated for factory machines.
  • The actual LED wafer can cost as much as £8 a unit.
  • The brightest LEDs generate blue light. So in order to get the more natural white glow, manufacturers typically coat the bulb with yellow phosphor, an expensive rare earth metal compound imported from China.
  • LEDs additionally require the use of drivers to convert energy into electrical current . This component alone can cost up to £4.
  • Although LEDs burn cooler than Edison bulbs, they still need a conducting material to dissipate the heat. The aluminium used to accomplish this can cost as much as £3.

Can I use LED bulbs with a dimmer switch?

Yes – dimmable LED lights are very reliable now. There are a few things to bear in mind.

You may have to get your dimmer switch changed to a ‘leading edge’ or LED compatible dimmer. This is because they handle much lower loads. For example if you changed a ‘4 x 60 watt bulb central light’ to LED you would go from switching a load of 240 watts to nearer 30 watts.

Some bulbs have built-in circuitry to manage dimmers; some don’t. They best way to find out is to install them and if they don’t dim well, or flicker, you will know to replace the dimmer. They are no more expensive than ‘regular’ dimmer switches.

Are LED lights waterproof?

Many LED lights are waterproof or water resistant, making them ideal sources for interior and exterior lighting of water intensive areas. While not to be used in or around chlorinated or salt water, waterproof LEDs are fully submersible in untreated water.

How long do LED bulbs last?

Many LEDs have a rated life of up to 50,000 hours. This is approximately 50 times longer than a typical incandescent, 20-25 times longer than a typical halogen, and 8-10 times longer than a typical CFL. Used 12 hours a day, a 50,000 bulb will last more than 11 years.

What are ‘Smart’ lights?

Smart lighting is a lighting technology designed for energy efficiency. This may include high efficiency fixtures and automated controls that make adjustments based on conditions such as occupancy or daylight availability.

Are LED lights safe?

Yes! LEDs use significantly less energy than CFLs, and do not contain mercury.

What are Lumens?

The Lumens definition is: “a unit of luminous flux in the International System of Units, that is equal to the amount of light given out through a solid angle by a source of one candela intensity radiating equally in all directions”

Lumens equal brightness!

And watts do not. Watts aren’t necessarily bad, but they measure energy use, not light output. With new, energy-efficient LED technology, we can no longer rely upon wattage to indicate how bright a bulb is. See how to measure lumens below:

Lumens to Watts:

How Many Lumens Do You Need? More Lumens = More Light

Lumens vs. Watts: Output and wattages based on most common products available for each medium screw-based light bulb. Actual light output may vary by product.

If you used to buy this in incandescent Look for this much light in lumens LED
(most efficient)
CFL
(more efficient)
Halogen
(more efficient incandescent)
100 W 1600 up to 22 W up to 26 W up to 72 W
75 W 1100 up to 20 W up to 23 W up to 53 W
60 W 800 up to 12 W up to 15 W up to 43 W
40 W 450 up to 9 W up to 11 W up to 29 W

Use the chart above to determine exactly how many lumens are in a watt and vice versa. This should provide you with a good understanding of how bright 120 lumens is vs. a fixture with 5000 lumens. Additionally, you can use the colour temperature chart to help you in choosing the best lighting for your application.

Why do LED bulbs flicker?

If you do have a dimmer switch, try replacing one or two of your LED bulbs on the circuit with traditional incandescent bulbs or the energy saving ones. This can correct the load issues and stop the flicker. Some issues can be self-corrected, like tightening a light bulb.

What Are SMD’s?

An SMD LED Module (surface-mount device light-emitting diode module) is a type of LED module that uses surface-mount technology (SMT) to mount LED chips on printed circuit boards (PCB). It is a self-contained surface-mount LED device designed either to function on its own or to plug into a compatible unit.

Why LED lights are considered green technology?

LEDs are more efficient than most other light sources, so they usually consume less energy for a given task or at a specific light output. Also, they do not contain hazardous materials such as toxic mercury.

Types of LED light

Flash

Typically, the flashing LED is a standalone light that serves as a form of attention-seeking indication. It may look like a normal LED, but it contains an integrated circuit, in addition to the LED, which flashes the light at a specific frequency. Flashing LEDs are designed so as to be connected directly to a power supply with no series resistor required. You can find them in things like vehicles, signs, etc.

Bi-colour and Tri-colour

A bi-colour LED light has two light-emitting dies in a single casing. It features three leads and is offered with either a common anode or common cathode. The wiring for the bi-colour LED is considered “inverse parallel”; that is, one is forward and one is backward. This means that only one of the dies can be lit at a time. Current flow alternates between dies in order to produce colour variation. If you alternate the current at a high enough frequency, it will appear that both lights are on at the same time, and produce a third colour.

Similar to a bi-colour LED, the tri-colour LED also combines two light emitting dies in one encasing. What’s different, though, is there are (usually) three leads instead. There’s a centre lead, which is the common cathode for both LEDs, and on either side are the outer leads, which are the anodes to the separate LEDs. This design allows for both dies to be lit either separately or together which, when the colours are combined, produce a third colour. Please note that while this example describes a common cathode-based design, tri-colour LEDs are available in either a common anode or common cathode configuration.

Red, green, blue (RGB) LEDs

RGB LEDs include red, green, and blue emitters, which allow for it to combine the three primary colours in different amounts to produce new colours with incredible precision. There are literally millions of possibilities of colour combinations with today’s increasingly sophisticated controllers.

Most RGB LEDs use a 4-pin connection with a common lead (anode or cathode), which is the longest connection (others have just two leads and include a built-in electronic control unit). Since the light requires electronic circuits to control the blending and diffusion of different controls, RGB LEDs offer users tremendous control of colour emission. As a result, they’re used a wide variety of applications, including light shows, video display, accent lighting, status indicators, and more.

Lighting LEDs</h2

Lighting LEDs (also referred to as LED lamps, LED bars, or illuminators) come in many different shapes and sizes, including the popular Edison light bulb design. As mentioned throughout this article, heat is the enemy of an LED. An example of ways in which manufacturers are addressing this issue with these more commonly used LEDs is they incorporate an aluminium/ceramic body with fins to increase the total area for heat to escape.

Choosing an LED Lighting Colour – Warm White or Cool White?

When buying LED lighting bulbs for indoor use it is important to choose the correct colour option in order to achieve the right lighting effect. With this in mind, there are two main colour options to choose from known as warm white and cool white. Depending on which you select, these two different colours will create a different atmosphere on your room.

Most people, when choosing a bulb for the home or living area will go with a warm white, the warm white gives of a lovely softened natural glow similar to existing halogen bulbs.

Cool white gives a much brighter glow and is great choice for kitchens and bathrooms, however this ultimately is down to preference; the light given off by a cool white bulb is a clear more crisp kind of light.

Warm white and cool white LED colour examples

LED Lighting for Outside Use

LED flood lights are designed for outdoor use making a great addition to your outside area and are especially useful as security lighting when combined with a PIR sensor. These floodlights come in a number of different power outputs, depending on the strength of light you require – from 900 through to 7500 lumens (more on lumens can be found below).

GU10 LED Bulb

E27 LED Screw Type Bulb

LED Strip Light

LED Flood Light

Carbon Trust Green Business Business Fund

Most small to medium enterprises have a range of energy costs which the just pays. Machinery, processes and staff need light, heat and energy and that’s that. Get the bill, pay the bill, right? Wrong!

We understand that company’s often shop around for cheaper electricity, gas and oil or use a broker to get the best deal for them. However, that is where the quest to reduce costs often ends. Once you’ve got the best price for the next 3 years there’s nothing more you can do apart from stump up the cash and pay the bills.

That’s where The Greener Group come in. As Carbon Trust accredited Green Business Fund installers we work with businesses to establish how they can actually reduce the energy they consume. The goal of a renewable energy system is to make system owners make lifetime savings regardless of what deal the energy companies are offering. By conducting a free energy assessment we can establish what type of technology would be suitable, what savings could be made and what return on investment could be achieved.

For more information on Carbon Trust Funding please have a look at here.