LED - What are the differences?
Even though Light Emitting Diode (LED) lamps have been around for some time, it is only recently that advances in technology have lowered the cost of LED and, with energy prices on the rise, LED lighting is now ideal for domestic and commercial use.
LED lighting products perform better in most circumstances, here are some of the advantages:
- Save up to 85% on energy costs, a major difference, when compared to filament or halogen lamps such as GU10s
- Save 12-50% when compared to CFL
- A reduction in energy use lowers your carbon footprint
- LED lamps light up instantly - unlike many CFL bulbs
- Produce much less heat than filament bulbs
- Are mercury-free (unlike CFL bulbs)
- LED lamps last much longer (20X longer that a filament bulb) leading to a reduction in maintenance costs
- For the home, retro-fit LED lamps will work in your existing light fittings and can be installed in minutes, so you can enjoy the benefits immediately
Some of the differences
When changing to LED lighting you may notice some initial differences due to the new technology:
LED lamps can be slightly different in shape and a little heavier than filament bulbs, in the same way that CFL bulbs are different from filament bulbs. Inside, LED lamps contain extra circuitry called a “driver”. For better efficiency and longevity, LED lamps need to have good thermal management, so will often include specially designed heat reduction features that can add some weight.
Light colour and life
LED lamps can produce light close to a filament lamp and probably better than a CFL lamp. Sometimes LED light can be described as a bit bluish or white. It is a good idea to buy “warm white” lamps if you prefer the colour to be a little more yellow. We have found it does not take long to get used to LED light. LED lamps can last 20X longer than filament lamps, but as with all types of lighting, LED lamps will very slowly get less bright over a long time.
Unlike most CFL lamps and many filament bulbs, LED lamps light up as soon as you flick the switch. There is no ‘warm-up’, so you get light where you need it, when you need it.
LED is a low-power product; there are dimmable and non-dimmable versions of lamp types. Dimming LED lamps with high-power dimmers designed for filament lamps can present problems. Dimmable LED lamps can be dimmed down to about 10% of total light output.
LED chips by their nature produce light in a forward direction, unlike a filament lamp that produces light in nearly all directions (light in all directions can be considered to be wasted energy, as light is “lost” in the light fitting).
You may find the beam spread is different with an LED non-directional lamp (e.g. a standard bulb shape), clever optics and LED chips mounted in different angles can be used to produce light in the direction needed but with an LED lamp the light pattern from a light fitting may differ from a filament or CFL lamp. A lot depends on the fitting and placement, reflection, the type of shade and where the actual light is needed.
With directional lamps such as GU10 spot lamps there is little difference as light is focused forward.
Integral LED are meeting the challenge of beam spread by introducing the Integral LED Omni Lamp filament candle bulb range - by using the latest driverless linear LED technology, we have done away with the heavy heat sinks and complex circuitry associated with LED lamps to produce a highly efficient, lightweight lamp with a super-wide beam angle that consumers have been waiting for.