FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. What are LEDs?
A light-emitting diode (LED) is an electronic light source. LEDs are based on the semiconductor diode. When the diode is forward biased (switched on), electrons are able to recombine with holes and energy is released in the form of light. This effect is called electroluminescence and the color of the light is determined by the energy gap of the semiconductor. The LED is usually small in area (less than 1 mm2) with integrated optical components to shape its radiation pattern and assist in reflection.
In other words LEDs are the revolutionary way to directly convert electrical energy to visible light. This is unlike conventional light sources (light bulbs), which use extreme heat (wasted energy) to generate the light.
Q. What is Color Temperature?
An LED’s color temperature is measured in kelvins (K). Color temperatures greater than 5500K are "cool white" with a blue/green color. Color temperatures of 3000-5500K are “neutral white” while color temperatures of 2700–3000 K are "warm white" with a yellow/red color.
A common complaint regarding LED lighting is that it appears too ‘blue’. Some manufacturers of LED lighting solutions utilize the higher temperature LEDs (blue color) due to their high lumen per watt output.
Standard LED lights are produced in the ‘Neutral White’ color. This color temperature closely resembles the spectrum of natural daylight.
Q. What is Luminance, Illuminance and Foot Candles?
Luminance is the intensity of light per unit area of its source. Luminance does not change with distance from the light.
Illuminance, or Light Level, is the total luminous flux incident on a surface/work plane, per unit area. The work plane is where the most important tasks in the room or space are performed (ie. The desk surface in an office). Illuminance does change with distance from the light. When discussing light levels required in offices, classrooms, etc… at task level illuminance is the relevant term.
Illuminance is measured in foot candles (ftcd, fc, fcd) (or lux in the metric SI system). A foot candle is actually one lumen of light density per square foot, one lux is one lumen per square meter.
Q. What is a Conversion or Retrofit?
Conversion kits are a quick and simple way to convert and upgrade your existing lighting fixtures to extremely energy efficient LED lighting. Maintaining the existing fixture minimizes time, cost and waste.
Q.What are the real benefits of LEDs?
Energy Savings – LED lights products save from 50% to 80% over existing technologies such as fluorescent, metal halide, incandescent and HID (high intensity discharge) light bulbs.
No Mercury or Lead – Disposal of LEDs does not contaminate the environment or poison our wildlife.
Long Life – Eliminates replacement and maintenance costs throughout its life of 50,000+ hours.
Minimal Heat Generation – Reduces air conditioning costs.
Directional Illuminance – Can eliminate light pollution by aiming the fixture and LED in the desired direction– Can eliminate light pollution by aiming the fixture and LED in the desired direction
Life Span Not Affected by “On/Off” – The life of conventional light sources is diminished each time they are cycled on and off, but this is not the case with LEDs, which see no reduction in life due to cycling.
Instant On – LEDs turn on instantly and do not require a ‘start up’ time. HID light bulbs require a start up time of up to several minutes. This is a significant benefit for industrial applications where delayed ‘on’ times can cause major disruption.
Q. What is Mercury?
Mercury is a highly toxic metal that is harmful to both humans and wildlife. Exposure to even small amounts of mercury, over a long period of time, may cause negative health effects including damage to the brain, kidneys and lungs.
Unborn and young children are especially susceptible to mercury exposure because their nervous systems are still developing. Whether it is absorbed through the skin, inhaled or ingested, exposure to mercury should be taken very seriously.
Mercury is classified as a toxic substance.
Q. What types of light sources contain mercury?
Mercury is present in several types of conventional lighting including:
- Fluorescent and compact fluorescent bulbs.
- High intensity discharge bulbs (HID). The following are HID bulbs:
- Mercury Vapor
- Metal Halide
- High Pressure Sodium