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Why Use LED Lights?

LED light Bulb

The Light-Emitting Diode (LED) is an electronic light source that uses less energy than traditional bulbs, and by the way, saves more money! The classic incandescent light is fragile, and inefficient, compared to LED that has a simple, strong structure and doesn’t contain gas or a filament, which makes this product more durable.

The benefits of LED lights are:
• Highly efficient and long lasting
• High-level of brightness and intensity but without producing UV rays or radiated heat
• Can save you around 70/80% of electrical power compared to traditional incandescent.
• Flexible in design and available in many different colours, making them adaptable and easily incorporated in any environment (outside, inside…), to create a specific style or atmosphere...

But like all eco-products, there are some debates and areas where we can all learn more to make sure we are getting the most out of these technological advances. First of all, let’s learn about the difference between LED "direct swap" bulbs (i.e. can be screwed into your existing light fitting) and more dedicated LED systems with their separate driver units.

Be careful of the brand and the LED light bulbs (direct swap) you buy with drivers units, many energy-efficient of them failed before their advertised lifespan. For more info click here.

When looking to install complete new LED dedicated lighting systems in your home, here are a few tips and key pointers to make sure you get the most out of your investment.

How to ensure your LED system will last a long time?
According to leading suppliers “Heat is the first consideration to the life and durability of your LED system”. Contrary to popular belief LEDs do generate heat and in fact high powered LEDs used in homes can generate more than 100deg of heat.
“The next consideration is to use higher temperature specified components in the Driver. A Driver that is covered by insulation can reach over 120 degrees Celsius at an ambient of 25 degrees Celsius. If cost was the only consideration by the manufacturer when developing the LED system, it is a potential risk that this system will fail”. The quality of the LED and the driver is what makes the difference in price.

Are LEDs safe to the human eye?
According to some more recent research and debates, it is being questioned whether LED blue lights can cause damage to the human eye retinal cells. Among the most popular household LEDs are products that employ a chip emitting blue light, which is surrounded by a yellow phosphor coating. Although the resulting light looks white to the naked eye, it can feature a spike in the blue end of the spectrum, at wavelengths of 460–500 nm. For more info click here.

When asked, leading suppliers brought this back to the conversation about quality and responded that the “blue spectrum” is drastically lower than wider tolerance, cheaper manufacturers.
It is suggested that 3000-5000K is a very comfortable range of colour temperature for LED. Unfortunately LED’s fundamental design comes with a lack of “yellow” and elevated “blue” but stick to maximum 5000K.

According to another supplier, “blue light is not an issue, we are surrounded by blue light every sunny day, it is a natural wave length. The biggest issue is pin point light source around small children”

EnviroSpec propose different brand and suppliers that make this product. For more information on LED light product, you can visit the Envirospec website.

Finally, we asked how consumers can easily judge if a LED luminaire is "good quality" while shopping around and before installing them in the home/

The answer was that a good place to start in New Zealand is to look for products with the energy star mark and manufacturers who are members of the Lighting Council.

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