Buying LED lights without first consulting a professional could end up being a costly and ineffective experience. Let us help you shine a light on the 11 most common mistakes made when buying LED lighting.
1. You purchased by cut-out size, without considering wattage or optical design
A common issue experienced when upgrading to LED lighting is that LED lamps tend to have different distribution and output to existing lights. When replacing fluorescent or halogen down lights with LED lights just by purchasing one that fits in the same cut-out, you may experience a cavern effect. This is where the lighting of a corridor could be left in a series of shadows. You can easily avoid this by consulting with an expert who will guide you through the most effective and suitable options for upgrading to LED.
2. You purchased wattage for wattage
If you are thinking of updating your office fluorescent “troffer” with LED Panel fittings, simply matching the wattage of the LED to the fluorescent is not a good idea. LED Panel lights are directional, meaning, while they are more efficient than fluorescent tubes, the light distribution can be very different. Getting it wrong can result in a room appearing either over-bright and glary or dark and cavernous.
3. The lights are too glary
Glare is a problem with many of the more basic or cheaper LED Luminaires. Choosing a LED downlight that has an opal diffusing front or where the LED chip is not deep set can cause it to provide glary and uncomfortable lighting. While it may seem more cost effective in the first instance to go with a lower priced unit, that cost will triple when poor lighting results in worker discomfort, time off and lost productivity. Avoid costly mistakes by consulting Lumitex.
4. You purchased cool white because you were told “more light output, less power needed”
All lights have different tones, which help create different moods. Warms whites are most often used to create intimacy, while cool whites are often used in retail spaces. While cool white LEDs are easier to make and may seem more efficient, using cool white could make your workspace appear distinctly cold and uncomfortable. Harsh lighting has been shown to impact worker comfort levels, contributing to tiredness levels and headaches. For work spaces in Australia warm white is most common.
5. You upgraded to LED and now colours look dull
Cheap LED lighting can have huge impact on colour definition. The colour rendering index or CRI can be one of the signs to the quality of the LED. A CRI of ≥ 80 is acceptable but if you want eye popping colours a CRI of ≥90 is the one to go for. Anything with a CRI of less than 80 will likely make red look muddy and dull. CRI of ≥70 are best kept to industrial applications that are not colour sensitive. Ask your supplier for samples if you’re unsure.
6. You changed to LED now the dimmer doesn’t work
Many existing dimmers were designed for resistive load and sometimes you can experience flickering and pulsing when dimming to low levels when low quality LED circuitry is introduced. This may lead to component failure. As LED lighting professionals.
7. You didn’t check out the supplier
LED lighting suppliers seem to be everywhere, making big promises and claims while having very little lighting experience or knowledge. They can bypass compliance testing to Australian standards and are offering warranties longer than they have been in business! We recommend seeking out a supplier with a proven history, one like Lumitex, with over 21 years of experience and the knowledge and professionalism to deliver on their promises. Don’t be fooled by cheap imitators.
8. The warranty is meaningless
Warranties can be tricky. We advise you read the fine print thoroughly to save you from being caught out. At Lumitex, we stand by our product warranties and one of our experts can talk you through each one so you know exactly where you stand regarding your upgrade to LED lighting and what that means for the future.
9. LED lights are failing already
Short LED life can be caused by inferior quality drivers, deficient thermal management of LED’s poorly mounted to boards and heat sinks, or just the quality of LED chips. LED’s can operate for well over 100,000 hours but, it should be noted the light output will likely drop considerably along with as the quality of colour rendered during the latter stages of light life.
The industry standard is to test to (L70) which is 70 per cent of their initial output. A supplier statement of quality should indicate a typically rated life of 50,000 hours and your supplier should be able to supply proof of the testing the L70 rating is based on.
10. Some lights have failed already and I can’t get replacements to match
Your lights have failed very quickly but when you contact your supplier to get a replacement you are advised that the model does not exist anymore, or even worse, the supplier has gone out of business. Some suppliers work with factories that are here today and gone tomorrow. Others flit from one factory to the next looking for the cheapest deal. Many suppliers don’t even visit the factories they buy from. All good reasons to be fastidious about who you use as your lighting supplier.
11. I was looking for the best price and a quick payback on my investment
The difference in price between cheap products and quality products can be considered as insurance to ensure the fundamental reason for upgrading to LED is met. That is, to benefit from consistent, reliable lighting with stable aesthetics not only for the period of the payback, but beyond. LED is a long term investment, one that should not be undermined by the short-term gain of lower priced, cheaper quality products. Payback against investment are crucially and inexorably linked.
A string of defects and issues as highlighted in the above 11 points can and do occur to lower quality products that may not manifest until a year or two after installation.
Upgrading to LED lighting should be a pain-free process resulting in significant energy savings. Don’t be swayed by cheap prices, as with anything, you get what you pay for and Lumitex is committed to providing the highest quality products for their clients. We are fully confident in our ability to improve lighting, reduce energy costs, and boost worker productivity through intuitive lighting throughout your property.
Contact Lumitex LED Lighting in Perth today on 1300 337 809 for a FREE lighting audit.