FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is an LED?
A Light Emitting Diode (LED) consists of a semiconductor that emits light when an electrical current is passed through it. This differs from traditional incandescent lamps that use heat to alight a filament which then glows.
LED lamps are fundamentally different from conventional light sources such as incandescent, fluorescent and gas-discharge lamps. They consume far less energy, last much longer and generate very little heat. They contain no mercury or lead and, as they don’t feature any fragile parts, such as glass tubes or filaments, are highly durable.
Why buy LED?
- Extremely energy efficient
- Eco-friendly lighting
- Significant savings on your electricity bills
- Much longer lifespan than halogen lamps
- Low temperature operation
- Directional light
- Low profile and compact size
- Breakage and vibration resistance
- Life unaffected by rapid cycling
- Instant switch on with no warm up time
- No IR or UV emissions
How much power do LEDs use?
LED Lamps typically use 90% less power than an incandescent or halogen bulb of equivalent brightness. The reason LEDs can do this is because they are far more efficient at converting electricity (measured in watts) into light (measured in lumens). The effectiveness of a light source is evaluated by its lumen-to-watt ratio, usually shortened to Lm/W.
A typical 4-watt LED lamp can easily achieve a light output comparable to a 50-watt halogen, sometimes higher.
How long do LEDs last?
LEDs are less susceptible to wear and tear than other types of lighting. This means they are less likely to fail outright. However, like all light sources, LEDs slowly fade over time. This loss of light is known as lumen depreciation and is influenced by many factors, including drive current and heat. Officially, light sources designed for general illumination are at the end of their useful life when light output falls below 70%.
To ensure longevity, most LED lamps are designed with thermal management systems known as heat sinks. These remove heat from the LEDs, either through convection or conduction and help to prolong the life expectancy of the lamp by slowing lumen depreciation. A well-built LED lamp with good thermal management should last at least 30,000 hours.
How bright are LEDs?
The brightness of an LED lamp is not measured in watts. Watts are a unit of electrical consumption and do not tell us anything about the amount or type of light emitted from a light source. In an incandescent lamp the only way to increase light output is to increase wattage which is one of the reasons we previously used watts as a measure of light output. However, LEDs are far more efficient and can produce more light without increasing wattage.
Actual light output is measured in lumens (Lm) – the higher the number of lumens, the brighter the lamp. LED Lamps can deliver an equivalent number of lumens when compared with traditional light sources. Most retailers quote an equivalent incandescent wattage, allowing customers to make their purchase based on the incandescent lamps they are trying to replace. So, for example, a 4-watt LED Lamp, may have an equivalent incandescent wattage of 60 watts as it provides enough light to replace a 60-watt incandescent.
How can LEDs help me save money?
The up-front cost on LEDs is more than halogens. However, LEDs use up to 90% less energy than halogen lamps and you will often recoup your investment within just 6 months. You will continue saving money on your bills every month thereafter. The lighting in a standard household can account for as much as 20% of the overall energy consumption. In commercial premises this can account for a lot more. Customers can save a considerable amount of money by switching to a light source that uses a fraction of the energy. Reducing energy consumption isn’t the only way LED Lighting can save you money. As they last longer, they also reduce the amount spent on replacements, and, as they are more reliable, they require less maintenance.
Are LEDs safe?
Unlike CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) LEDs do not contain mercury. They also give off comparatively little heat making them safer to handle after prolonged use. The absence of glass enclosures and fragile parts also reduces the likelihood of breakage.
Will your LED lamps work in my existing fittings?
Yes. All our lamps are designed to work with existing light fittings.
Are your LED lamps dimmable?
All our LED filament lamps are dimmable. However, if you are changing to dimmable LED lamps you will also need to upgrade your dimmer switches. Dimmers (not lower wattage) create the ‘warm and cosy’ vintage feel, can be purchased inexpensively, are easy for your electrician to fit, reduce power consumption and can increase the life of your lamp.
Do LEDs come on immediately or do they need to warm up?
Unlike CFLs, which usually take a few minutes to reach full brightness, LEDs reach full brightness instantaneously.
What is colour temperature?
The colour temperature of different light sources varies considerably. For example, the flame of a candle has a Kelvin rating of 1,850K, moonlight has a Kelvin rating of 4,100K and a fluorescent lamp has a Kelvin rating of 5,000K.
What is a beam angle?
Beam angles (measured in degrees) describe the angle at which a lamp emits its light. Lamps with a narrow beam angle create a spotting effect and are suitable for highlighting features of a room. Lamps with a wide beam angle create a flooding effect and are better for general ambience.
Why are LED lights considered a green technology?
LEDs use around 80-90% of electrical energy for light, unlike traditional forms of lighting where most of energy is lost to heat. By comparison an incandescent lamp only uses 20% of its energy for light, with the rest going to heat.
How do I dispose of LED lamps?
Disposing of LED lamps is relatively straight forward. They don’t contain harmful chemicals like CFLsbut, as electronic products, they do need to be disposed of responsibly under the WEEE (Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment) regulations. For more information on the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2013 please visit:
‘Can it be recycled?’ checklist:
If you can answer ‘yes’ to any of the following questions, them your electrical item can be recycled:
- Does it have a plug?
- Does it use a charger?
- Does it use batteries?
- Does it carry the WEEE wheelie bin logo (a crossed-out wheelie bin)?
Recycling electrical goods is usually a straightforward process thanks to the variety of options available:
- Recycle your electricals locally – go to www.recyclenow.com to find out your nearest recycling centre.
- Some councils offer a household recycling collection service for small electrical items; contact your local authority for more details.
Why recycle electrical items?
170 million new electrical items are purchase in the UK each year, but we currently recycle less than a third of these when they come to the end of their lifecycle.
Electrical and electronic equipment is made up of a wide variety of materials, many of which can be reused (for example, there’s enough steel in an iron to produce 13 steel cans).
By recycling your old and unwanted electrical items, you’re doing your bit to help the environment by preventing potentially hazardous waste from entering landfill and causing soil and water contamination.
Will the performance of my lamps be affected by ambient temperature?
LEDs are quite sensitive to temperature extremes. Most LED lamps feature a special heat sink, which is designed to regulate the air flow to the LED components and keep them at a cool temperature. If you plan on using your lamps in unusually cold or hot conditions, we cannot guarantee the best possible performance.
What are the lamp base cap specifications you supply?
We supply the four main UK base caps and specifications: Screw (ES / E27, E10) Small Screw (SES / E14) Bayonet (BC / B22d) Small Bayonet (SBC / BA15d).