FAQ About LED Technology And Fixtures

LED or light emitting diode lights are designed to replace incandescent, fluorescent, CFL, metal halide, high-pressure sodium, and halogen lights.

Consumers have switched to LED lights mainly because they help save energy. Your energy consumption can go down by at least 40% to as much as 80%, depending on the bulbs you are using and the ones that are being replaced. Likewise, LEDs also reduce the maintenance required for your lights since they last up to 100,000 hours.

There are three components that comprise an LED light: the LED chip set that produces light, the driver that converts AC to DC, and the heat sink that keeps everything cool.

LEDs take DC power from the driver and produce light. Although LEDs produce significantly less heat than the light bulbs we have been using for the longest time, this process of creating light still produces heat. This is where the heat sink comes in. It captures heat from the LEDs and the drivers so that the product lasts long.  

LED lights have a ton of benefits for consumers, the most popular one being energy efficiency. Make the switch and be amazed at how much your electricity bill will decrease.

LED lights last a very long time. They usually last from 50,000 to 100,000 hours. They are also virtually indestructible.

They are good for you and the environment. They do not contain mercury or other hazardous materials, and they are highly recyclable.

Your energy savings depends on what you are converting–incandescent to LED, fluorescent to LED, Metal Halide to LED. But you can expect at least 40% to 80% savings on your energy consumption.

Take note that not all LEDs are dimmable. They must have a driver that is designed to allow dimming. If you bought a non-dimmable LED bulb and try to dim it, your bulb will fail and your warranty will be void.

Provided that your LED bulb is dimmable, now you must have the right type of dimmer. There are a lot of retail stores that carry dimmers specifically designed for LED bulbs. Some of our industrial and commercial LED fixtures (high bays, floods, area lighting, retrofits) work with a 0-10V dimming system. 0-10V dimming requires special wiring and a special type of dimmer.

The two most common types of dimming are 0-10V low voltage and Triac dimming.

LED bulbs should not contain any hazardous chemicals or metals unlike CFLs and fluorescent lights which contain a very small amount of mercury.

The Kelvin scale is what we use to measure the color temperature for light bulbs. LED lights come in a wide range of colors. The most common colors are found between 2700 Kelvin to 7500 Kelvin. In order to achieve a warmer light, you must use more yellow tones. But if you want a cooler light, then you must use more blue tones.

  • 2700-3200 – WW – Warm White
  • 4000-4500 – NW – Natural White
  • 5000-5500 – DW – Day White
  • 6500-7500 – CW – Cool White

If you already have existing light fixtures, our LED Bulbs are the perfect retrofit for them. We offer standard bases, candelabra, standard or Edison (E26), mogul (E39), and MR16. We also have other typical bases that are used for incandescent and halogen installations. For fluorescent tubes, we have bi-pin, single pin and HO Ends. Also available are PL based bulbs in G23, GX23, G24, and GX24 bases.

LED bulbs are mostly the same size if not slightly smaller than the bulbs they replace. This technology allows us to pack a lot of light in a small package.

LED and CFL are both energy-efficient light sources. While CFLs are spiral tubes like bulbs, they are actually mini fluorescent bulbs with self-contained ballasts. They still contain a small amount of mercury. On the contrary, LED bulbs do not.

Another difference is LED bulbs can be turned on and off instantly. CFLs, on the other hand, need 30 seconds to a minute to warm up after they have been turned on. Constantly turning CFL bulbs on and off will reduce their life, while it doesn’t affect LED bulbs.

Yes, you may use LED lights for outdoor lighting. There are some products that come with waterproof fittings while others need to be placed in a water-tight fixture. Make sure you check the bulb’s manual for its IP rating. You should be looking for a bulb or fixture that is IP65 or greater.

As with other types of light bulbs, the light of an LED bulb also fades gradually as it gets near the end of its normal operating life. This is called Lumen Degradation or the amount of time the light takes to get to 70% of the initial lumen output.

Our LED lights have either a 5 or 10-year manufacturer warranty, all of which are parts-only warranties. This means that we don’t cover labor or shipping costs.

Make sure that you follow all the installation instructions indicated by the manufacturer. Any modification or misuse of the bulbs invalidates your warranty.

There are a lot of factors that you should consider in replacing a 400W Metal Halide fixture. According to DesignLights Consortium (DLC), you will need at least 10,000 lumens to replace a 400W Metal Halide. You also ought to consider surface reflectivity, obstructions, and other sources of light, such as natural light sources coming into the building.

Our experts would be glad to assist you in finding which product would best fit your needs.

We have found that replacing a 400W Metal Halide High Bay typically ranges from 17,000 lumens to as high as 23,000 lumens. Photo-metrics will help you determine how much you need, spacing, and reflectivity of the environment. We have found that you need more lumens indoors than you do outdoors.

First, you remove the fluorescent tubes and the ballast. Then, you replace the existing tombstones (if needed). Next, you need to rewire the fixture to accommodate the LED replacement tubes. Some ballast compatible tubes will not require you to do this step anymore since you can just remove the old fluorescent tube with the LED replacement tube.

Our LED internal driver tubes use AC current and convert the power to DC within the internal LED driver to light the LEDs. There are some tubes that can be driven from the fluorescent ballast. Take note that ballasts consume about 4+ watts per fluorescent tube installed, so leaving the ballast in place reduces the energy savings as well.

Likewise, we provide LED externally driven tubes that house the driver outside the tube and is usually installed where the fluorescent ballast was located. External drivers also use AC power and convert it to DC to light the LEDs in the tube like internal drivers do.

If you have a native DC system (such as solar systems), you are best to look for externally driven tubes and proceed with the installation of the driver. But make sure that the DC power supplied to the fixture is compatible with the DC power requirement of the tubes.

Single-ended powered tubes only power one end. This type of installation is referred to as un-shunted. Since the tube has two pins on that end, you would send a line to one pin and neutral to the other.

A Double-ended powered tube means that you power both ends, one with line source, the other with neutral. This type of installation is referred to as shunted.

We usually use single-ended powered tubes as it conforms with the latest UL standards for safety. If you have a double-ended powered tube, we can provide new fluorescent ends also known as tombstones so that you can convert over to single-ended powered tubes.

The ballast is the most expensive part of a lighting system, while the tube is the least expensive. Ballast-compatible tubes allow you to replace the existing tube with a new LED replacement tube without the need of changing any circuit on the lighting fixture.

They don’t, but they work with most electronic ballasts.

L70 is a measure of the time it takes for a light source to degrade to 70% of its original output. It is measured in hours.

Always pay attention to lumens per watt or lm/w. You should buy the ones with high lumens as this means it needs less energy to produce light.

The most frequent failing component of an LED light is the driver. Therefore, we advise that you buy only from trusted brands such as Meanwell and Philips. You must also make sure that the warranty is good for 1-2 years.

Heat is the number one cause why electronics falter. But newer technologies allow us to design light or fixture that can withstand really hot environments.

CRI means Color Rendering Index. It is a measurement of the quality of light, not to be mistaken with lumens, which is a measurement of the quantity of light. LED bulbs with high CRI are more expensive because they require a more expensive LED chip.

DLC means DesignLights Consortium. They are the governing body responsible for certifying the quality and efficiency of LED Lights.

DLC works with commercial-grade LED products while Energy Star works with home owner-type products.

DLC-qualified products may be eligible for rebates, but that depends on your local utility company. There are currently two standards–DLC Standard and DLC Premium. DLC Premium is more energy-efficient and will save you more money in terms of operating costs.

Ask our experts!

Do you still have questions that we haven’t answered on this page? Please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to answer any questions you might have about LED lights and how you can save more energy and money by switching to LED.

Call LED Lowcountry at 843-706-7074!