Upgrading to LED Lighting | LED rope lights, ribbon lights |

Upgrading to LED: Mistakes to Avoid

It’s common knowledge that LED lighting is much more energy efficient and longer lasting than any other lighting technology currently on the market. However, some issues can present themselves when upgrading to LED. If you are looking to upgrade your current lighting solution to LED, there are a few commonly made mistakes that you should keep in the back of your mind. 

 

Incompatible Dimmer

Not all dimmers have been created in the same way, which means that not every single dimmer switch will work with LED lights. If you have ever installed an LED light bulb onto a circuit which has standard incandescent dimmer, you might have noticed some humming, flickering, buzzing or even flashing occurring. If your project requires the use of dimmable LEDs, you will need to buy a compatible LED dimmer switch. 

 

Lights are Too Bright or Too Dark

When you’re looking into your LED upgrade, you need to ensure that you look into and compare the Lumens of your current bulb, with your chosen LED replacement. Some people might consider just checking the wattage enough, but comparing the Lumen output as well will give you a much better understanding of how bright your chosen bulb or fixture will be. 

This method works for most light types, with a major exception being upgrading HID fixtures. LEDs are directional, while HIDs are omnidirectional – this is one instance where the wattage equivalent rating will help you much more than a Lumen rating. 

 

The Light is Too Yellow or Too Blue

The colour appearance of the light emitted from a fixture or bulb is measured in Kelvin. If you need to accurately match the colour of the lighting that you are upgrading, you should note the LEDs Kelvin colour temperature. Most fluorescent tubes will have the colour temperature stamped on the side of the tube along with the part number – this makes matching LED tube lights really quick and easy. 

Typically, incandescent and halogen bulbs don’t have their Kelvin colour listed. This is due to all incandescent bulbs being around 2400-2700K, and all halogen bulbs being around 3000-3200K. If you need to keep the same appearance, purchase LED lighting which is within these ranges. 

 

Different Lighting Distribution

Depending on your chosen application, the difference in light distribution can be a blessing or a curse. LEDs are directional due to the arrangement of the diodes, so you will need to pay close attention to things like beam angle and light distribution type. Area lighting or wall packs benefit more than other fixtures when it comes to LEDs directional nature. 

HID bulbs which are typically used in area light fixtures and wall packs are omnidirectional, so much of the light is lost inside the fixture. The light that is lost due to “Lumen bounce” is still counted on the bulb’s initial Lumen rating. Thanks to the construction of LEDs, all of the light is emitted outward to where you need it the most. Although the Lumen ratings of similar fixtures might seem to be very different on paper, the LED fixture will pack a similarly bright punch.