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FAQ’s LIGHTING

Q1. What is a LED?

LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. They are small light sources that become illuminated by the movement of electrons through a semiconductor material that produces visible light.

Q2. How do LED’s work?

A single LED consists of numerous small lights outfitted with microchips. The light sources illuminate as electrons move through a semiconductor material.

Q3. Don’t LEDs have a wire filament?

No, LEDs operate using entirely different components. LEDs are diodes; they only allow power to move in one direction. The anode (+) is where the current comes in and the cathode (-) is where the current goes out, much like the positive and negative terminals of a battery. Old technology bulbs like fluorescent, incandescent, HID, etc. project light in every direction (omni-directional) as opposed to LED lights which project light in specified directions (such as 20, 50, and 120 degrees) due to their design and layout.

Q4. If LEDs project light in specific directions, do they produce a glare?

LED lights are designed to blend seamlessly with architecture and environment. The diffusing lens and reflector system deliver an optimal light distribution that softly washes walls and sufficiently illuminates work surfaces. LEDs are not visible, so you won’t be distracted by hot spots or glares. The only thing you’ll experience is life under beautiful, more natural light.

Q5. What are my colour options for LEDs? Can I get a soft white look?

The short answer is yes, you can find LEDs in warmer, soft white tones that mirror the glow of incandescent light bulbs. The longer answer is that technically LEDs are only available in amber, red, green and blue hues. Carefully combining these colours produces consistent, “realistic” white light. In order to achieve a soft white luminescence, manufacturers may apply a coating to LEDs. This is why some LEDs have yellow light bulb covers.

Q6. Are LEDs dimmable?

Yes. For best results, look for specially labeled packages that indicate that the LEDs are “dimmable”. Keep in mind you may need to replace your existing dimmer switch with one that’s compatible with the LED bulb of your choice.

Q7. Do LEDs work in three-way lamps?

LEDS are just starting to be designed to work in three-way lamps. You’ll want to look for “3-way” to be printed on the box to ensure the LED is compatible with your lamp.

Q8. Do LEDs produce heat?

LEDs produce very little amounts of heat. The heat noticed in some instances is due to on board components and other factors of the circuit. In comparison to incandescent, LEDs produce a fraction of the heat. LEDs are not hot to the touch (unless they are being overpowered due to improper circuitry).

Q9. Why do LEDs use such little power?

LEDs do not use a filament where a conductor is heated and light is created. Filament based lighting consumes more power than the light it produces. LEDs produce very little amounts of heat and do not use filaments, making them far more efficient in consumption and output.

Q10. Do LEDs work outdoors?

Definitely. Look for LED’s labeled for ‘outdoor” use. LEDs are not sensitive to cold temperatures and are able to withstand snow and rain. They also have proven to be durable and unlikely to shatter.

Q11. Do LEDs have a longer life than incandescent bulbs?

Yes. Incandescent bulbs generally last 500 – 2000 hours, whereas LEDs may last for 20,000-50-000 hours or around 20 – 40 years. This means LEDS may last 25 times longer than incandescent.

Depending on running times, it’s possible to install an LED when a child is born and not have to replace the bulb again until he or she enters college!

Q12. What is the difference between a floodlight and a spot light?

LED spotlights output a narrower beam of light, typically less than 45 degrees wide. Most of the light from a spotlight is concentrated onto a relatively small area producing a bright spot. LED floodlights output a wider beam of light, up to 120 degrees so the light from a floodlight is spread out over a much larger area.

Because the light is more concentrated, a spotlight will appear brighter than a floodlight but only within its narrower beam. A spotlight is more suited to illuminating objects and a floodlight is more suited to illuminating areas.

Q13. What are the advantages of switching to LED?

LEDs use much less electricity than other bulbs, have extremely long rated lives, produce very little heat, do not emit UV or infrared, contain no mercury, are resistant to shock and vibration, can operate effectively in extremely cold and hot environments, and provide beautiful natural light. They are dimmable which translates into a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and electricity used.

Q14. Aren’t LEDs more expensive?

Cost is a big factor for energy managers weighing choices in lighting, but so are concerns that today’s technology will only get more efficient and less expensive over time. When they are running correctly, LEDs offer up to 80% energy savings and they will end up paying for themselves in a short period of time.

Q15. Are there rebates/incentives/tax credits available for switching to LED?

In many cases, yes. In order to find out if you are eligible for a rebate or other incentive programs you can call your local hydro provider.

Q16. How ‘green’ are LEDs?

Very “Green” – Use less electricity, lower greenhouse gas emissions, no mercury, long life which equals a reduction in solid waste, very little heat which reduces energy usage related to HVAC.

Q17. What about safety?

LED light is better quality light. Employees see better. And if they see better, there are less accidents. And also, the quality of the work goes up, because employees are able to see their work stations more clearly and recent data indicates greater work productivity.

Q18. Where can LEDs be used?

Almost anywhere. LED replacements are already available for bulb types such as tube lamps, high-bays, low-bays, PAR reflectors, MR reflectors, decorative, under-cabinet and more. When used on dimmers, particularly dimming systems that support many bulbs, we suggest testing a few LEDs first to test compatibility.

Q19. Are LEDs affected by extreme conditions?

LEDs are geared for harsh environments. LEDs function from -40F to 180F. There is no delay or required “warm up time” for LEDs to function.

Q20. Do LEDs attract insects?

No, they do not. Insects see entirely different spectrums of light and are attracted to ultraviolet light. This is not to say that all bugs aren’t attracted to LED light, but most can’t see the light that LEDs produce.

 

For more information contact:
Ben Gagnon
beng@sunbeamenergy.ca
519-818-4535

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Windsor, ON N9C 3R3
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