The More You Know
Understanding the factors that determine the quality of LED luminaires and retrofits can help you make smart, long-lasting purchasing decisions for your business.
Thermal Management is one of the most important factors in LED luminaire design, critical to LED lifetime, efficiency, and performance. Proper management of heat at the junction point of an LED can determine the quality of the LED luminaire design. The thermal conditions of an LED are determined by the following factors:
Proper Heat Sink
Tests and Compliances
As LED technology rapidly advances, and a growing number of LED manufacturers hit the market, it is important for consumers to know that the products they are purchasing meet certain standards of quality that have become industry standard. For consumers, this means knowing whether you are getting a quality product that performs as claimed. In the commercial lighting industry, certain tests and product evaluations are in place to ensure quality products.
IES-LM-79 Reports – LED Performance
IES-LM-79 Reports measure the electrical and photometric measurements of solid-state lighting products. Reports are prepared by accredited testing laboratories conforming to the standards of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA).
- Total Luminous Flux
- Luminous Intensity Distribution
- Electrical Power
- Luminous Efficacy (calculation)
- Color Characteristics:
– CCT (correlated color temperature)
– CRI (color rendering index)
IES-LM-80 Reports – Lumen Maintenance
Lumen Maintenance describes the level of light output maintained by an LED light source over time. LEDs, unlike other light sources, do not suddenly burn out, but begin to slowly degrade (depreciate) after a certain number of burn hours. This depreciation is measured and recorded by the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES). so that consumers will know what to expect from their LED light source over time.
UL Certification – Safety and Building Standards
Building and Life Safety codes rely on the use of tested and certified products to meet safety and performance objectives. Code authorities rely on UL to provide world-class safety certifications, standards and technical information on products regulated by these codes.
UL is one of the best-known OSHA “Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories” (NRTLs). UL certification lets a consumer know that the LED luminaire meets national safety standards and is fully equipped for safe building integration. LED Living certifies its products C-UL-US, meeting requirements in both the United States and Canada.
In fact, LED Living has an in-house UL authorized lab.
Ingress Protection (IP) Rating
An Ingress Protection rating is important to fixtures intended for outdoor use or exposure to water, dust, vapor, pressure, and/or other environmental hazards, pollutants, or wash-down scenarios. An ingress protection rating (or IP code) indicates compliance with the International Electrotechnical Commission.
Example: LED Living's ARTEMIS High Bay/Garage Luminaire features an IP65 rated enclosure, meaning that it is dust-proof, suitable for damp environments, and able to withstand low-pressure jets from all directions. LED Living's DRACO II Vapor Tight Luminaire meets an IP67 rating, meaning it can stand up to environmental conditions including dust, dirt, vapor, and temporary water immersion.
RoHS compliancy refers to the absence of hazardous materials including mercury and lead – two environmentally hazardous substances found in older lighting technologies.
Design Lights Consortium (DLC) Compliancy
The DLC is a solid-state lighting resource that qualifies products for rebate programs based on a collection of product data and testing, similar to Energy Star, but with categories for outdoor LED luminaires, linear panel retrofits, and other fixtures that do not have an Energy Star category. The listing is intended to ensure that only high-quality, high-performance, tested and verified LED products will be eligible for rebate participating programs.
Why Are LEDs Better Than Fluorescents?
- Flexible modular construction allows for adaptability to limitless configurations.
- LEDs do not contain hazardous materials such as mercury and lead.
- LEDs are shatter resistant with twice the rated lifetime.
- Uniquely suitable for cold environments and freezer-app locations.
- Frequent dimming of LEDs will not result in loss of lumen maintenance, but will ultimately result in cooler junction temperatures, and thus extend lifetime.