LED lights

You are currently browsing the archive for the LED lights category.

LED tube lights use approximately half the electricity used by a fluorescent tube – and that should be very appealing to anyone paying the bills! BUT… the problem is that until recently, the cost of the tube has been so high that the savings do not cover the purchase price within the life of the tube.

All that has changed as the cost of the tubes has halved in less than six months due to increased volumes and new technology that sees more than 100 lumens per watt being emitted.

These supplier price decreases mean that our tubes are now well priced and can fully return their purchase price within three years of purchase and this leaves a full additional three years of savings.

It is time now for office managers to start thinking about the change to LED tube lights. Not only will you save money, but you will reduce maintenance costs because unlike fluorescent lights that last 4000 hours, LED tubes go for 30-50000 hours. Oh, let’s not forget you’ll be halving your lighting carbon footprint! Take a look at our LED tube light offering here.



Tags: , , , , , ,

The good news for consumers is that the price of LED lights is headed in the right direction – downwards. The one type of LED lighting that we have been waiting to see come down in price is the LED tube. These fluorescent tube replacements are only 50% as energy efficient as the fluorescent tubes they replace so the cost dynamics are really less in their favour than downlights where a 3W LED can replace a 35W halogen light.

So, to see prices on an 18W tube fall from US$27 down to US$18 is gratifying. It means that breakeven timing will fall into a more reasonable time period and make these lights an option. At the same time, the latest ESKOM electricity price hike is also helping to make even a 50% energy saving more attractive to the relatively high cost of the LED tube light.

To make matters even better, consider the newer high power LEDs which are putting out more lumens and that means we can go down to 16W and still get the same light output as a 36W fluorescent tube.

It’s time to think about LED tube lights for home and office applications. Remember also that you’ll be doing your bit for carbon saving as you’ll reduce CO2 emissions by half while we drop our prices to help you do this.



Tags: , , , , ,

Who would have thought that we’d be holding a 20W LED replacement bulb in our hands in 2012? Well we are, and thanks to LED light manufacturer TESS, we have the first 2000 lumen output bulb that easily matches a 125 watt incandescent bulb. Similar in size to a normal incandescent bulb, the secret of this bulb is a 100 lumen per watt LED luminous output system and an advanced thermal dissipation technology that includes vents and a small internal fan that shunts hot air out of the casing. Pretty neat!

Longevity? Well lumen decay is good, and 70% of the original lumen output is maintained at 40000 hours. Our only concern here is the longevity of the electronics in a bulb putting out serious light. That said, the colour rendering index is as expected – around 70, and with CE, UL and FCC certifications, you are fairly certain of a well designed product.

No one is talking about cost and while that may be the least pretty part of the equation, the product is likely to gain ground quickly. Everite are expecting a 60W replacement to dip below US$10 in latter 2012, so who knows what this bulb will cost. Our guess, US$19-24.

All in, impressive and the sign of things to come in 2012

TESS 20W led light wil change lighting

TESS 20W LED Light




Tags: , , ,

What a joy to be in the same room with the world’s foremost experts on LED technology at the LED Forum held recently in Guanzhou, China (February 2012). They were all there – CREE, Philips, OSRAM, GE…. and all were upbeat about prospects for LED lighting in the year ahead. Great technological strides have been made and product upgrades are imminent for most of these manufacturers. Current lumen output per watt (l/w) will rise to well over 100l/watt in production led lights from the current average of less than 80l/w. That is good news, but it gets better with significant reductions in the cost per lumen too. Take CREE for example – the cost of their technology is less than 10% today of what it was 6 years ago. At the same time lumens per watt have increased from less than 50 to over 100 today. Extraordinary! It’s much the same for Philips,  Osram and GE.

This all bodes well for the adoption of the technology by more and more people. In his book, Crossing the Chasm (which focuses on the understanding of new technology adoption), Geoffrey Moore notes that the key to the success of any new technology is getting across the gap between the early adopters and the mainstream users. There are now signs that this is happening given the demand statistics in the industry. This will further power the quest for more lumens at less cost and is responsible for the mega R&D budgets in play at these key manufacturers. Take CREE for example with its $100m R&D budget in 2011!

Expect some significant new LED light offerings in 2012… and to back all of this up… Philips is now estimating a 45% LED penetration rate by 2016…. very much in line with GE’s forecast of 80% by 2020.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

One more time – buying an LED light based ONLY on the number of watts (W) is a BIG mistake. Why?

Well incandescent lights, like a 60 watt bulb, put out a fairly constant amount of lumens per watt of electricity used – no matter what the brand. Simply stated, look at lumens as being the measure of light output of a light source. The more lumens, the brighter the light. So buying a 60 watt bulb from brand X or Y or Z will not result in a dramatically different lumen output and you can have a high degree of confidence buying by the number of watts.

Not so for LED lighting. Different manufacturers (and there are hundreds) produce lights that have very different “lumen per watt” outputs. Using older technology, the LEDs may only reach outputs of 50 lumens per watt. So buying a 3W LED light will give you about 150 lumens of light.

More recent technology offers over 100 lumens per watt and so a good 3W light can offer 300 lumens of light output.

That is the difference between a light level that allows reading and one that will cause eye strain.

So do not buy a light that does not have the “lumenous flux” rating clearly stated. If you don’t, you’ll be playing Russian roulette when you turn it on – not knowing what you are going to get!

What you will need to know is the lumen output of each of your current lights. For example, a 60 W incandescent bulb puts out around 650-750 lumens. So you need an LED bulb that can match this.

Look for the lumen output, not the wattage!

LED light bulb

LED light bulb that replaces incandescent light bulb










Article by Steve Giddings









Tags: , , , ,

By 2020, 8 out of 10 lights you see will be LED lights. The lighting revolution is no different to the communication and information technology revolutions that have driven our development.

So what are the 10 great reasons to make the change?

1. Low efficiency

Do you really switch on your lights to heat up the room? No! But 85% of the electricity going into your incandescent lightbulb is emitted as… heat! 60 Watts of energy ends up heating up your room… not great!

2. Longer life

Incandescent lights last for 1000 hours… LED lights last for 30000-50000 hours. A big difference…

3. No UV radiation

Yes, UV radiation is emitted by our current lighting. You are not about to get a beach tan from your lighting, but UV light is an issue, and it will impact fabrics and paintings. LED lights have no UV emissions.

4. Mercury..

Fluorescent lights contain mercury! LED lights contain none. Your choice!

5. No glass

LED lights are made of plastic and aluminum…no glass. So there is no safety issue and no glass that can shatter and cut.

6. Color rendering index

How “real” are the colors under different light sources? Is pink really pink? Under fluorescent light, you may see about 65% of the “real” color. Incandescent lights are better at around 90%, but LEDs come in across the board at around 80-90%. So similar for LED replacements of incandescent lights but if you replace fluorescent lights, you’ll have a great reason to change your lights.

7. Power efficiency

We’ve talked about lumen efficiency per watt of electricity. But what about power efficiency. LED lights use from 2-10 times less power for the same light output. Incandescents  put out less than 15 lumens per watt (consider lumens as a measure of light output). Enter the LED light – 7 Watts at 100 lumens per watt. 7 Watts of electricity will cost you a lot less than 60 Watts! That’s a great reason to replace your lights with LED lights!

8. Directional light

LED lights emit light where you point them…not behind them like an incandescent light. Direct the light where you need it…who needs the ceiling lit when you are more interested in the light on your dining table?

9. Color

You can literally make your LED lights in any color – some even change color with a remote control. So mood lighting is possible and not only can you dim them, but change color as you need to.

10. Finally, safety.

LED lights run on 12 to 24 volts. So a broken bulb will not kill you! A pretty good reason to change your lights to LED lights!

So there are 10 reasons… why not contact LED Lighting Solutions to advise on your LED light replacements.


Tags: , , , , , ,


led lights

LED lighting facilitates education in Africa


It has only been 20 years since Africa was introduced to the cellphone. In that time, millions of people have gained access to a communication tool that has changed lives and kept friends and families in touch in places that would never have been reached by land lines.

A similar kind of revolution is taking place in Africa – lighting. Light is key to the social fabric of most societies – allowing people to meet, socialise and work after dark. In so many villages across the continent, light is either provided by fires, paraffin lamps or candles. Electricity is a luxury for many – either not available or too expensive to connect and use.

If you’ve ever tried to read a book by candlelight or the flicker of a paraffin lamp, you’ll know that after a while, the low light level and the flicker will tire out your eyes. Yet millions of students study by candle light or paraffin lamps every day. Until now there just hasn’t been an alternative.

Enter a low energy consumption light source (LED lights), a mechanism to create power (solar cells) and a cheap way to store energy (rechargeable batteries).  While solar and battery technology has been around for some time, led lighting has only recently become viable with higher lumen outputs that make their performance acceptable. But that is not the only reason that change is about to accelerate. What will drive the change is the cost reductions in all three technologies.

In fact, with ever increasing oil prices trading off against technological breakthroughs and scale advantages of these new technologies, pricing is coming within range of “affordable”. A 2 watt solar cell with a battery and a series of small LED lights can light up a small house and now with improvements in quality and longevity, the upfront cost of purchase can be recovered very quickly. Thereafter, the lighting is effectively free and plentiful. All this thanks to the amazing low power consumption of led lights. With over 100 lumens per watt now becoming the standard, just 3 watts can light up a desk or a kitchen area with enough light to see and work by.

Besides the cost recovery angle, the quality of the led lights is far superior to the alternatives anyway, and so students can study with cool white light that does not stress the eyes.

As we move through 2012, and the cost of led lighting declines, and new technologies impact the solar cell and battery components, expect to see led lighting move through Africa at a rapid pace. Perhaps not as fast as the cellphone, but like the cellphone, it will bring welcome changes to the social and educational environment in Africa.

An article by LED Lighting Solutions





Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Saving money by doing nothing? What kinda scam is this! No scam actually. It’s easy and you can read about it here in this published article.


Tags: , , ,

LEDs are clearly versatile if this video has anything to say! Who would have thought you could use them like this? It’s got me thing about the other 1000 ways to use these lights… that is, 1000 “interesting” ways to use them.

Check out http://youtu.be/Zd27KKZKby4 

If you have a novel application for LED lights, why not comment here? Let us know about your LED lighting applications that are… a little off the beaten path!

By Steve Giddings

Tags: ,

LED lights? What is the fuss all about you may well be asking. “LED ???” … what the heck does that mean? Here’s a quick, light (sorry!) look at this thing called the “LED light”.

An example of an LED light used to replace standard lighting bulbs

An example of an LED light that replaces a 60W incandescent light bulb

First, let’s begin with the meaning of LED. LED stands for Light Emitting Diode… and even a non-rocket scientist (like me!) can work out that the main thing to note is that it “emits light” . It does this when a power source (like a battery) is applied to its two input terminals and it does so because the boffins have worked out how to get the now powered up little electrons to give off light as they move through the material that makes up this “diode” thing. They have been around for years…but until recently they have been used only as “indicating” lights (e.g. is the TV, cellphone, kettle, hifi etc  on or off) and not for illumination. So they are that little colored plastic light in your hi-fi, hair dryer etc that comes on when you turn the power on.

The electronics of an LED are not important here, just that you need to know that when you attach a power source like a battery or electricity, the result is an electron flow that results in light being emitted.

The catalyst for their development into lights was the realisation that they use very little power to create light. Take your cellphone. That little light that flashes to tell you that it is “on” is not about to drain your battery in a hurry. So some clever people thought “hey, if this thing uses so little power, what about making a light bulb out of them?”.

Problem. Until recently, the amount of light that they could generate was very, very small. So you’d have to connect a room full of them together to get anything near a light that could replace the standard globe above your head.

But, along came even more clever folk who were able to increase the lumen output (call that a measure of light given off) from 3 lumen per watt of electricity to 30 lumens…then 50 lumens and now we are at 100 lumens per watt in commercial applications. I hear the “even more clever” people have prototypes at over 300 lumens per watt. So watt you say!

Well here’s the buzz – a standard 60W incandescent light (which most of us use for lighting) gives off about 700-800 lumens… so that is just 13 lumens per watt. Much of the electricity goes to generating heat in the incandescent bulb…and anyone who has tried to change an incandescent bulb that has been on for a while…will know that! Ouch!

So if we can get the same amount of light that a 60W bulb (60 x 13 lumens/watt= 800 lumens)  puts out with an LED light that requires only 8W (8 x 100 lumens/watt) of electricity, we stand to radically reduce the electricity consumption of that light. That is the beauty of the LED light.

So less power = less cost for the consumer and less carbon dioxide emissions from that power station down the road because only 1/8th of the electricity needs to be generated from coal. Very “green” indeed!

Brilliant! So why are we not ripping out our globes (after they have cooled…of course!) and fitting LED globes?  Well, this is a new technology and at present, the cost of manufacturing the LED lights is still higher than most consumers are willing, or in today’s times…”able…” to spend. There is …um…light on the horizon though, as performance is increasing and costs are coming down. Mainstreaming of the technology will occur in the next 3 years I reckon.

Now when you look at an LED light, you will notice that the base looks quite “heavy”. The reason for this is that the electronics that help make the light work, can generate heat. The problem here is that the more heat that is generated, the more likely the electronics will eventually pack up. So those clever folk in the R&D labs have developed aluminium heat sinks, or ways to get the heat away from the electronics. The aluminium carries the heat away, and because it has a large surface area with all those fins or folds, it allows heat to move off into the air around it. That is why the base looks “heavy”.

That said, LED lights convert 80-95%  of the power into light so they actually don’t get very hot at all. This saves further electricity usage in that air conditioners are not required to cool down the warm air that the incandescent lights are creating (not an advantage in Alaska maybe…but anywhere else it could be quite a saving!).

So there we have it. A new technology that makes low cost lighting possible; reduces carbon emissions and has some other advantages (like they don’t give of ultraviolet light) that add to the positives.

The negatives are that as a disruptive technology, not all products on the market will work as promised and quality varies significantly from manufacturer to manufacturer. I replaced a 50 W halogen spotlight with an LED and ended up staggering around the room trying not to bump into anything! Not at all the equivalent lumen output that the manufacturer had promised, and had I not known better, I may have rejected LED lighting as a “con” and become cynical about this new “ponzi” scheme! Fortunately, I have some really great lights that have adequately replaced the power guzzlers… ahh…that reminds me…the other BIG advantage is that LED lights can last for 50000 hours before they become dim (gradually over time they do go dim… but they don’t  ”burn out” every 1000 hours as do incandescent lights do ). Now if you just use your bedsite light for an hour a day… it means that you’ll die before your 50000 hour LED light will! Imagine leaving your bedside light to your loved ones in your Will..!

So all in all, a technology with a very promising potential. Watch this space in the years ahead… could be just as wonderful and as useful as cell phone technology. The difference is that LED lights won’t be helping your work to follow you everywhere you go! ….

Was this useful? Send comments or post questions on my Facebook page at  http://www.facebook.com/pages/LED-Lighting-Solutions-Africa/314497688585093

By Steve Giddings

Tags: , , , , ,

« Older entries