LED Lights In The home

The event the event of LED technology continues the LED manufacturers have achieved the magical 100 lumens per watt of light output for the LED making it “suitable” to be used in domestic lighting applications. In lately of high energy costs it will be important that all of us try to save energy and a method of achieving this is the use of high output, low energy consumption LED lights.

The main features of LEDs when used in lighting are that the minimum amount of electrical power is used to create the maximum light output and the minimum amount of heat. Conventional lamps use a lot of power to create light and heat at the identical time. With LEDs there is no such thing as a ultra violet (UV), infra red (IR) and minimal forward projected heat. Compare this to the 35W halogen lamp pushing out around 500-600 lumens of light and vast amounts of forward heat, you wouldn’t need to touch one whereas an equivalent in LED may use around 8 watts of electrical power which gives a substantial saving on energy consumed. How many times have you been in a shop that has hundreds of halogen lamps for display purposes giving out masses of heat and the staff have the air conditioning at maximum to eliminate the heat in the shop. Using LEDs would significantly reduce the quantity of energy consumed and likewise reduce the necessity for the air conditioning to be up at high levels giving another saving in energy consumption. There are savings to be made both in the commercial and domestic environments.

When i first became involved with LED lighting in 2001, the light output of the LED in cool white was around 20 lumen per watt and as stated above it has now reached 100 lumen per watt in cool white. The range of white LEDs available now includes cool, neutral and warm white with colour temperatures starting from 2700 to 8000+ k giving significant options for use in domestic application comparable to kitchens. The use of RGB (Red, Green, Blue) colour changing LED light units also enables the usage of mood lighting in other living areas reminiscent of TV rooms, home cinema rooms and bedrooms.

The range of LEDs on the market include small surface mount componets operating at 20mA through to high output LEDs comparable to Luxeon or Cree operating from 350 to around 2000A. These units are usually operating in the region of 1 to 3 watts per LED. The sums are fairly simple at 1W the LED in cool white gives out approximately 100 lumens of light and the usage of multiple LEDs in light units makes high lumen output units available to check with 35 or 50W halogen units which we see in everyday use.

LED strip lights with excellent outputs can be found to be used in areas where discreet lighting is required resembling under cabinet lighting in kitchens and replacement LED lamps can be found to replace conventional “bulbs”. I’ve installed LED strips in my kitchen at home and I have high output cool white strips under my wall cupboards shining down onto the work surfaces and a series of Cyan strips above the wall cupboards which can be use to create a mood lighting scene in the on evening. The total energy consumption for all of those strips is lower than 40W.The number of lamps and accessories is developing week by week.

A number of the features to check when in search of LED light units is the operating voltage, the lumen/light output, the drive current required, the IP rating that shows if the unit is suitable for internal or external use, driver or transformer requirement and compatibility with existing lamp housings or power supplies if choosing replacement bulbs.

The control of LED lighting, especially colour change systems may be achieved using many of the control systems available in the marketplace at the present time. These include simple push button or rotating switch controls through to wall mounted digital display units, some with infra red remote control. In this area you do get what you pay for.

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