LED Light Fixtures
If you are interested in using a product that involves a rapidly evolving technology and can save you big money on your utility bills, take a good look at LED lighting. These products produce light in a whole new way. When compared to fluorescent and incandescent lighting, which are the standards in lighting technology, LED's are already surpassing their quality and efficiency.
Be sure to look for LED light fixtures that are awarded the Energy Star Label, which means that they must meet strict performance and efficiency standards. LED Lighting that is Energy Star Qualified must meet the following criteria:
- Save On Utility Bills: When compared to incandescent and fluorescent lighting, they must use 75% less energy.
- Long Lifetime: They must last at least 22 years or 25,000 hours, based on average home usage.
- Warranty: The shall have a 3 Year minimum warranty, which is far in access of the industry standard warranty.
- Convenient Features: The outdoor units must offer such options as automatic daylight shut-off, and motion sensors, and some indoor units must offer dimming capabilities.
- Durability: They must be very durable and will not break, as do standard incandescent or fluorescent light bulbs.
- Cooling Cost Reduction: LED's shall be designed to produce minimum heat buildup, reducing air-conditioning costs.
But wait a minute, aren't ALL LED's very high efficient and very long-lasting?
Poorly designed LED products can look dim, light unevenly, significantly shift color, flicker, and even continue to use power after the switch is turned off, among other problems after only one year of use.
LED bulbs have been around and in our lives for a very long time. They have been used as indicators in electronics for a number of years, but when it comes to producing color corrected, stable white lighting for general usage - that presented a different set of challenges. Smart design would be the key to their success.
Luckily, there have been a strict set of standards that have been setup for LED light fixtures. They must be tested and pass all of the following characteristics to display the Energy Star Label:
- Brightness Level: The LED light fixtures must produce lighting levels greater than, or equal to standard existing lighting technologies such as incandescent or fluorescent lighting and lighting that is produced must be evenly distributed over the entire area lit by the fixture.
- Light Output: The fixture must display constant light output over its life, only decreasing toward the end of its life. This standard is based on 25,000 hour life or 22 years and 3 hour-per-day average usage.
- Color Quality: Color, also referred to as color temperature, must be consistent and appears white and clear over the LED light fixture full life.
- Energy Efficient: Fixture efficiency must be equal to, or exceed the energy efficiency of standard fluorescent lighting.
- Rapid Starting: The LED light fixture must produce "instant-on" lighting.
- Anti-Flicker: There shall be no perceivable flickering when the fixture is dimmed.
- Off-State Power: The fixture shall not draw any power in the "off state". With the exception of external controls, LED light fixtures shall not exceed a power draw of 0.5 watts when the fixture is in the off state.
LED Light Fixtures - Retrofit Existing Fixtures
LED Light Fixtures - Ikea Picture Light
Just keep in mind that poorly designed LED light fixtures can lead to problems for the consumer. Some of these problems will be immediately observable, and some will occur over time. Also, a poorly designed fixture will offer exaggerated performance claims, but they will fail deliver on their specifications.
So be sure to search for LED light fixtures that are Energy Star qualified to ensure you that the product will meet and exceed all of these strict standards, and give you the ultimate customer experience where you are assured your purchase will perform as claimed.
One source for a great LED picture light fixture is from IKEA. We have purchase a number of these fixtures to serve as both picture lights and night lights for the darker room areas.
You can easily leave these long-lasting lights burning 24/7 as the 14" version consumes 3.2 watts and the 22" version consumes 6 watts.comments powered by Disqus