1) Lighting Technology
What are LEDs?
LED stands for Light emitting diode, LED lighting is very energy efficient and provides instant light at full brightness when switched on.
What is CFL?
Compact Fluorescent Lamp, also referred to as energy saving light bulbs.
What do ES, BC, SES, SBC stand for?
These are abbreviations for common light bulb bases:
- ES or E27 = Edison Screw
- BC or B22 = Bayonet Cap
- SES or E14 = Small Edison Screw
- SBC or B15 = Small Bayonet Cap
What is the difference between cool-white, day-light and warm-white?
Cool white, daylight and warm white refer to the colour temperature of the light being produced by the LED or globe. Colour temperature is measured in a unit called kelvin (k). The warmer or yellower light has a low kelvin rating (2700k-3200k), whereas the cool white or daylight has a higher kelvin rating (4000k- 6500k).
What is a Lumen?
Lumen is a unit of measurement. It measures the amount of light from a light source.
What is Lux?
Lux is a unit of measurement. It measures the amount of light that falls on an object.
What does CRI stand for?
Colour Rendering Index (CRI) is defined as a light source’s ability to render colour using a number between 0-100. The higher the CRI, the better the light source renders every colour in the visible spectrum. To have what is generally considered good colour rendering, a source must be greater than 90 CRI.
What is a watt?
A watt is a basic unit of electric, mechanical or thermal power. The strength of a light bulb or fitting is measured in watts. A 25w globe uses 25w of power. Light fittings have a maximum wattage that can be used. It is generally on a sticker located near the lamp holder. It is recommended that you do not exceed the maximum wattage in any fitting.
2) Light Globes/Light Bulbs/Lamps
Light bulb types
There are many different types of light globes to suit all kinds of light fittings be they lights on the ceiling, the wall, the table or in the garden.
The most common types of light globes are incandescent, halogen, compact fluorescent or LED.
Incandescent light globes are being phased out and replaced with more energy efficient globes which will lower the cost of your power bill.
Halogen globes are energy reducing and use approx. 30% less power than the incandescent globes. Unfortunately they don’t last very long and have to be replaced frequently.
Compact fluorescent lamps and LED globes are the most efficient lighting option as they consume less power while still providing a good source of light. The benefits of LED globes as opposed to the compact fluorescent is that they turn on instantly whereas fluorescents take a few moments to get to full brightness.
If you are looking for a replacement globe the safest thing to do will be to bring along the light globe with you when you come in for the replacement.
How to select the correct light globe/lamp
When selecting light bulbs for your fittings, it’s important to think about what the light fitting is going to be used for. Is it task lighting; mood lighting; will it be used often? These issues will influence the type of globe you will need. Remember to always stay with the maximum wattage for the fitting so as to not burn out the lamp holder.
If the light is being used often, you could use an LED globe as they provide great light and are energy efficient. If you have a touch lamp or a light with a built in dimmer you will not be able to use a fluorescent globe or most LED globes. You would be well advised to use a halogen globe. You can always seek advice from Milton Lighting if you are unsure as to what type of globe you need.
3) LED Lighting
Should I install or convert to LED?
Yes, converting to LED fittings or globes in your home is an economic step forward. LEDs are very efficient, using much less power than halogen or even fluorescent fittings/globes. If you are renovating or building or just want to retro fit a light globe, LED is the way forward.
Are LED down lights dimmable?
Most LED downlights can be dimmed, however there are a few factors to consider:
- Check the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure they are dimmable.
- Does the LED fitting have a recommended type of dimmer?
- Check how many fittings need to be on the dimming circuit to ensure the minimum load of the dimmer is met.
Important factors to consider when buying LEDs
If you are purchasing LEDs from your builder or an electrician ensure that you have seen a working sample and are happy with the light output. If you have any issues, the warranty will have to be sorted out through the builder or the electrician as they have purchased the products on your behalf. It is important for you to know how they will process your warranty claim.
A few key things to remember when buying LED products are:
- Check the length of the warranty on the fitting, how is the warranty dealt with?
- Can your LED’s be dimmed? If so, do you know what the compatible dimmers are?
- The quality of LEDs does range greatly as can the light output and warranty length.
The most important thing is to see the product before you commit to anything and you take the above factors into account.
Retrofitting LED globes
If you have existing light globes in your home, whether they be halogen, compact fluorescent or incandescent, there may be a suitable LED replacement globe available now.
By simply changing over your light globes you can save money on your power bill, have a globe that requires changing less often and is better for the environment. Just a few things to consider when retro fitting LED globes…
- If your existing lights are on a dimmer, it’s always a good idea to ensure the LED globe is in fact dimmable and whether it’s compatible with your current dimmer. NOT ALL RETROFIT GLOBES ARE DIMMABLE.
- If you are replacing 12v halogen dichroic globes with LEDs it’s always a good idea to ensure your transformer in the ceiling (this runs you’re your existing 12v halogen globe) will also run the LED globes. NOT ALL LED GLOBES WILL RUN WITH ANY TRANSFORMER.
Why do some LED cost more than others?
Like the quality, the cost of LED globes can vary greatly. There can be a number of factors that influence the cost of an LED globe or fitting.
These factors include the quality of the light output, the materials the LED is made from, where and how it has been quality control tested, the length of the warranty and the type of fitting.
The old saying “you get what you pay for” springs to mind with LED globes and fittings. The upfront cost of LEDs can be a little more than we would like but the benefits long term far outweigh the initial cost when a good quality fitting is purchased.
Do LEDs have warranties?
Yes, LED fittings and globes should have a minimum warranty period of 12 months. It is always recommended you check the length of the warranty being offered. The length of the warranty can be a good indicator of the quality of the LED. Some of the LED fittings, stocked at Milton Lighting have a 7 year warranty.
You should always keep your receipt when purchasing LEDs as you will need it if you need to make a warranty claim. We also suggest you ensure you have the name of the installing electrician and their electrical license number.
It is always wise to purchase from a reputable retailer or wholesaler as there are lots of LED products being imported and they may not be been tested thoroughly or have a reliable warranty.