Where and how are LED lights used?
LED lighting is rapidly gaining popularity. Here are just a few examples of its many uses:
Business owners value LED’s ability to showcase their products with high quality white light. Whether in a grocery store, a clothing store, or a jewelry store, LED’s renowned ability to reproduce accurately virtually any colour makes it invaluable in showcasing products. Service providers also profit from LED’s ability to represent colour accurately. When applying nail and hair colouring, for example, aestheticians and hair stylists benefit from LED’s ability to produce colours as they appear in outdoor light. As a result, clients and stylists alike can be confident that the look in the salon will carry over into everyday life.
And all businesses, whether product- or service-oriented, benefit from LED’s much lower total cost of light – the result of power savings of up to 85 percent and virtually maintenance-free light.
Commercial and Residential Property Management
Owners and operators of commercial and multi-dwelling residential buildings (apartments, condominiums) are required to light stairwells, hallways, parking lots, and other common areas at all times. These areas are ideal for LED upgrades, because the continuous operation of light emphasizes the benefit of LED’s low power consumption.
The introduction of warm white LED lamps and luminaires has broadened considerably the settings in which LED lights are suitable. Coupled with their radically improved dimming capability, LEDs are rapidly becoming the standard for restaurant and lounge lighting. The lighting and accent effects possible with RGB LEDs also make their use in this setting increasingly common.
LED offers numerous benefits in the health care setting. As organizations facing increasing budgetary pressure, the cost savings inherent in LED lighting are especially appealing. And in clinics, procedure rooms, and operating rooms, LED’s very high colour rendering ability ensures doctors have the light they need to treat their patients safely.
Governments increasingly recognize the need to minimize energy waste. LED can certainly help. Since most government and public buildings must have at least part of their lighting on at all times, LED is an obvious choice. LED street lights are becoming increasingly common, too. Again, their lower power consumption makes them an attractive and economical alternative to conventional street lighting.
Homeowners are increasingly conscious of the cost of lighting their homes. And no one wants to waste time going to the store to buy a new bulb every couple of months. LED makes those trips a thing of the past and gives homeowners the means of enjoying dramatic power savings in the process. Whether in pot lights, task lights, cable lights, or floor lamps, there is an LED replacement for any residential light.
Why should I switch to LED lights?
Switching to LED lighting has several benefits. Here are the main ones:
- Greatly reduced energy costs. LED lights can reduce your lighting-related hydro bill by up to 85 percent.
- Lower total cost of light ownership. Light ownership cost is a function of three things: power cost, lamp (bulb) replacement cost, and maintenance costs (to replace the lamps). Since LEDs operate for tens of thousands of hours, they work for years without replacement or maintenance. This stands in stark contrast to other light sources, many of which operate for only a few thousand hours. As a result, LED lights are virtually maintenance free. This, coupled with their much lower power consumption, makes their total cost of ownership lower than that of conventional light sources.
- The environment. LEDs consume much less power with much lower greenhouse gas emissions. LED lights last far longer than conventional lights, so fewer lamps end up in landfill. And LED lights contain no mercury. Three good reasons why LEDs are truly a green lighting alternative.
- No UV light. Unlike other most other light sources, LED lights do not emit UV light. UV light damages artwork and increases the risk of skin cancer and cataracts.
I’ve heard of LED lights that stop working within weeks or months. If LED lights are so supposed to last years, why does this happen, and how will LPI ensure it doesn’t happen to me?
Not all LED lights are created equal. And with new LED manufacturers popping up by the week, each proclaiming its products the best, buyers must buy with caution. LED lights can fail for a number of reasons. Two of the more common are inadequate heat dissipation and poor quality drivers. LPI selects lights constructed from only the finest components and which employ tested, proven technologies for delivering steady states of current and for dissipating heat. LPI also scrutinizes product test data to ensure the manufacturer’s claims about its products have been independently verified using established testing standards. Taken together, these measures ensure the LED products we recommend will deliver the light you need reliably for years to come.
How does LPI select its LED lights?
LPI assesses a potential lamp or luminaire according to rigorous criteria. These criteria include:
- Heat sink technology. Heat is the enemy of LED lights. Excessive heat within the diode can affect the colour of the light produced and cause premature diode failure. LPI therefore places a premium on high quality heat sink design when evaluating prospective LED lights. This is why LPI features Aeon Lighting Technology’s lamps, the heat sinks of which are made of metals that conduct heat away from the diode and also possess large surface areas to aid heat dissipation. In contrast, some LED lamp manufacturers employ miniature fans as heat sinks. LPI is not a proponent of this approach because the fan draws power, generates noise, and often fails prematurely.
- Component quality. An LED light’s quality depends on the quality of its components, especially the heat sink, the diode itself, and the light source’s driver. LPI carefully scrutinizes product information to ensure only components from the industry’s leaders make their way into the products we offer you.
- Reputation. LPI works only with manufacturers with impeccable reputations for producing high-quality LED lights and controls.
- Product certification. LPI’s products are certified either by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Underwriters Laboratory (UL), or ETL Testing Laboratories (ETL). These certifications are validations of our products’ quality and safety.
- Product awards. Third party recognition is a marker of product excellence. This is certainly the case with Aeon Lighting Technology’s MR16, twice the winner of the coveted Red Dot design award.
- Independent test results. Manufacturers’ claims about their products must be validated by authorized independent evaluators. This is especially true of claims relating to product life span. Industry-accepted test standards exist for evaluating lamp and luminaire lifespan and light output. LPI will not offer you a product without first having reviewed this data.
How long will it take to recover the cost of switching to LED?
This period of time is called the project’s payback period. It refers to the time required for your savings using LED lights (which result primarily from lower energy consumption) to equal their cost. Your project’s payback period depends on a number of variables. These include how much you pay for electricity and replacement lamps, and the number of hours per day your lights are on. In our experience, most lamp replacement projects pay for themselves in 12 to 18 months. Industrial projects involving luminaire replacements (metal halide and high pressure sodium) tend to have payback periods of three to five years. Our retrofit programs