What to look for in LED lighting

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LED lighting is fast becoming popular and great outcomes can be achieved in terms of electricity savings and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, but buyers should be aware of certain factors when considering an LED purchase decision.

LED Colour

Home owners looking to retrofit LEDs into existing fixtures typically want to obtain the same look and feel as their existing lamps.

A true warm white colour will range from between 2700K to 3000K (K = kelvin), however cheaper LED lamps tend to just say “warm white” and the colour of the light turns out to be a thick yellow with a mix of green; so be aware of LED globes that do not list a colour temperature.

LED Output

There are many LED lamps on the market today that claim to replace 50W halogens or 60W incandescents, but only a certain few actually do.

Cheaper LED manufacturers often exaggerate what their LED product’s light output is, and in some cases, they can achieve a reasonable output for the same power rating as a quality LED globe…. but at what cost?

Quality LED lights are lucky to achieve 75 lumens per watt in an incandescent warm white, whilst cheaper priced LED lights often boast up to and above 100 lumens per watt.

The warm white color of a burning filament in traditional lighting is hard to achieve using LED but one way of increasing the output of a LED is to use a higher color temperature LED chip and changing the color output of the lamp.

So you really need to ask yourself how they can achieve this when these products are cheaper?

LED Light Quality

Traditional globes are very good at reproducing the color of an object compared to natural sunlight. Quality LED globes can also achieve a similar light quality, but once again, be aware of cheaper LED lamps that do not specify the color quality (CRI/Ra).

Low light quality LED chips can make objects look dull and off color whilst in some cases it can also cause eye strain.

What to look for

When searching for your LED lighting, consider a lamp that has a high color rendering index of 75 and above, maintains a high efficacy of 65 lumens per watt and above, and has the exact color temperature you want.

Quality LED lighting providers should always specify the lumen output, colour temperature and light quality (CRI), without these important details, a bulb you purchase could have you end up looking like the green goblin.

Doing your bit for the environment by choosing more energy efficient lightingdoesn’t mean you need to sacrifice light quality!

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