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10 Factors to consider when upgrading to LED Lighting

Upgrading to LED lighting

Are you planning to upgrade your lighting installation to LED lighting systems? Consider these 10 parameters to help you decide to get the best for your installation.

  1. Lumen Output: LED Lights are highly directional in nature, hence do not straightaway compare the lumen output of the fluorescent/CFL fixture. Moreover, you need to check the delivered lumens for a fixture, instead of initial lumens mostly which is mentioned on the fixture packing. TIP: Compare the output of the sample (measured in lumens or lm) fixture against the existing installation to have the best idea.
  2. Color Temperature: Measured in Kelvins, it gives you an idea on how “warm” or “cold” the color of the light fixture is. Check the Color Temperature mention on the packing of the LED Fixture to match it with the existing installation. TIP: 2700K/3000K will give you warm tones of light while 5000K/6000K will be colder to look at.
  3.  Color Rendering: It is the ability of lighting fixtures to render true colors of objects – mentioned as CRI. Usually the CRI of 80 or more works for most general applications, but the higher the better. TIP: CRI Values are mentioned on the packaging, else ask the manufacturer for it.
  4. Light Distribution: LED fixtures tend to have a directional output usually mentioned as beam angle. Choose the closest possible to your existing installation since ignoring this parameter can drastically change the look of your space. TIP: Compare the distribution of a sample with the existing first to have an idea
  5. Glare: If the LED fixtures have their source sit at the ceiling level and are not enough deep recessed, they tend to be lot glary and hurt the eye. Do look out for deep recessed fixtures if it meets your other visual requirements. A fixture with UGR (metric to quantify glare) 19 or lesser is generally fine to be installed. TIP: The manufacturer must give you the UGR values or instead calculate the same using light rendering software.
  6. Life: Taken as L70 value & mentioned in hours – it is the rated life of an LED source at which its light output has dropped to 70% of the initial lumen output. Do check out for L70 value in hours for the fixture/source in the product datasheet or manufacturer specification.
  7. Dimming Compatibility: LED fixtures are not inherently dimming compatible with all types of dimmers. Usually, they flicker at lower levels or become saturated above 60-70% levels. Check the dimming protocol of the LED controlgear which should match with the dimming system as well as its performance over varying levels for best results. TIP: Test the LED fixture with the dimming system for compatibility before use.
  8. Manufacturer: Before you upgrade, do check out the reputation of the manufacturer and its products. Do they have a good track record in projects? How long have they been around? How is their response and customer care? Do not just fall for the variety of products they showcase, rather the quality of their products and their history.
  9. Warranty: How much warranty is being provided by the manufacturer? Read the warranty clauses thoroughly before procurement since they vary with each manufacturer in time and conditions.
  10. Future Availability: Do check out with the manufacturer how long do they keep the product and its spares before discontinuing a particular model. Usually, reputed manufacturers will keep the critical spares for a much longer duration to service the customers. TIP: Do keep an attic stock of the fixtures to avoid last minute hiccups.