LED Lighting Misconceptions

In recent years LED lighting has become well known in both the consumer and commercial markets as a technology that has the potential to save users on energy costs while extending the life of replacement bulbs and fixtures. A rise in programs at the local, state, and federal level offering tax breaks and rebates have created a new market for companies specializing in LED lighting conversion and installation. While this may sound like a positive transition towards a much more efficient means of bringing light to a variety of environments, it’s important to carefully consider the implications of these new, and often unproven, companies.

As the implementation of this lighting type grows across the United States let’s illuminate some of the common misconceptions surrounding LED lighting.

  1. All LED lights are the same.

Especially when it comes to converting your existing system, the quality of LED lights varies a great deal. Depending on your fixture, the process of conversion may be as simple as replacing the bulb, but often a new ballast or rewiring the existing fixture must occur. The color spectrum of specific products also contributes to its overall quality, as factors like color temperature and CRI affect the appearance of the emitted light.

  1. LED is better because it is cheaper.

The initial investment into conversion of a building to LED lighting from traditional lighting can be quite expensive. This cost is offset by government rebates and energy savings down the road. The reason LED lighting is better than traditional lighting is because of the quality of light, lowered heat emissions, and energy efficiency.

Beware of inexpensive LED products. There are a lot of inferior products on the market being sold by unknown companies that will almost certainly have a shortened life and be of low quality.

  1. LED lights last forever.

Life expectancy is a complicated topic regarding this lighting type. This is due to LED technology working in a different way than traditional lighting technologies. Without delving into terminology such as lumen maintenance and L70 or L50 ratings, it is important to note that LEDs will continue to work long after they have stopped giving off what can be considered an optimal level of quality light. So replacing these lights almost always needs to occur before what is called “catastrophic failure” or what we know as “burning out.”

This is why you will see reports of false claims for life expectancy ratings for LED lights. Untested companies often make large claims about their lights citing tens of thousands of hours of life over the real level of actual usefulness. That’s not to say that LED Lights don’t last longer than legacy lighting technology. They last a tremendous amount longer, but you need to be careful about outlandish claims.

Many misconceptions about LED lighting and converting existing lighting systems are precipitated by the companies selling these products. Often these fly-by-night operations do not have your facility’s best interests in mind, offering warranties and products that do not deliver on their promises of a more energy and cost-efficient alternative to traditional lighting systems.

It doesn’t always make sense to spend time researching and understanding all aspects of a technology and industry such as LED lighting conversion, but having a basic knowledge can help protect you and your business. City Wide can help you with that process, offering experienced and knowledgeable staff that can answer all your questions, leaving you with more insight into this process. Contact us to find out more about LED Lighting and how it has the potential to save time and solve problems for you.

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