LED Learning Center

ALL ABOUT LED LIGHTS

 

Lights are a huge part of our lives in modern society.  Everything seems to be lit in some fashion or another.  We notice different kinds and types of electronic devices each day that emit or provide us with light. One of these are LEDs. LEDs stand for light emitting or semiconducting diodes. These are electronic devices that allow the current to only flow in a unidirectional manner.  LED Light Expert sells all kinds of LED lights, so we wanted to take some time to educate you on LEDs. 

 

HOW DO THEY WORK?

LEDs do not use filaments nor do they get heated up like normal light bulbs do. The diodes are arranged in a way as to form a P-N junction, with the P side containing holes or positive charges, and the ON side containing electrons or negative charge. When a certain amount of voltage is applied to the circuit, the electrons from the N area move towards the P area or the holes and as the both combine and interact at the junction, energy is released in the form of light. This emitted light is the light we see coming from LEDs.

 

BUT WHY CHOOSE LED?

As time has progressed, incandescent lights have become a thing of the faraway, distant past. With their high power consumption and low efficiency, better and more innovative alternatives have been introduced, such as CFLs and LEDs. but the question still remains, CFL or LED? Our answer is simple: LED Light Bulbs trump everyone. The prices are getting affordable with each passing day, they last much longer and can also be used with dimmer switches. This makes LEDs the primary choice when choosing bulbs. 

 

Several different models of LEDs are available in the market today and deciding on which one to buy can become a feat. therefore, it helps if you have a certain criteria in mind when selecting one, for example, how much estimated brightness do you require, if you want a warm or a cool light, whether you would like a dimmable LED, or if you need a 3-way bulb. 

 

TECHNICAL THINGS TO CONSIDER:

 

Luminous Flux

Luminous flux or Lumens is the actual light output and the most important thing to consider when buying LED Lights.  Figure out how many lumens you need first and then buy watts accordingly.  Technically Luminous flux is the power or energy that radiates per second in all directions from a light emitting body is called the luminous flux and its SI Unit is lumen (lm).

 

• Lux (lx) / Foot Candle power

Lux is the SI Unit of luminous emittance. It measures the recorded luminous flux per unit area of a certain life source. Foot Candle is also a unit used to measure the illuminance or intensity of visible light, but it does not belong to the System International.

 

 

 

• Correlated Color Temperature (CCT)

Correlated color temperature can be defined as specifying the color appearance of a light emitted by a light source and relating it to the color of light emitted from a standard or reference source when it is heated to a certain temperature. The temperature is to be measured in degrees Kelvin.  It gives an indication of an LED’s general appearance.

 

The list looks like this;

 

2700K – Very warm color – high brownish tint

3000K – Warm white – medium brownish tint

4000K – Neutral or Natural White – some brownish tint

5000K – Bright white - Pure white, no brown.  Our most popular color for larger applications from garage lights up to industrial like LED Street Lights or LED Wall Pack Lights. 

5500K – Bright white/Daylight- Adds blue to closer mimic daylight.  Light however can be harsh to the eyes.   For this reason, we do not sell any regular lights above 5000K.  The AMA has recommended that the blue spectrum can even cause health issues.

6000K – Adds heavier blue to the light spectrum.  Not typically used or recommended in regular lighting.

 

 

• Color Rendering Index (CRI)

When comparing how a certain light source makes a color appear to the human eye as compared to a reference light source, and we use a scale of 0 to 100 maximum in order to determine how accurately the given source renders the color to the standard one, then it is called Color Rendering Index.  For most fixtures, like LED Wall Packs or LED Parking Lot Lights Typically, 70+ is considered good.   80+ is great and 90+ is Excellent. 

 

• Luminous Efficacy (lumen/watt)

Luminous efficacy basically describes how well a light source, such as an LED, radiates light. It can be calculated using the ratio between luminous flux to power, and hence is measured in lumen per Watt as its SI unit.

 

 

• Lumen Maintenance

Lumen maintenance is defined as amount of luminous flux remaining in the light source during a time of working or operation. It uses percentages to determine and compare the luminous flux when it is brand new to the luminous flux it will have in the future after constant use.   If LEDs lose all of their light output over time, then they are not the value we think they are.   LED Light Expert goes to great lengths to ensure our LEDs have high lumen maintenance to ensure 20+ years of use. 

 

• THD Total Harmonic distortion

Total Harmonic Distortion is basically defined as ‘the ratio of the sum of the powers of all harmonic components to the power of the fundamental frequency.’ in easier words, it is the sum of all and any harmonic distortion present in the system. It is used as a means to determine the power quality of certain electronic systems such as LEDs.

 

• 0-10volt; Dimming using 12 volt low voltage wires.

A 0-10-volt dimming is electronic lighting control signaling system where the control DC signal varies between 0 to 10 volts.

 

In order to use this system there are 2 control wires in the driver.   They run on low voltage 12 volt and you need to run those wiring back to your switch.   You will need to purchase a 0-10volt dimmer.  By doing this, however, you can dim high wattages very easily.   Like some of our LED High Bay Lights where you might have 1000 watts on one power block.    

 

By selecting the correct dimming range for your product, you can save energy at a 1:1 ratio and maximize your savings. While LEDs are cost effective as it is, you can save even more by dimming them.


SUMMARY

 

LEDs are amazing inventions and changing how we use energy and light every day.  With light being a constant in our lives, it’s important to understand how LED lights work and what to look for when buying.  Whether it is an everyday LED bulb for your kitchen or an E39 LED Bulb for an industrial application, you need to be educated and we are here to help.  It is better to be informed than to go in the market blank and end up regretting what you purchase.