What is Commercial LED Lighting?
1. What is an LED?
A light-emitting diode (LED) is a semiconductor device ‘Electronic Chip’ that emits light when electrically charged in the forward direction. The semiconducting chip is normally encased in a solid plastic lens, which is much tougher than the glass envelope of a traditional light bulb or tube.
2. What are lumens?
Luminous flux is defined as the total amount of light energy radiated by a light source into the space surrounding it and the units it is measured in are Lumens. The luminous flux from a typical car headlight might be 1300 lumens, a candle may have a luminous flux of 12 lumens.
3. Has LED technology been around a long time?
LEDs have been around as red and green indicator lights in electronic devices since the 1960’s, the first white LEDs were developed in the mid 1990’s, but viable commercial LED white light sources have only been available within the last 10 years.
4. Are LED’s safe?
LEDs are the safest form of generating light yet discovered. A very small electric current from a torch battery can now generate a significant amount of light. Almost all LED chips actually operate on low voltage so it is possible to power an entire building’s LED lighting system on safe low voltage power. There are no toxic amounts of any dangerous chemicals used in an LED.
Why Commercial LED Lighting?
1. What are the benefits of LED lights?
The long lifetime of LEDs reduces the need to replace failed lamps, and this can lead to significant savings, particularly in the cost of sending out maintenance crews. This also makes LED fixtures useful for installation in relatively inaccessible locations.
LEDs are high-efficiency light sources. White LED lamps with efficacies of 100 lm/W and upwards are commercially available, exceeding the performance of incandescent and fluorescent sources. The directional nature of light produced by LEDs allows the design of luminaires with higher overall efficiency.
Low power consumption
The low power consumption of LEDs leads to significant energy savings that can often drive the installation of LED-based systems, for example traffic signals and street lighting. National programs to develop effective solid-state lighting industries in the US, Europe, China and Japan have been driven by the potential energy savings associated with using LEDs.
2. Why do they say LEDs last 50,000 hours?
As solid-state light sources, LEDs have very long lifetimes and are generally very robust. While incandescent bulbs may have an expected lifetime (to failure) of 2000 hours, LEDs are often quoted of having a lifetime of 50,000 hours – more than 6 years full time operation.
However, this figure is extremely misleading; this is the rated lifetime for the LED component used in perfect conditions only. Like all other light sources, the performance of LEDs degrades over time, and this degradation is strongly affected by factors such as operating current and temperature and environment. Therefore the question should be: How long will a particular LED fixture Actually last in a given environment?
3. How long is 50,000 hours?
Almost 6 years 24/7. If the LEDs were used 8 hours per day that would equal 17 years use.
4. Will I save money and energy by fitting LED?
Almost certainly you will, if you buy quality LED lamps that will last many years. But be aware there are lots of poor quality LED lamps that will not necessarily last long enough for the money saved on lower energy bills to equal the higher purchase cost of LED lamps
5. What is the payback time for replacing my current lights with energy saving LEDs?
This can be worked out with a simple formula, based on the purchase price, hours used per day and electricity cost.
6. What is the difference between warm white and cool white colour LED lights?
Light colour is measured in degrees Kelvin or K. Lower colour temperatures have warmer colours and higher colour temperatures have cooler colours. Typical range for LED lighting would be 2500K – 8000K. The concept is best illustrated by thinking an everyday example: A normal daylight sky has a colour temperature of 6500K (cool) whereas at sunrise the sky may have a colour temperature of 2500K (warm)
7. Will the LED lighting provide a natural light, and which colour is best?
There is no ‘best’ colour, it depends on the use of the space being illuminated. Good quality LED fixtures with a high CRI value will provide a natural looking light whether warm or cold light. LED lamps with a low CRI value will not provide a natural look light as the colours will be less truly illuminated.
8. Which light colour is best for indoor use?
Warmer colour temperatures are generally suitable for more relaxing environments, like bedrooms, living rooms and restaurants and informal meeting rooms. Cool LED lights have higher colour temperatures and are more suitable for working environments
9. Can LED lights be used outdoors?
This depends on whether the commercial LED lighting fixtures are rated for outdoor use. This rating is expressed as an IP (ingress protection) rating
Typical external IP ratings range from IP54 to IP68
10. What does IP65 mean? / What does IP67 mean?
IP65 Enclosure – IP rated as “dust tight” and protected against water projected from a nozzle.
IP66 Enclosure – IP rated as “dust tight” and protected against heavy seas or powerful jets of water.
IP67 Enclosures – IP rated as “dust tight” and protected against immersion.
IP68 Enclosures – IP rated as “dust tight” and protected against complete, continuous submersion in water.
11. Which light colour is best for outdoor use?
In almost all cases a cool white light in the 5500 to 8000K range would be most suitable for outdoor night time use.
Products and Services – Why Exled?
1. Does Exled have a technical support department?
Yes, you can contact them by calling 01453 756361 and selecting option 2 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. All emails will be forwarded to the relevant department.
2. How long have Exled been designing and supplying LED lighting?
For over 10 years Exled have working with our LED lighting manufacturers to design, produce and supply high quality commercial LED lighting.
3. Do Exled hold their LED lighting products in UK stock?
The majority of Exled’s stock is held on site as it as it is required for same day despatching. An additional amount of stock is held offsite, this tends to be popular products that sell out very quickly. Finally for bespoke items or special orders it is possible for us to airship products in for a customer, but an additional fee maybe be charged.
4. How do Exled evaluate products and how can Exled demonstrate their products performance?
Products are thoroughly tested once they are received by our Technical Department and where necessary modifications are requested. Each product is tested before it is shipped to the UK and at least 1 in every 10 is tested is shipped to our customers. Many of our products have been installed across the country and in many cases have been successfully installed for years. For more information please have a look at our Case Studies.
5. Which aspects of a lighting design and installation projects are Exled able to assist with?
Exled provides a full and comprehensive consultation service -
• Site lighting surveys includes key observations and recommendations
• Relux Lights Plots and CAD Drawings
• Technical Install Guides
• Technical Helpline for installation support
6. Can Exled manufacture bespoke products for projects?
Yes, we are happy to manufacture bespoke products. Just contact us with your needs and we will see if we can find a custom commercial LED light solution.
7. What guarantee comes with Exled’s LED lighting solutions?
This varies depending on the commercial LED lighting fixture involved, but it can be up to 7 years.
Installing Commercial LED Lighting
1. Are LED’s safe?
As with any new technology that enters the public domain, there are many concerns raised. While it is prudent to look at potential health and safety risks, it’s also not wise to cry wolf based on the smallest amount of evidence taken from the most extreme circumstances. It has been stated that LEDs can damage retinas, but when you read the actual article (Photochem. Photobiol. 89, 468-473) damage would only be caused if you were to stare 100 Watt equivalent light bulb from about 100mm away, for 12 hours. Of course you’d damage your eyes in this extreme, who would think otherwise? So yes, LED’s are safe.
2. What is a LED driver /PSU/ LED transformer?
A lot of commercial LED lights run on a lower voltage than supplied by mains. A LED driver simply reduces the mains down to a voltage that can power the LEDs without damaging them. This is usual 12V or 24V.
3. Do I need a transformer or driver?
This depends on the type of product being used. Some products are designed to work on mains, other require 12V or 24V. If you require a transformer and have not asked for one, one of Exled’s Sales team will contact you to ask if you would like one.
4. Do I need a special LED transformer / driver?
Some energy saving LED products do require a special driver, but these are supplied with the products as standard. 12V and 24V products can be used with any driver that supplies the correct Voltage. However we recommended that you use the LED driver that we supply as we can ensure it is quality and won’t cause any damage to the LED lighting.
5. If I do need a LED compatible transformer, how do I know if it’s compatible with my LED lights?
If you need a LED compatible transformer, we give you the option of purchasing one with your order. IF you need information on this please check the product specifications.
6. I have a 12 volt DC circuit, can I use LEDs?
Yes, some products do use a 12V DC circuit, please check the product specifications or contact our Technical Department on 01453 765361.
7. How often will I have to replace LED lights?
This depends on the LED light in question as well as the driver. In most cases the LED driver will stop work long before the LEDs, we can just supply you a new one. LED lights themselves have a very long life, so won’t need replacing before 3 years at the very worst case.
8. What is the lifetime of an LED light?
About 50,000 hours which is almost 6 years 24/7. If the LEDs were used 8 hours per day that would equal 17 years use.
9. Does the level of light produced reduce over the lifetime of the LED light?
Yes, but studies have shown this is not noticeable until the light output gets below 50%. This is factored into the lifetime of the LED light, so you won’t notice the lighting drop until after about 50,000 hours.
10. What equivalent LED wattage do I need?
This is affected by the required light output, please check product information for what equivalent product they replace. The wattage of the LED tends to be around 50-75% less than a traditional alternative.
11. Do I need an electrician?
Yes, we recommended all of other products are installed by a qualified electrician.
12. Do LED lights get hot?
LED lighting does produce a lot of heat, but this is normal draw away by a heat sink. A LED product can be hot to the touch, this is just the heat sink drawing the heat away from the product.
13. How does ambient temperature affect the lifetime of LED lights; does the ambient temperature of a room or a light’s location affect the function an LED light?
The most likely damage on energy saving LED products is caused by overheating, this means that if the ambient temperature is particularly cold (like a fridge or freezer,) the lifespan of the LEDs can be significantly increased. Conversely if the LEDs are used in too hot of any environment they could have their lifespan reduced.
14. Why LED lights are considered a green technology?
LED lights are a green technology because they require much less energy than traditional alternatives to produce the same amount of light.
15. Do LED lights have any toxic materials inside them; are LEDs made using harmful materials?
No, unlike fluorescent tubes and halogen lights, commercial LED lighting fixtures do not have any harmful materials used in their construction.
16. What Exled processes are in place, and can provide to its customers, for the de-commissioning and end of life disposal of lighting products?
The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment directive applies to all the products sold by Exled Ltd. It is a requirement of the directive that all such items are disposed of in a responsible manner. For commercial sales in the UK this means they should be taken to a Designated Collection Facility from where they will be recycled. Please contact Budget Pack at www.budget-pack.com. Our Producer Registration number is WEE/FA0069TY.
17. Which is better, LED retrofit tubes or full LED replacement?
It depends on what you need. If you want a quick installation, to reduce disruption in the area the LED tubes are being installed in, LED retrofit tubes are better. If, on the other hand, your priority is reducing energy consumption and costs, a full LED replacement is better as it removes the old ballast which no longer has a purpose, but still uses energy with an LED retrofit tube.
18. How easy is it to replace fluorescent lights with Exled products?
Very easy, see for yourself here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_h1CZMgWdM
19. Can LED lights be used with dimmers and will my existing dimmer work?
Yes, lots of energy saving LED products can be used with dimmers. Some will work with existing dimmer installations, please check the product specifications for more details.
20. Are Exled’s LED ceiling panels dimmable?
All of our LED are dimmable and can be dimmed in a variety of ways. Please check product specifications for more information.
21. Are Exled LED ceiling panels only suitable for suspended ceilings or can they be used on solid ceilings?
Exled’s LED ceiling panels can be used on solid and suspended ceilings. We supply a LED ceiling panel frame to facilitate the panels use this way.