LED Education Area - F.A.Q.


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Frequently Asked Questions


What is an LED?

LED's (Light Emitting Diodes) have been in our lives for a long time already. In the simplest of examples, they are commonly used in electrical appliances to signal that the unit is on - e.g. the little red standby light on the front of your TV. However, individual white coloured LED's were never bright enough to be considered as a lighting source. The combination of many LED's mounted together meant that the light output (measured in Lumens rather than watts) was a viable lighting source. This technology helped define the introduction of LED's into everyday light fittings such as GU10 spotlight bulbs.

 

Has LED technology been around a long time?

Yes, LED bulbs have been around for a few years now. Most large DIY stores stock the first generation of LED bulbs which feature a large number of individually mounted LED's. They are not generally appropriate as a direct replacement for existing bulbs throughout your home however as they simply do not produce enough light. They also tend to have a very strong blue tint to them. Technology has advanced greatly since then and you can now confidently replace your existing incandescent / halogen bulbs with LED's without compromising the finish.

 

How long do LED bulbs last?

LED bulbs have a huge life expectancy in comparison to other technologies. The LED technology is very stable and so LED bulbs should last between 25000 – 50000 hours. When you install a new LED bulb you may never have to replace it again.

 

What does L70 mean?

We normally define the lifetime of an LED bulb as the time expected for it to drop to 70% of its initial light output. This measure is called L70.

 

Are LED bulbs safe?

At Innovation LED we only sell products of a professional grade quality, certified under CE and RoHS marks.  All products that come with the CE and RoHS mark mean that they have been tested for conformity and sustainability for use in Europe.

 

Do I need an LED-compatible transformer?

With some LED bulbs it is necessary to change existing transformers, as they will not be compatible. You would see that they are not compatible with the LED bulb as they would cause the bulb to be very dim or to have a very pronounced flicker or strobe.

 

How do I know if my transformers are compatible with LED bulbs?

Transformers are only needed with low voltage bulbs such as MR16, MR11, G4 or low voltage versions of AR111. If a transformer is not compatible with LED bulbs you may see one of the following: Strobing, flickering, the bulbs are very dim or will not illuminate at all.

 

Are LED lights cost-effective?

LED lights are very cost effective as the savings are two fold. Firstly, the LED technology is extremely efficient and so you will use around 90% less electricity than traditional lighting. Secondly, as the LED light has a huge life expectancy you will save on the cost of replacing the old traditional bulbs and also the hassle of physically replacing them.

 

Will my item be covered under a warranty?

All our LED Bulbs come with a 3 year warranty as standard, this does not mean all our products are protected under warranty, so we recommend you refer to the warranty duration specified in the technical specification area on each product page if unsure.

 

What are the best features of LED Lights?

Where do we start! Choosing LED lights is simply a no brainer.

  • LED’s are massively cheaper to run saving you money on your electricity bill and also saving the planet from the harmful effects of having to produce that extra electricity.
  • There are no hazardous chemicals used in LED light bulbs.
  • LED light bulbs are not fragile like traditional bulbs.
  • LED light bulbs have a life of around 30000 hours which is around 30 times more than a traditional light bulb.
  • You can choose the colour of the light that you want from an LED light bulb.
  • LED lights will be standard in all homes in the future; traditional lighting has just simply been superseded by better technology.

 

Can LED light bulbs be used with dimmers?

LED light bulbs can only be used with a dimmer switch if they specifically state in their technical specification that they are dimmable. If there is no mention of the bulbs dimming facility you should always assume that the bulb is not dimmable.

 

What are SMD’s?

SMD stands for Surface Mounted Diode. In simple terms, this is the LED diodes/chips that are fixed to the flat surface of the bulb. One characteristic of this type of bulb is that you will get a wider beam angle than traditional bulb types, which is more desirable. When compared individually the 3528 SMD would be the most cost effective whereas the 6060 would be the brightest.

 

What is a 3528 SMD?

3528 refers to a type of chip used in an SMD bulb. 3528 actually refers to the size of the chip, meaning that it measures 3.5mm by 2.8mm.

 

What is a 5050 SMD?  

5050 is the type of chip used in a SMD bulb. 5050 refers to the measurement of the chip, meaning that it measures 5.0mm by 5.0mm.

 

What is a 6060 SMD?  

6060 is the newest type of chip being used in an SMD bulb. 6060 refers to the measurement of the chip, meaning that it measures 6.0mm by 6.0mm.

 

What SMD chips are used in Innovation LED bulbs?

We use different chips in different bulbs in order to have a range of different prices and light outputs. The chips are the same technology but just different sizes. You would need around twice the number of 3528 chips to produce the same amount of light as a 6060 chip.

 

What are the benefits of using LED lights?

You can save around 90% on your lighting electricity bill by swapping to LED bulbs. Yes, they do cost more than the existing filament bulbs to purchase but they will last on average for 15 years! They also produce very little heat, which is a common problem with flush mounted ceiling spotlights. Firstly, it can be dangerous if the spotlight does not have adequate space around it in the ceiling void for the heat to dissipate which can be a potential fire risk. Secondly, the spotlight can contribute significantly to unwanted heat in a room – particularly in summer.

 

Will LED bulbs fit into my old light fixtures?

When choosing your replacement LED bulbs it is advisable to get the dimensions of the bulb to ensure that it will fit your fitting. Most of the latest LED bulbs are “true fit” and so will be the same dimensions as the traditional bulb that replaces it.

 

Do I need to replace my fittings to use LED bulbs?

No. LED bulbs have been designed to retrofit existing fittings. You should double-check the dimensions of the new bulbs just to make sure that the particular product will be the correct size for your existing fittings even if you are ordering the correct cap type.

 

What is the difference between warm white and cool white colour bulbs?

The effect or feel that the colour of a bulb that is chosen will have on the space that it is used. Warm white most closely replicates the colour of a traditional/halogen bulb. Cool white has a brighter, whiter effect and can give a modern or even clinical feel to a space.

 

Which colour is best for indoor use?

70% of our domestic customers order warm white bulbs for replacing their old traditional or halogen bulbs. For commercial use such as offices or shops, many customers choose cool white.

 

Can LED lights be used outdoors?

Yes, LED lights can be used outdoors as long as the fitting they are used in is suitable for outdoor use. To be used outside, fittings should have an IP rating which will tell you how sealed and therefore how waterproof that fitting is.

 

Why do different bulbs come with different beam angles?

The beam angle that you pick depends on the desired effect that you are looking to achieve in a room. A narrow beam angle (0-60°) will produce a spotlight effect ideal for decoration, studio lighting or specific areas of interest. However a wider beam angle (over 60) is better suited for regular lighting in bedrooms, living rooms or lighting an entire room. Please see diagram below for beam angle examples:

 

Can I use LED's on a 12-volt circuit?

Yes, there are LED bulbs that run on a 12v circuit and also 24v circuits. Always check the bulbs technical specification to see if it is suitable for your application.

 

What is a GU5.3 LED bulb?

GU5.3 is just another term for a MR16 low Voltage bulb.

 

What is a GU4 bulb?

GU4 is just another term for a MR11 low voltage bulb.

 

How can I save the most money on my electricity bill?

There are so many ways to cut down your electricity usage and therefore your electricity bill. You can look at your heating, hot water, lighting, products/appliances, insulation, water and your energy supplier. Lighting will account for 20% of your electricity bill so changing your current light bulbs for LED energy efficient bulbs is such an easy thing to do.

 

What fittings should I have for my bathroom?

Fittings in a bathroom need to be installed by a qualified electrician. Light fittings in bathrooms have different IP requirements, generally the higher the numbers of the IP rating the more waterproof it is.

 

What does IP65 mean?

The two numbers following the IP (Ingress Protection) are in reference to how much protection they offer against both intrusion, and moisture.

6 = totally dust tight      5 = protection against low-pressure water jets (all directions)

 

What does IP67 mean?

The two numbers following the IP (Ingress Protection) are in reference to how much protection they offer against both intrusion, and moisture.

6 = totally dust tight     7 = protected against temporary immersion in water.

 

Do I have fire rated fittings?

Fire rated downlights differ from standard downlight fittings as they are a metal enclosed fitting rather than an open backed fitting. This will give protection in the event of a fire and fire rated downlights are now the accepted standard when installing new downlight fittings.

 

How hot does an LED bulb get?

Whereas a 50W GU10 halogen bulb reaches around 260°C, our equivalent 5W GU10 LED bulb reaches around 60°C degrees.

 

Does a GU10 LED bulb give the same brightness as my old halogen bulb?

Depending upon the product, Yes. A 50W halogen bulb emits around 420 lumens of light, which is the same amount of light as a traditional halogen.

 

Why are LED lights considered a green technology?

LED lights are green technology as they require a small amount of electricity compared to traditional lights to give out the same amount of light. LED bulbs also do not use the harmful chemicals that their CFL counterparts use.

 

How does ambient temperature affect the performance of LED lights?

Ambient temperature can affect a LED light, as LED technology is susceptible to very high or very low temperatures. The newest design LED bulbs feature thermal cut out in the bulbs circuitry. This will switch the bulb off when the temperature is too high and will then allow the bulb to switch back on when the temperature is back within the bulbs limits.

 

How often will I have to replace LED bulbs?

How long the LED bulbs last is calculated by the number of hours the bulbs are in use, for example if you only have a bulb in use for 1 hour per day it will last longer than a bulb on for 4 hours per day. LED bulb life is expressed in hours and typically is around 30000 hours, which is approximately 10 -25 years.

 

Do LED bulbs have any toxic materials inside them?

LED bulbs do not contain the same hazardous materials as CFL bulbs. Due to the electronics inside the bulbs they still need to be disposed of by recycling through the WEEE system.

 

Do LED light bulbs switch on immediately or do they have to warm up?

LED light bulbs do not have any warm up time and switch on immediately to full brightness. LED bulbs do not contain the same hazardous materials as CFL bulbs.

 

Does the level of light produced reduce over the lifetime of the LED bulb?

Yes, the brightness of an LED bulb will reduce over time. L70 is used to describe the point at which the bulb reaches 70% of the original brightness. It is at this point that the bulb is deemed to have reached the end of its life.