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- 240VAC LED bulbs come in two fittings, the Bayonet (twist lock) and Edison (screw lock) base.
- 240VAC Spot Lights come in GU10 two pin (twist lock) and the Edison (screw lock) base.
- Low voltage 12V Spot Lights come in a two pin MR16 GU5.3 base.
- Specialist style 240VAC Candle LED Bulbs come in E14 Edison (screw lock) base.
There are four main design factors that determine LED lifetime and system performance.
OPTICAL DESIGN LEDs are a directional light source, meaning they emit light in a single direction. Through carefully designed reflectors and lenses, light is directed only where it is needed, minimizing wasted light and energy.
MECHANICAL DESIGN Because LEDs last for years, the materials and construction of an LED system are critical for lifetime performance. Careful mechanical engineering protects the LED system from corrosion and humidity to ensure long service life.
THERMAL DESIGN Excess heat causes reduced life and color shift in LEDs. With effective thermal management, heat is dissipated, thereby improving LED performance.
ELECTRICAL DESIGN Electrical design determines the LED lifespan, light output and color control of the LED system. Precise engineering ensures the right amount of electricity is delivered to the LED chip, enabling consistent, long-lasting LED system performance.
The other determining factor when choosing an LED bulb is the Beam or Illumination angle. As LEDs are directional, the design of the bulb will determine how the light generated is delivered. CFL and Halogen bulbs radiate light omni-directionally (in all directions) while Spot Lights produce a beam of light. Early LED bulbs only produced light in an illumination angle of 180 degrees however new designs now produce an almost omni-directionally illumination between 270 and 330 degrees.
The Beam Angle is typically measured at the point the light level is reduced to half the centre point level of illumination.
Efficacy is a term used to describe the efficiency of a lighting product. This is measured in LPW (Lm/W), or lumens per watt. The higher the efficacy, the more efficiently the bulb turns energy into light and the more economical (and cheaper) the bulb is to run. To determine the efficacy of a lamp, divide the lumen output of the lamp by the watts consumed. For example:-
- A 60W Incandescent bulb with 840 lumens illumination and has an efficacy of 14 LPW.
- A 10 W LED bulb with 840 lumens illumination and has an efficacy of 84 LPW.
Colour temperature (or Correlated Colour Temperature, CCT) is a number indicating the degree of yellowness or blueness of a white light source. Measured in Kelvin, CCT represents the temperature an incandescent object (like a filament) must reach to mimic the color of the lamp.
- Yellowish-white (warm) sources have color temperatures in the 2500K-3000K range
- Natural white sources have temperatures in the 3000K-5000K range
- Blue-white (cool) sources have temperatures in the 5000K-6000K range
The higher the colour temperature the whiter, or bluer, the light will be.
The Colour rendering index (CRI) rates a light source’s ability to render colours in a natural way, based on a scale from 0 to 100. In general, light sources with high CRI (80-100) will make people and things look better than those with lower CRIs . You should select LED lights with a CRI greater than 75 for all interior lighting applications.
The question of “turn them off or let them burn” is a common one in lighting. Since there is no surge involved in the starting of any residential bulb, the answer is “if you are not using them, turn them off.” The cost of operating a light bulb is the wattage consumed while lighted thus the general answer is turn them off.
High intensity discharge lamps (rarely found in indoor household applications) and Fluorescent lamps have different operating needs. If you have a Fluorescent lamp, the general rule is to turn the lamp off unless you are going to need it again within fifteen minutes. Frequent cycling, turning on and off for short periods of time can reduce the life of a Fluorescent lamp. LED lamps are instant ON and there is no restriction to the number of times it is cycled.
Quality of light is determined by the relationship between the color temperature of the light, and the color rendering index. The color temperature indicates the appearance created by the light source. The higher the colour temperature, the “cooler” the colour.
Typically, colour temperatures of 2000K -3000K create a warm (yellow) appearance; above 4000K are cool (blue) in appearance. Between 3000K and 4000K are considered intermediate and tend to be preferred.
The Power Factor (PF) is simply the relationship between the active and reactive power drawn by the bulb and is a measure of whether the bulb’s power supply voltage and current are ‘in phase’. If a LED bulb power supply is 100% efficient (ie if no reactive power is present) its power factor (PF) is 1 or unity. The PF is expressed as a ratio of the useful power compared to the total power drawn from the electricity mains. The amount of power drawn from the mains, and not used used by the bulb to produce light output, is wasted and represents a loss of efficiency of the LED Bulb.
A poor PF also affects the transmission of power from the power station and results in additional costs for the electricity supplier. The power station must generate more power, and greenhouse gasses, to offset these power transmission losses. The electricity distribution network must also be built to meet the low PF effect and these costs are ultimately passed on to the customer.
The cause of a poor LED bulb power supply, and low PF value, is due to the inductive components in the driver circuitry. At Budget Lighting Solutions we strive to supply LED lighting with high PF values and use the revolutionary direct AC-LED driverless lighting technology wherever they are suitable for a lighting design. We advise that you choose LED products with a PF greater than 0.9 wherever possible to ensure the best outcomes for the environment and the best value of your purchase.
A light-emitting diode, or LED, is a compound semiconductor device that converts electricity into light. One or more LEDs, combined with a driver, housing and other components create a complete LED system. Today’s lighting LEDs use up to 80% less energy to produce the same light output as an Incandescent or Halogen filament bulb. They provide better light with less energy.
A standard 50W Halogen bulb turns 90% of its energy into waste heat leaving only 10% of its energy to turn into visible light. By comparison, LED lights provide up to 85% light output. The significant reduction in operating temperature also greatly reduces the demands on air-conditioning systems providing further energy savings. Dimmable LED lights offer tailored light requirements and further reduce energy usage.
The lifespan of the LED is one of its greatest features and they can function for up to 80,000 hours. The LED can last up to 8 to 10 times longer than a Halogen and 4 to 5 times longer than a Fluorescent. Maintenance costs are reduced as LED lights may not need replacement for 10 years. LEDs have a slow ‘failure’ and generally fail by dimming slowly over time. The lifetime of a LED is measured at the point the light output reaches 70% of the original value (C70).
- LEDs are solid state components and are highly resistant to shock and vibration.
- LED products have quick full light turn-on.
- LED products have excellent cold weather performance and will operate reliability at low temperatures where a CFL may not start.
Incandescent Halogen bulbs are only available in Warm colours. LEDs (and CFL) give you a range of colour options from Warm, Natural and Cool which can be useful to meet the desired Ambiance required in certain applications.
- LED products have a low operating temperature and virtually eliminate any fire risk in your Home or Office. They run much cooler to touch and do not cause burns when handled.
- LED products conform to the RoHS standards and do not contain any Hazardous Substances like Lead and Mercury.
- LED products are totally recyclable and do not require any special disposal requirements. For environmental consideration they should not be placed with household waste.
You can directly replace a 240V GU10 Halogen bulb with a LED bulb and note that the LED bulb requires an airflow to dissipate heat from its heatsink. Most downlight fittings will provide sufficient airflow but ensure that the LED bulbs are not to be used in totally enclosed fittings.
The 12V MR16 Halogen replacements are a bit more complicated. These 12V Halogen bulbs are typically 50W and are driven from a 240V to 12V transformer which has typically an operating load range from 20W to 60W. If you replace the 50W (or 35W) Halogen bulb with a compatible brightness LED (around 6W) it will not draw the minimum amount of load current and the transformer will not operate reliably. You will either need to have an Licensed Electrician wire at least 4 LED bulbs to the one old Halogen transformer to meet it’s minimum load current requirement or replace the transformer with a new lower power transformer.
As your existing 12V Halogen transformer and the Halogen fitting are already aged it is a wiser choice to ask your Electrician to replace the whole Halogen unit with one of our direct connect Dimmable 240V 6W AC- LED Downlight and Gimbal Unit and retire all the old Halogen light parts.
If you currently have dimmers installed, or you are going to install a dimmer, check out our Q&A on using dimmers with LED lights.
Not all LED lights are dimmable and you should check on the box to verify that they are dimmable. It is recommended that you use Trailing Edge Dimmers with dimmable LED lights for maximum control range and stability. Most dimmers that have been previously been installed for Halogen control will be Leading Edge Dimmers and they will most likely not be compatible with the modern LED driver technology.
Before selecting a dimmer for a 6W to 10W bulb check the dimmer has a minimum 5W load capability. Check out our recommended Trailing Edge Dimmers in the Accessories section which have been tested with our dimmable LEDs.
Home owners are permitted to replace any light bulb which does not involve the direct connection to mains electrical wiring. Permitted replacements include B22, E14, E27, MR16 and GU10 bulbs.
The installation or replacement of wired Dimmers, MR16 Drivers, Gimbal Spotlights or Downlights must be carried out by licensed electricians in accordance to the Australian Wiring Rules. Incorrect wiring can result in damage to the fittings and can cause serious personal injury or electrocution. All metal Gimbal Spotlights or Downlight fittings must be connected to mains earth.
The switch to LED lighting provides the opportunity to significantly reduce electrical energy consumption, users energy costs and also reduce the generation of Greenhouse Gasses. The burning of the Fossil Fuels of Coal and Oil has been proved to be a significant player in the generation of Greenhouse Gasses and is contributing to Global Warming.
The energy density of coal, i.e. its heating value, is roughly 24 megajoules per kilogram (approximately 6.7 kilowatt-hours per kg). For a coal power plant with a 40% efficiency, it takes an estimated 325 kg (717 lb) of coal to power a 100 W lightbulb for one year. An equivalent 10W LED bulb will reduce this by 80% to 65 kg.
By the year 2030, the US Department of Energy estimates LED lighting could save approximately 190 TERRAWATT HOURS OF ELECTRICITY per year, which is equivalent to the annual output of 24 LARGE POWER PLANTS (1000 MW), enough electricity to power 95 MILLION HOMES and at today’s prices $15 BILLION IN SAVINGS.
The choice of colour temperature is a very personal choice. As a guide, choose Warm colours for relaxing areas like Bedrooms, Halls and Lounge rooms. Choose Cool colours where you are working such as Kitchens, Bathrooms and the Workshop.
If you are only going to use one colour, use a Natural 4000K which will be suitable for all areas.
Artwork and Photographs display better with Natural and Cooler colours. Retail shops use Cool colours to display their merchandise to its best appearance.
The power consumed by a bulb is measured in Watts (W). You pay for the energy you use in KWh which is the amount of 1000 Watt units used per hour. A 100W Halogen bulb will use one tenth (1/10) of a KWh in one hour. If you energy cost is $0.30 per KWh it will cost you $0.03 per hour to run the 100W bulb. Based on the average use of a lamp being 1,000 hours a year, an assumption of 3 burning hours per day, your 100W Halogen bulb will cost $30 per year to run.
Generally a LED bulb will use one eighth (1/8) of the power (and cost) of an Incandescent Halogen bulb and around half (1/2) the power of a Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL).
For example, as a general guide comparing LED to Halogen bulbs:
- 3W bulb is equivalent to a 25W
- 5W bulb is equivalent to a 40W
- 8W bulb is equivalent to a 60W
- 10W bulb is equivalent to a 75W
- 12W bulb is equivalent to a 100W
Comparisons based only on wattage can be misleading and the European Commission recommends that you use the light output of the bulb which is measured in Lumens.