LED light

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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.

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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









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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.


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Y.F. Yeh, Everlight ‘s Chairman, has stated that led light bulbs will drop to less than US$10 in the second half of 2012.

This will come on the back of a soft first half of 2012 and will be driven by stronger demand after June 2012.

LED lights are gaining popularity as consumers begin to understand the energy saving potential and manufacturers hit higher lumen/watt figures and quality improves. Quality improvements are the key to increasing confidence in the industry, where over promising and under delivery are common. Hopefully, softer demand in H1 2012 will drive fly by night companies out of business and will leave more genuine suppliers like LED Lighting Solutions in a better position to advise customers and provide high quality lighting.

All in, this bodes well for the LED lighting industry and more importantly, for the consumer.

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I took a walk through Builders Warehouse today and was very surprised to see the large number of CFL lighting products on the shelves. Then to my utter amazement…some LED bulbs! Not a great range, but some replacements for 35W incandescents and some GU and MR16 bulbs. The cost? A cool R126 for the 5W LED and R99 for the MR16 bulb…ouch! Compare that to R10 for a 60W incandescent and much the same for the little 3W MR16.

Rushed home to try them out. The family couldn’t see any difference with the MR16 in the ceiling but the 5W LED fell short of the 60W bulb it replaced. To be fair, it was stated as a replacement for a 35W bulb but then there wasn’t a 9W LED on the shelf.

Well we are definitely getting closer to “green” with at least some LED bulbs on the shelves. A bit too pricey and not great quality…yet. But prices internationally are coming down as volume picks up and we may yet see the early adopters giving way to the mainstream in the next few years. Companies like Led Lighting Solutions will be poised to assist this transition. Watch this space

By Steve Giddings

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