LED Lighting Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Key Features of LED (Light Emitting Diodes)
- Reduce energy consumption over 80% when compared to 35 watt halogen lamps
- Easy to install and replace
- Emit no UV Rays
- Can be dimmed
- Contain no Mercury or other hazardous materials
Key Technical Specifications:
- Power Consumption: Initial 5.8 watts / Stabilized 4.7 watts
- Lamp Life: 30,000 hours up to 70%
- Lumens: Initial 300 / Stabilized 250
- Lumens per Watt: Initial 52 / Stabilized 53
- CRI: ~80
- Color Temperature: 3000°K
- Power Consumption: Initial 5.8 watts / Stabilized 4.7 watts
- Lamp Life: 30,000hrs to 70%
- Color Temperature: 3000°K
- CRI: ~80
- Lumens: Initial 360 / Stabilized 327
- Lumens per Watt: Initial 62 / Stabilized 67
LED Technical Specifications:
What is the difference between the terms Initial and Stabilized?
LEDs work best when the lights are cool. They require a certain level of power to turn them (Initial). They are at the brightest at the Initial moment when they are at the coolest. As they heat up, LEDs produce a slightly lower light output and consume less energy. This is Stabilized. Full stabilization is reached after 30 to 45 minutes.
We publish both the numbers for Initial and Stablized to give the full consumption profile. Many competitors only release data for the Initial phase.
The color variance from fixture to fixture can be dramatic. How much will your LEDs vary from 3000°?
Lighting Science is strict with the process by which it sort the colors into acceptable ranges. We have agreed to 3000° plus/minus 100°. This variance is not typically visible to the human eye.
Will the color of the LED shift over time?
A problem with lesser quality LEDs, due to the phosphor coating degrading, our LEDs should not experience this. Over time a color shift of no more than plus or minus 100° may occur.
What do you mean phosphor coating?
Looking at an LED, a yellow coating surrounding it is visible. This is the phosphor coating. As light waves are emitted by the LED they pass through this phosphor coating and the wave length changes. These changes cause the color of the visible light to change. When first started, the light may be blue but turns white, creating white light from colored LEDs.
What does lamp life of 30,000 hours to 70% mean?
LED technology does not use a filament like an incandescent bulb that suddenly burns out. Rather, the LED slowly degrades over time. So at 30,000 hours of use, the output will be 70%.
Why only 30,000 hours? Some LEDs can last up to 50,000 or even 100,000 hours.
Some LEDs do last up to 50,000 and sometimes even 100,000 hours. However, this depends on how much light output is extracted or in other words, how hard the LEDs are “driven”, and the size of the heat sink (see heat sink below). We could have easily produced LED modules that last 50,000 hours. The 50,000 hour LED modules would not be as bright or fit as easily in our low-voltage pendants and heads. With all technology, there is compromise. 30,000 hours is a very long time. It is important to maximize light output while maintaining a package small enough to work in as many low-voltage fixtures offered.
What about competitors’ fixtures that last 40,000 to 50,000 hours?
Review their product specifications to see how big the fixtures are or what their light output is. It is all about compromise. Make sure to look at the fine print on the LED modules. The popular LED MR16 replacement lamp says 50,000 hours of lamp life. In the fine print it says that it requires adequate ventilation around the housing to guarantee peak performance as well as lifetime expectancy. It is also not recommended for sealed fixtures or recessed fixtures or within small enclosures unless there is cooling or air exchange provided. This fine print means that the lamp is not likely to work for the 40,000 hours in typical applications.
Finally, many manufacturers are not properly testing their fixtures. Instead they rely on claims set forth by the LED chip manufacturers in regards to lamp life. Because a chip has potential to last 50,000 hours doesn’t mean it will last 50,000 hours installed in a fixture. A 50,000 hour LED chip may only last 20,000 hours when used by the homeowner. Lamp life is all about temperature which directly results from how hard you drive the LED as well as the size of the heat sink.
What is a heat sink?
LEDs perform optimally in cool environments. Heat will degrade both the level of light output as well as the lamp life. LEDs themselves do create heat on their own. Heat sink is when the heat is moved away from the LED source. Above our LED pendant are metal fins–these are the heat sink. For our LED heads, the whole head body takes on the role of the heat sink. Heat sinks are typically made of aluminum for its thermal conductive properties.
After the fixture has been on for a period of time, the heat sink feels hot. Why?
As mentioned above, LEDs do create some heat. The heat is not nearly as great as in incandescent fixtures. The heat sink will feel hot when it is doing its job by drawing the heat from the LEDs.
Who develops our LED modules?
Lighting Science Group http://www.lsgc.com/ develops our new LED modules.
Which LED chips are used?
We use Nichia chips, though Citizen creates the overall LED package that is used.
LED Lamp Replacement
Can I replace the LED Lamp Module?
Yes, replacing an LED module is as easy as changing a regular lightbulb.
What is the warranty on LEDs
We have a 3 year warranty on all LED products. We print our website and batch date on all of our LED lamp modules. Our customers can reference the correct set of modules. This will be helpful also should we experience problems with a batch in the future.
Is there a replacement parts list available?
Not yet. We will be working on the list shortly.
Can I use a LED Head Module in LED Pendants for more downlight?
No. The heat sinks are designed specifically for each module. It may be possible to accommodate custom design requests to create a downlight punch using a head body in the pendant.
If one of the LEDs fails, will the complete LED module fail?
Before shipping we burn the LEDs for a period of 24 hours to burn them in. Faults in an LED typically fail in the first 24 hours. We use a series of micro LEDs in the modules. Should one LED fail, only that series should be affected. This may not be noticeable depending on the glass. If this happens in the first 3 years, it will be covered by our warranty and will be replaced at no charge to you the customer.
Power Supplies or Transformers
Please refer to the LED section of the catalog to identify compatible LED transformers.
Do LED fixtures require special power supplies?
Our LED systems do require a transformer just like our low voltage systems. All of our current Magnetic transformers work with our LED fixtures. Also, we have added a new 75 watt magnetic transformer as most LED systems do not require 150 watt or 300 watt transformers.
We do not recommend the use of our existing Electronic transformers for our LED fixtures. We are introducing new electronic transformers instead. We have incorporated the new electronic transformers into our various FJ and surface canopy options. In general we have new 10 watt electronic transformers for our FJ fixtures as well as new 60 watt and 100 watt transformers for use with multiple fixtures.
Can LED systems be used with a dimmer?
Yes, if a magnetic low-voltage dimmer that has a magnetic transformer is used or an electronic low- voltage dimmer having an electronic transformer. Currently, the magnetic transformers should be able to dim close to 0%. The current 10 watt electronic transformer only dims down to about 30%. We are incorporating a change to the LED modules and their transformers so in the future all electronic transformers, including the 10, 60, and 100 watt, should all dim to close to 0%.
Would you recommend a magnetic or electronic transformer?
The choice of transformer is a personal preference. Some people think magnetic transformers are more reliable, but the electronic versions have made advances in reliability recently. When dimming, the magnetic transformers go to nearly 0% very smoothly. We expect new electronic transformers to perform almost equally as well. LED systems that utilize magnetic transformers do appear slightly more dim then those used with electronic transformers. A side by side comparison between the two types of transformers is barely noticeable.
Do these LED fixtures work with both AC and DC currents? If yes, how?
Yes, our LED modules do work with either AC or DC current. Some of the new LEDs can work utilizing direct AC power. However, most require DC power as well. There is a driver on board the LED module that regulates incoming AC power. Think of it as smoothing out the current so it works with our LEDs.
What is the minimum load for using LED fixtures?
Our LED systems require very little in terms of load. It is best to refer to our catalog section for fixtures and their loads. In general terms, a run shouldn’t require much more than a few or a couple of LED fixtures.
Can LED and Halogen fixtures be used on the same run?
Yes. However, please continue to use only LED compatible transformers or a magnetic transformer.
What is the maximum run length?
We have found very little voltage drop in long run LED fixtures, unlike Halogen lights. In testing a 100 foot monorail with fifty fixtures on it there was a zero voltage drop when a single 300 watt transformer was used on one end of the run. In our catalog we recommend a maximum 100 foot run when using a single transformer. A longer run might be possible but is not recommended by us.
Why not just use an LED MR16 replacement lamp?
There have been dramatic improvements in these lamps, but there is still one insurmountable limitation: the size cannot be much bigger than the Halogen MR16 lamp. The LED MR16 replacement lamp has a very small heat sink. Compared with LED heads, the whole head acts as a heat sink so you can use much higher wattage LEDs, driving them harder for maximum light output. There are applications in which an LED MR16 replacement lamp might work just as fine. We do recommend this for use in our low-voltage fixtures as another option.
Can a LED Pendant Module be used as a custom LED sconce?
Yes. For further information, please refer to quotes for this type of request.
Can LEDs be used on Ttrak?
Yes. Use a Ttrak FreeJack Connector for LEDs.