With LED Lighting becoming the norm and many people and businesses making the switch to take advantage of the numerous benefits, it’s important to note that there are some common and costly mistakes to avoid.
At Rotric, we have encountered these mistakes on many occasions and have put together this list to hopefully help you avoid them:
Not considering lighting output
When replacing standard light bulbs, we are accustomed to comparing the wattage and finding one that matches what we are looking for. With LED bulbs, the comparison is not always so simple. To get a more accurate LED replacement, you must check the lumen output, or the amount of visible light a bulb emits. For example, a 50 watt A19 bulb – think the standard light bulb in your home – produces about 800 lumens. Its LED counterpart that produces the same number of lumens will use, on average, only 10 watts.
Many people and businesses have made the easy mistake of replacing existing fittings 1 for 1 with an LED alternative only to find their new office lighting is twice as bright and uncomfortable to work under, this is why lighting levels need to be considered in making a decision.
Assuming your fitting accepts LED bulbs.
Think of any light bulb imaginable; chances are there’s an LED replacement. There are numerous terms to describe the usability of these products. You may see terms like “ballast compatible”, “plug and play”, “instant fit” or “direct wire”. Ballast compatible, plug and play and instant fit all essentially mean the same – remove your current bulb and simply replace it with its LED counterpart.
If you have a direct wire LED bulb, you will need to remove the ballast, or power supply, and hard-wire the LED bulb and socket. Always read the manufacturer’s specifications and your fixture’s guidelines to ensure the proper use and acceptance.
Ignoring the light pattern, the bulb will produce.
When choosing an LED replacement bulb, be sure to check the beam angle and light pattern. Not all light bulbs are omni-directional; meaning the light shines in all directions. Also, not all bulbs will project the same light pattern you’re aiming for.
For example, an A19 bulb is omni-directional and is great for general lighting purposes. Whereas a PAR-shaped bulb is highly directional and is ideal for highlighting landscape elements in front of your home. Bulbs can also have different beam spreads that can vary from narrow to wide, depending on their application.
Not using a compatible dimmer.
Incandescent and halogen bulbs are fundamentally dimmable with any dimmer switch as long as the voltage and wattage requirements are met. However, not all dimmer switches are compatible with LED bulbs and not all LED bulbs are dimmable.
If you experience flickering, strobing, unresponsive bulbs, or bulbs that turn off before reaching the lowest dimming range, it’s likely that your dimmer is not compatible with your LED bulb. Ensure that you are using an LED dimmer so the bulbs function properly.
Choosing the wrong colour temperature.
Identifying the right colour temperature, measured in Kelvin, is extremely important when lighting a room. Choosing the right colour temperature is vital to set the tone of the room, if it’s an office space where people are working, a cool white or daylight is better for productivity, whereas if it’s a bedroom a warm white is more suited.
Colour temperature has nothing to do with the actual heat a bulb produces, but rather the colour tone of the bulb – ranging from warm to cool to daylight. For some bulbs, it’s simple to figure out their colour temperature as it is stamped on the bulb itself. However, some will not be so obvious. For example, if you are replacing an incandescent bulb with an LED and want it to emit the same warmness, choose a bulb with a Kelvin rating of 2200K-2700K. For halogen bulbs, choose a colour temperature around 3000K-3200K, as most halogens have a warm colour tone.
Buying online rather than a reputable electrical wholesaler.
With the demand for LED products on a steep incline, it seems there are new companies popping up each day with the “latest and greatest” technology. However, many of these products are made in foreign countries with no direct customer service – making returns of damaged or defective products nearly impossible. Many of these new companies are not reputable and may be producing low quality products that will fail quickly. Research the brands and companies you are ordering from and be aware of their history, return policy, warranties and customer reviews.
The safest option is to purchase direct from a reputable wholesaler in person.
The most common mistake we encounter at Rotric with our commercial clients is after an LED Lighting upgrade, many of their staff complain about not be able to work under the increased brightness, this is usually because lighting levels have not been considered in the upgrade.
If you are considering the switch, contact us at Rotric where we provide an obligation free audit of your existing lighting levels and will produce an upgrade proposal based on this.