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What to Know About Switching to LED Lights

If you weren’t sure about LEDs, how it can help you and which to buy, this story is for you.

Switching your incandescent lightbulbs to LEDs has several benefit. It not only helps you to save money on your electric bill, but also provide superior light quality, less impact on the environment and longer lifespan.

But shopping for LEDs can be a dizzying experience. Aside from there’s a seemingly endless array of LEDs types to choose from, there are terms you probably never heard before, such as lumens and kelvin. On top of that, there are types of beam angle and colour temperature available, such as daylight, warm white and so on. Most of the time, you will be overwhelming with so much information and types of LEDs.

If you’re thinking of making the switch for existing or new home, here is the basic guideline that you should know about LEDs and selecting the best replacement.

How LEDs differ from Incandescent Bulbs

Light output versus heat waste.

“LED” stand for “light-emitting diode”. While we won’t get into the detail about how it works, but increase number of people using LEDs due to its advantages. That include high efficiency of light output, LED technology able to converts 95% of the energy to light and only 5% is wasted as heat.

Incandescent are pretty much the opposite. It converts only 10% of the energy into light, while 90% is wasted as heat. Heat produced by LED lights is adsorbed into “heat sink” to prevent the light from overheating. While incandescent bulb just throws all the excess heat directly into the room, resulting more energy consumption for your air conditioning system.

Energy saving and Longer lifespan

Probably you always heard about how LEDs can save a lot of energy compared than incandescent. As mentioned earlier, LED convert 95% of the energy to light, that’s the reason why a 3W LED bulb can replace with 25W incandescent bulb.

Yes, it can save almost up to 90% on your electrical bills on lighting consumption. However, it depends on the usage of your LED Lights. If it is for commercial usage, such as retail shop, office, factory and etc, you can expect 80% - 90% of saving in your electrical bills. If it is for residential usage, there is about 20% - 40% cut down in electrical bills only as lighting in your home is only take about 20% of your entire electrical bills.

In term of lifespan, a standard LED Lights should at least last about 4 years with minimal usage of 10 hours per day. In case of any lighting failure, you can always replace its LED drivers so that it could still functioning as normal again.

Tips: Lifespan of LEDs can be vary based on the type of LED lights. Bulb types or LED Driver build-in lighting tends to have a shorter lifespan compare to LED lights that have separate driver.

Colour Temperature

You’ve likely to heard or noticed that the old status quo incandescent bulb cast a yellowish light. This incandescent yellow glow is referred as “warm white”. While incandescent only come with “warm white”, when compared to cooler light colour, it can appear dingy. Tones of the lights is very important in interior design, as designer use different colour temperature to create different feeling and environment in room.

To understand light colour, you need to first understand a few terms. The Correlated Colour Temperature, or CCT, is the colour of light emitted by a bulb that correlates to a Kelvin (K) temperature scale. As you can see on the image, the lower the kelvin number, the yellower the lights.

Standard incandescent are only 2700K. Unlike incandescent, LEDs are available in a number of Kelvin option to fit a variety of user lighting needs. Like LED strips, it can have multiple colour in one single LED Chips, provides different tones in the room.

Tips: Warm White (3000K) usually create a warm and romantic feeling in the room because the tone is soft and dim.

Daylight (6400K) consider as bright white colour that provide maximum brightness in the room, usually used in office or place that you work or read.

Cool White / Natural White (4000K) the combination both Daylight and Warm White. Is the best of both world, is good for eyes and work spaces.

What to Use and Where

While light colour choice is a personal preference, “Cool White” and “Natural White” (4000K) are good choices for general light. You can use these light colour in most of the area in your home such as living room, bathroom, dining hall and so on.

A bright white “Day Light” tones that create maximum brightness and usually used in space that required focus work such as kitchen or food preparation area. “Day Light” also recommended as reading lamps.

While “Warm White” are often used to highlight special architectural features, painting or even furniture. This is because warm colour can enhance the volume and texture of any surface.

How much money should you expect to save switching to LEDs?

LEDs cost more than standard incandescent bulbs. Recently, however, prices for LEDs have been steadily decrease. A quality LED Dowlight 12W cost about RM68 in 2012, while now is only about RM30-45.

The ringer is that LEDs last a long time and energy saving compared to incandescent bulb. A standard 100W incandescent bulb can be replaced by 15W LEDs lights. With such huge energy saving, the return of investment (ROI) for consumer is less than 1 year (usually 6-8 months).

While LEDs don’t burn out or suddenly stop working like other bulbs. Instead, they decline. Otherwise known as “lumen depreciation,” the amount of light produced decrease and brightness drop. The lifespan of LEDs is calculate based on the light output when its decrease by 30%. A standard LEDs can last about 8 to 9 years.

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