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Upgrading to LED Lighting - What You Need to Know

LED lighting options being shown to customer

Thinking of upgrading to LEDs but don’t know where to start? Our team of qualified and experienced electricians understand exactly what’s involved and what you need to consider when making the choice.

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What is the difference between halogen light and LEDs?

The main difference is power saving. LED lamps generally use less power and less wattage for the same output of light. They can also last up to ten times longer than halogen lamps.

What are the benefits of LED lights?

  • Longevity – When you purchase LED lighting what you’re paying for is longevity. However, not all LEDs are created equal so it’s important not only to buy a reputable brand which provides warranties and support, but to be aware that each manufacturer will have different qualities of fittings in their range.
  • Power saving – The energy used can be up to half as much as halogen.
  • Maintenance costs – Because your lamps last longer your maintenance costs will be less as you’re not replacing them as frequently. We only use reputable brands with warranties and lifespan guarantees so in some cases your lamps won’t need replacing for years.
  • Exceptional lighting – LEDs have improved over the years and a good quality lamp will have really good diffusing techniques and will spread the light evenly, ensuring they’re not irritating to look at.

Can halogen lights be replaced with LED?

Yes, they can. In some circumstances you can simply change the lamp, and in others you may need to change the fitting.

Did you know? Many buildings use halogen lamps in their flood lights. These traditionally have a 1000-hour life span, but are susceptible to damage due to vibrations from traffic and the elements, resulting in many of them never reaching their full life-span. Halogen flood lights can easily be replaced with LEDs which are more durable and reliable. Read our 8 reasons why LED is the best choice for security lighting.

LED lighting example 01

Can I use my existing fittings?

The quality of your LED lamp is only as good as the driver and the fitting. Often, when an LED lamp fails, it is the controller that has failed in the first instance, and the lamp is simply trying to work and can’t.

If you’re serious about the longevity of your LEDs and reducing unnecessary maintenance, the key is ensuring you have the correct components from a reputable supplier and manufacturer.

As a general rule, some common LED lamps can fit into a bayonet or Edison screw fitting, however for some LEDs you will need to change the transformer to ensure it is compatible. Often the transformer sits in the ceiling, so you may need to consider the amount of work involved and ensure you’ve got the right components before you get started.

How do you choose colour and brightness?

LED lamps and fittings are measured in lumen – to determine the relative brightness, and lux – which tells you how much light will hit the surface you’re trying to light. Colour Rendering Index (CRI) measures how faithfully colours are represented under your light source.

We use an assortment of LEDs, traditional within the CRI range of 83 to 86 – with 83 being a warmer, softer tone and 86 a much cooler, sharper white. Different colours will work better in different situations. For example, doctors’ surgeries often opt for a pure white look which you will get with an 86, whereas an office space may be better suited to an 84, and a boutique shop which is after a softer look could go for an 83.

Often people think if you have colour 84 and then change your lamps to colour 86 it will be brighter – but it’s actually an optical illusion, as the same amount of light is being delivered.

Sometimes the lights above office desks can be too bright and hard on the eyes – especially when users are moving from the screen to the desk, but factoring in the correct level of light for desk work is also important. The solution to this might be to install a softer or warmer light. It will have the same level of illumination, but feels more comfortable, and it’s as simple as changing the lamps, as opposed to removing the fittings for another type of lighting.

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