Frequently Asked Questions about LED Lights

1. What LED Lights and do they save energy?
All our LED lights and bulbs are energy saving that are designed to replace incandescent, fluorescent, CFL, metal halide, high pressure sodium and halogen lights in your home, office or business. They will reduce your energy consumption by at least 40%, and as much as 80%, depending on the light you choose and the light we are replacing. With LEDs lasting up to 200,000 hours, we can also reduce your maintenance on your lighting.

2. LED Bulbs - How do they work?
LED Bulbs are comprised of 3 main components: the LED's (the chip set that produces light), the driver (converts AC to DC) and the heat sink (to keep everything cool). LEDs take DC power from the driver and create light. The heat sink captures heat from the LEDs and the drivers. Although LEDs produce significantly less heat than the light bulbs we have been used to over the past century, the heat they produce must be managed. The better this is done, the longer the life of the product. LEDs also performs the job of converting electricity to light more efficiently than other light sources, that is why we can replace a 65W incandescent light bulb with a 12W LED bulb.

3. What are the benefits of replacing your ordinary bulbs with the Energy Saving LED bulbs?

There are many benefits. Here is a list of a few:
    a. An immediate reduction in your electricity bill.
    b. Less heat.  LED bulbs are extremely efficient converting electricity into light.
    c. LED Bulbs last a very long time, from 30,000 to 200,000 hours.
    d. They are virtually indestructible.
    e. They do not contain mercury or other hazardous materials
    f. Highly recyclable - with no harzardous parts, you can easily reclaim most of the parts in an environmentally safe way.

4. Can LED bulbs be used with dimmer controls?
Yes and No. First, not all LEDs are dimmable. The driver must be designed to be dimmed. Secondly, for those that are, you must purchase the right dimmer. Most retail stores now carry dimmers specifically designed for LED bulbs. Please note, if you purchase a non-dimmable LED bulb and try to dim it, it will cause the bulb to fail and also void the warranty.

Some of our industrial and commercial LED lights (high bays, floods, area lighting, retrofits) work with a 0-10V dimming system.

5. Do they contain any hazardous or heavy metals like Mercury?
No. LED bulbs do not contain mercury or any other hazardous metals or chemicals. CFL's and fluorescents do contain a very small amount of mercury that needs to be disposed of correctly. So when your LED bulb eventually stops to work, you don't have to worry about costly or special disposal procedures.

6. What color temperatures are available with LED bulbs?

Color temperature for light bulbs is measured on the Kelvin scale. LED Bulbs come in a variety of colors, but the most common are in a range from 2700K to 7500K. The unfortunate thing is that the only consistent measurement is the Kelvin scale, Many manufacturers like to use terms like Day White, Natural White, Warm White and Cool White, but there is not a standard that defines a Kelvin temperature to associate with those terms. The general rule is WARM (2700K) to COOL(6500K+). The warmer the light, the more yellow tones, the cooler the light, there are more blue tones.

Here are the typical range of color temperatures on

    2700-3200 - WW - Warm White
    4000-4500 - NW - Natural White
    5000-5500 - DW - Day White
    6500-7500 - CW - Cool White

7. What type of bases are available?
LED Bulbs are the perfect retro-fit for your existing light fixtures. We have standard bases, candelabra, standard or Edison (E26) , mogul (E39), MR16 and other typical bases that are common with incandescent and halogen installations. For fluorescent tubes, we have bi-pin, single pin and HO Ends. We carry PL based bulbs in G23, GX23, G24 and GX24 bases. Call us, we can help!

8. What are the sizes of the bulbs? How do they operate in comparison to the original light bulbs?
In most cases, are bulbs are the same size if not slightly smaller than the bulbs they replace. That is because LED technology packs a lot of light in a small package.

9. What's the difference between LED and CFL?
Both lights are energy efficient light sources that are much more efficient than the bulbs they replace. Here is a small list of the differences between CFLs and LEDs:
    a. CFLs are the spiral tube like bulbs. They are really mini fluorescent bulbs with self contained ballasts. They contain a small amount of mercury. LED bulbs are the new style looking bulbs with heat sinks and round mini globes. They do not contain mercury.
        b. You can replace a 22W CFL bulb with a 11W LED bulb.
        c. LED bulbs are instant on, instant off. CFLs take 30 seconds to 1 minute to warm up after they are turned on
        d. LED bulbs are not affected by turning them off and on. CFL bulbs are, as this will reduce their life.

10. Can LEDs be used in outside lights?
Yes. Some bulbs are designed with water-proof fittings. Others need to be kept in a water-tight fixture. Read all instructions and manuals before using a LED bulb outdoors.

11. Will the light levels decrease over the life of the bulb?

Yes. They will fade as the bulb gets near the end of its normal operating life. But it is very gradual and hardly noticeable. This is called Lumen Degradation and is denoted on the website as L70. L70 is the amount of time the light takes to get to 70% of the initial lumen output.

12. How long do the bulbs last and what sort of warranty is associated with your LED bulbs?
Most of our bulbs come with either a 3 or 5 year manufacturer warranty. Warranties only apply for normal use of bulbs and do not include mis-use or usage for which the bulb was not intended to perform. All our warranties are parts-only warranty. We do not cover the cost of labor or shipping.

13. How many lumens do I need to replace 400W Metal Halide fixture?
There is a lot that goes into answering this question. DesignLights Consortium has indicated in their specifications that you need at least 10,000 lumens to replace a 400W MH. Some other factors come into play, like surface reflectivity, obstructions and other source of light, such as natural light sources coming into the building. MyLEDLightingGuide designs light solutions. We are product agnostic, we will select the best product that meets your needs. So we have the ability to design and replace 400W MH with 10,000 lumens up to 30,000 lumens.

14. What are the steps required to replace a fluorescent tube in an existing fixture?
There are several steps, but essentially this is no more difficult than a bulb and ballast replacement.
    1. Remove the fluorescent tubes, and then remove the ballast.
    2. Replace the existing tombstones (only if necessary). This step may be required with single ended powered tubes if you have shunted tombstones.
    3. Rewire the fixture to accomodate the LED tubes.

Our internal driver LED Tubes use AC current, and then converts the power to DC within the internal LED driver to light the LED's. There are some tubes that can be driven from the fluorescent ballast, but we do not supply those tubes as we see fluorescent ballasts as a maintenance item. Ballasts consume about 4+ watts per fluorescent tube installed, so leaving the ballast in place reduces the energy savings as well.

We also can supply externally driven LED tubes. With these tubes, the driver is externally housed outside the tube, and is usually installed where the fluorescent ballast was located. External drivers act the same way as internal drivers; they accept AC power, convert it to DC which is supplied to the LEDs in the tube.

In the case where you have a native DC system (such as solar systems) you are best to look for externally driven LED tubes and forgo the installation of the driver. You will have to make sure the DC power that is supplied to the fixture is compatible with the DC power requirement of the tubes.

15. What is single ended power and double ended power mean in terms of fluorescent tubes?

In single ended powered tubes, you power only one end. This type of installation is referred to as un-shunted.

In double ended powered tubes, you power both ends, one with line source, the other with neutral. This type of installation is referred to as shunted.

In most cases, our tubes our single ended powered tubes. It conforms with the latest UL standards for safety. Proper instillation of our tubes in existing UL fixtures maintains the UL certification of the existing fixture.

We can also provide new fluorescent ends (tombstones) so that you can convert over to single ended powered tubes

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