Advice Centre

Quality LED lamps and light fittings – what to look for

The range and choice of LED lamps has grown significantly as technology has developed. And so has the jargon. Diodes, drive currents, optoelectronics – making sense of the technicalities isn’t easy.

But you can’t afford to ignore the detail because unfortunately the market is awash with poor quality products that will not stand the test of time. It’s imperative you choose a reputable company that uses a reputable supplier. And don’t assume that an LED lamp or fitting made abroad will be inferior. Some of the highest quality equipment is made in China, but so are less well-made products.

Quality control is the name of the game which is why we, at Eco Lighting Specialists, have established strategic partnerships with leading manufacturers who only source high standard components and exercise strict quality controls such as:

  • Testing the solder points on the LED’s circuit board to ensure they are consistent
  • Putting each LED through full cycle testing before delivery to spot any manufacturing faults
  • Adhering to strict manufacturing quality standard approvals such as TUV/GS
  • Considering the operational temperatures of the surface area and junction when designing a fitting
  • Ensuring there’s a correct balance between the number and type of diodes, the current that will drive them and the fitting’s capacity to dissipate heat, to ensure the longevity of the installation
  • Ensuring manufacturing is carried out in static free areas because optoelectronics such as LEDs can be damaged by static shocks

We go to great lengths to ensure the LED equipment we use is fit-for-purpose, but also that we install it appropriately, because even the best equipment can be put in incorrectly.

The fitter must pay careful attention to the areas to be installed and whether the luminaire is appropriate for the lighting levels required, the operating temperature and environment.

A guide to LED guarantees

Premium quality LEDs are remarkably reliable if the above quality controls are adhered to. But that doesn’t mean they never develop a fault. And if they do, it’s too late then to discover your guarantee is not as comprehensive as you had assumed.

You need to drill down into the small print of all guarantees before accepting a quote for LED supply or installation. Here are some important questions to ask:

  • Does the guarantee cover full and partial failure?
  • Does it cover all the components of the product including the driver?
  • Does the guarantee cover the longevity of the LED fitting?
  • Does it have a ‘fair usage clause’? If so, can you prove the lights have not been left on longer than the amount of time defined by fair usage in the contract? If not, the manufacturer may not have to honour the guarantee.

Finally, it’s important to understand a term that is used frequently when describing LEDs, and that is the ‘L’ value.

When you look at the specification of an LED lamp, it might say L70, L90 or L50, followed by a large number. In essence, this is a guide to how long a lamp will operate before its brightness reduces to a certain level.

For example, L70 50,000 means 50,000 hours use is the average point in time at which a lamp’s output will have reduced to 70%. L90 25,000 hours means a lamp’s output will be expected to have fallen by 10% after 25,000 hours usage. And so on. L70 is often used as benchmark for lamp longevity because the human eye cannot detect the difference in a light’s output until it has reduced by 30%.

We hope this advice has been useful. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to call us on 0845 1300 661 or email [email protected]

Enjoy your light bulb moment and make the switch to LED.