LED, LED Downlight, LED Retrofit, LED Troffer....What Does It All Mean?
Versatile Applications Of LED Lighting
With LED technology catching on like it has recently many people are considering it for new and remodel lighting projects. It's extremely low energy consumption and higher CRI output make LED look very appealing.
Let's look at where it makes sense to use LED.
LED Is Cool!
Actually it works best in cooler environments. LED itself does produce some heat which is why reputable manufacturers spend a lot of money on their heat sink R&D.
Led works best in temperatures up to 40-50C(104-122F), sustained operation at ambient temperatures higher than that will have 2 results.
Those 2 results with either diminished life of the LED, or death of the LED.
Where Is LED Usable?
LED lighting can be used virtually anywhere.
- Recessed lighting
- Exterior accent and area lighting
- Freezers and food coolers
- Parking lots
- LED tubes in 2X4 fixtures
- Industrial explosion proof lighting
- In the lamp next to your chair
They work....practically anywhere.
Manufacturers are designing fixtures and lamps for almost any scenario.
What are the limits of LED lighting?
No lighting technology fits EVERY application unfortunately. As stated earlier ambient temperature is one consideration.
Other factors to consider would be the fixture wattage it's replacing. When you start dealing with high wattage HID lighting you have to be careful. I have yet to see an LED fixture that will go head to head with 400 and 1,000 what HID.
Rabb Lighting has some very good economical HID parking lot lighting that replaces up to 250WMH fixtures. Looking at the data I can honestly say that they would work.
But don't replace your 400 or 1,000WMH and think that they will compete.....because they won't!
Another consideration is cost. I am not in R&D so I have no idea what it costs to produce an LED product but compared to other lighting technology LED is more expensive.
This gets offset by it's extremely low power consumption and minimal maintenance costs, but only to a point. Most people when looking into investing in lighting upgrades look at payback, more specifically they like to see 2 years or less.
Just be aware that the initial costs of LED is more than other lighting technologies. It's best to have an open mind and bigger picture with LED lighting, with 100,000 hour life ratings you need to look at savings over the life of the system!
Learn more about life of lighting systems by reading How to Calculate the Lifetime Return on Energy Efficient Investments
Can LED Get Even Better?
"developed a new way to manufacturer an LED light that produces a light that is brighter, has a better quality, is more energy efficient, and saves more money than its competitors on the market."
The new LED technology is discussed in an article written by blogger Katie Fehrenbacher called Startup Soraa unveils game changing next-gen LED light.
For the applications LED won't work in, it looks like technology will eventually catch up and fill those gaps.
How Do You Know If LED Right For You?
Chances are that LED lighting has a place in your new installation or remodel. Use it for LED downlighting, LED retrofits, and new installations. The guidelines above are a great place to get started.
Just remember, LED May NOT work in all applications. Take the time and utilize a qualified contractor and lighting designer to help minimize any problems in upcoming projects.
(picture provided by www.prolighting.com)