Frequently Asked Questions

LED Tips & Tricks

The following information sheet provides answers to some of the most common questions we are asked about LED lights.

Tips & Tricks 2019

What is an LED?

LED – Light Emitting Diode - is a solid-state semiconductor device that converts electrical energy directly into light. There are no moving parts, no gas and no filaments to heat up. A LED semiconductor comprises two regions: one is a positively charged region (P region) and the other is a negatively-charged region (N region). When a current is passed between these two regions, it causes the electrons to move to the opposite region. It is this movement that creates and releases energy. This energy is called a photon and is visible to the human eye, thus we have a Light Emitting Diode.

Do LEDs run cold?

LEDs are an electronic device and as such they are not 100% efficient, therefore there is wasted energy which is released as heat. LEDs run much cooler than conventional light sources (incandescent means light emitted by heat). A Switch Lighting LED designed to replace a 100W incandescent light bulb will run at around 70-75°C at its hottest point.

What happens if an LED gets hot?

LEDs have a design temperature called Junction Temperature (Tj). If the temperature is too hot, the LED can change colour and it will prematurely fail. All Switch Lighting products are designed to run well below Tj limits.

Should I cover an LED heatsink with insulation?

A traditional LED heatsink should not be covered with insulation. A heatsink requires free air around it to perform. If the heatsink function is compromised the Tj will also be compromised. Switch Lighting products use clever heatsinking of the front face (surface that is in the living space) to allow the rear of the product to be covered with insulation, thus there is zero compromise to the LED product's performance and longevity.

Can I cover Switch LEDs with insulation?

Yes – Switch LED luminaires have been engineered from the ground up to be completely packed with insulation. We have developed unique heat dissipation techniques to allow this without compromising the performance or longevity of our products.

What is the difference between Constant Current and Constant Voltage?

Click on the document below which will give you a rundown on the difference between Constant Current and Constant Voltage:

FAQ Constant Voltage vs Constant Current.pdf

What is the difference between Ultra Low Glare and Prismatic?

The Ultra-Low Glare fitting has a clear lens and delivers a sharper and more direct beam pattern.

It is especially good for punching light over task areas such as kitchen benches and work desks for example. 

It is also excellent under soffits to create a nice beam pattern and offer a point of difference.

 

The Prismatic lens delivers a softer beam and delivers more field of light. 

This is especially good in lounges, hallways and living areas. 

Can I get a lighting design done?

Yes you can and it won't cost you a cent. Here at Switch Lighting we strongly believe in providing our customers with the best possible lighting design. As the manufacturer we know better than anyone which product to use where and how many. We do lighting design by light, not fittings.

Contact us today for your free no-obligation lighting design.

How long is 60,000 hours?

Based on how long a fixture is illuminated per day, here’s what 60,000 works out to:
60,000 hours is:

Hours of Operation:
24 hours per day - 6.8 years
18 hours per day - 9.1 years
12 hours per day - 13.7 years
8 hours per day - 20.5 years
5 hours per day - 32.8 years

Do I have to replace LED's?

An LED does not burn out like a standard lamp, so individual diodes do not need to be replaced. Instead, the diodes gradually produce lower output levels over a very long period of time. If one LED fails, it does not produce a complete fixture outage.

What are the environmental benefits?

LED fixtures have an environmental advantage in that they contain no mercury, last longer and produce less waste, and they are made from fully recyclable materials. Furthermore, the extruded aluminium heat sink is manufactured using 77% post-industrial recycled material.

A single kilowatt-hour of electricity will generate 610grams of CO2 emissions. Assuming the average light bulb is on for 10 hours a day, a single 100-watt incandescent bulb will generate 222kg of CO2 every year. The 12-watt Switch Lighting LED equivalent will be responsible for only 26kg of CO2 over the same time span. A building’s carbon footprint from lighting can be reduced by nearly 90% by exchanging all incandescent bulbs for new LEDs.

What are the advantages of using LED lights?

LEDs bring several advantages to the lighting industry, including high efficiency and durability and, with superior life over other lamp sources, their required maintenance is greatly reduced. This translates into energy savings, maintenance savings and an overall reduction in cost of ownership over the product’s lifetime.

Can I put 12V onto LEDs?

What is a Driver?

In regards to LED, a driver is the power supply module that controls the current and voltage supplied to the LED or LEDs in circuit. All LED must have their voltage and current controlled. A typical driver is known as a switch mode power supply. Switch Lighting design our own range of drivers, from tiny units that are embedded inside products to larger stand-alone products that run our bigger downlights.

Glossary

Lux

Lux measures the number of lumens per square metre arriving at the surface. There are general recommended levels for different circumstances.
150-200 lux for general household activity - eg. vacuuming or washing
300-500 lux for focused activity - eg. reading, studying or preparing food
750 lux or more for more concentrated activity - eg. fine detail sewing

Lumen

A lumen is a measurement of how much light is given out from any light fitting. The more lumens the brighter the light. Lumen is the flow of light.

Beam Angle

Beam angle is measured in degrees and measures spread of light. A light beam angle is determined when its lux level drops to half of the intensity of the centre beam.

Colour temperature

The warmth of colour of the light, measured on the Kelvin scale(K). For example 2700K is a warm cosy light (100W incandescent Light bulb produces 2700K) where 4000K is a cooler blueish white light. 4000K products are commonly used throughout commercial applications.

Colour Rendering (CRI)

CRI is a rating out of 100 of how well the light source lets your eyes see the vibrancy of colours compared with natural daylight. The CRI of one light can only be compared to another light of the same colour temperature. A good quality LED should be producing a CRI of at least 90.

Watt

The unit of power the fitting is using. This does not relate to light output in an LED but it is a measure of the actual power consumed. The higher the watts the higher the running costs.

Efficacy

Efficacy is the measure of a lighting product's efficiency. It is measured in lumens per watt: the amount of lumens being output divided by the amount of watts used. The higher the efficacy, the more efficient the luminaire.

Dimming

The dimming of LED is controlled by an electronic power supply (driver). How well the dimming works is a direct function of the quality of the electronic circuit within the driver. Switch Lighting products have very good dimming characteristics.[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title="Lifetime – L70" open="no"]LED do not fail or burn out like traditional light sources, instead they slowly fade over time. So to measure LED liftetime a standard called L70 was derived.When LED reaches 70% of its original brightness it is considered end of useable life and this time frame is rated in hours. Switch LED are rated at 60,000hrs.

Lifetime - L70

LED do not fail or burn out like traditional light sources, instead they slowly fade over time. So to measure LED liftetime a standard called L70 was derived.
When LED reaches 70% of its original brightness it is considered end of useable life and this time frame is rated in hours. Switch LED are rated at 60,000hrs.