Incandescent technology may sound at odds with new LED lighting, and adding to the confusion are several other names by which this particular dimming method may be called. These names include TRIAC, Leading Edge, and Forward Phase Control; and we attempt to explain how all of them relate to the phenomenon of a dimming light.
This article came about from many questions from our customers and site visitors shopping for items like our dimmable recessed light kits and cable/track lighting systems. We hope you find this helpful, and that you keep the questions coming!
While our R&D department is constantly working to improve the efficiency and performance of our American-made LED lights, our IT department also strives to make it easier for you to find just what you need online! That’s why we’re updating the LED Savings Calculator, one of the handiest features at LEDWaves.com.
The LED Bulb Savings Calculator shows you how much you can save and how quickly you can hit the return on your investment. It compares replacement LED lights with the your current lighting technology, factoring in hours of use and electricity costs. And only LED Waves’ calculator includes additional (non-required) fields for the cost and time for maintenance team to replace burnt-out bulbs – making this tool especially useful for professional facility managers in addition to smart homeowners.
We’ve updated the calculator to supply the most recent average energy rates by sector supplied by the Energy Information Administration, and we’re also tinkering with the code to make it easier for you to share your findings. If you have any other suggestions to improve the Energy Savings Calculator, contact us!
The more information we spread about energy saving LED lighting, the greener our planet can be. That’s why, among other changes, we’re working to make it shareable across your favorite media platforms. In the meantime, please share our calculator with your friends and colleagues by including a link to this calculator on your website or blog. Spread the Green!
You might have heard the terms “lumen maintenance” or “lumen depreciation” or (if you’re more advanced) “L70” in reference to lighting – particularly LED lighting. These terms have to do with lifespan, which is particularly important for lighting for commercial, municipal, educational, healthcare, or industrial applications, where short operating lives come at a higher premium.
Like the metal halide (MH), high pressure sodium (HPS), and fluorescent/compact fluorescent (CFL) technology typically used in these settings, LEDs decrease in brightness over time. L70 is a calculation of when the output of a light source dips down to 70% of the initial lumens – after which point, the bulb or luminaire is considered no longer useful, and should be replaced.
L70 values for LED lighting are determined by testing samples at different temperatures for thousands of hours, then multiplying the damage exponentially. LED drivers/power supplies generate heat, and if not managed properly, they can dramatically accelerate lumen depreciation. This is why we place such heavy emphasis on the heat sinks and other thermal management systems on all products designed and assembled by LED Waves.
The above chart maps the typical trajectory of lumen depreciation across many professional-grade lighting technologies compared to LEDs. L70 at 50,000 hours is the baseline for everything we carry; however, most of our newer industrial products such as LED high bays are rated to last two to ten times longer.
(Note that halogen/incandescent bulbs fail suddenly, or catastrophically, rather than slowly fade in brightness. This is because their light comes from filaments, which simply burn out, rather than from the gas-based chemical reactions of the ballasted lighting technologies, or from the electricity conducted through solid state Light Emitting Diodes.)
The slow lumen depreciation of LEDs is significant for several reasons. The most obvious one is that it supplements energy savings towards a return on investment. By saving on bulb replacements and on maintenance workers’ time – which is an especially important consideration for the workplace – LED lights pay for themselves. And the advertised lifespan of, say, a fluorescent T8 tube, is not as relevant if one third of it is spent transmitting dim, flickering light.
Secondly, lumen maintenance is worth noting when comparing the brightness of different lighting technologies. People are slowly disabusing themselves of the idea that Wattage measures brightness, and instead they are looking at lumen counts.
However, the advertised lumen output of a MH, HPS or fluorescent bulb is not an accurate indication of how bright it will be, since that value declines so drastically and so quickly. Occasionally, fluorescent lighting suppliers advertise a mean (average) value in addition to initial lumen output. When this is not available, one should determine their own value based on their needs and capabilities. For example, if you replace bulbs at the L70 mark, the lumen output at 85% initial lumens (or the halfway point between 100% and 70%) may provide a more accurate picture of how bright a fluorescent, MH or HPS light source will be.
Thus, exact matches in lumen output or advertised lifespans are somewhat irrelevant when comparing other light bulbs with LEDs.
Navigating this information may be a little confusing at first, but satisfyingly powerful with just a little bit of research. And our experts here at LED Waves are happy to help you make the proper lighting evaluations and choices along the way.
We’re as proud of the performance of these tubes as we were when they were first added to our line of exclusive products made in-house in the USA. We’re phasing them out as more of our customers are specifying complete 1×4′ or 2×4′ LED panel lights for new constructions. However, the Genesys is still a high quality, money-saving lighting solution for those who want to retrofit existing fluorescent fixtures with LEDs.
Such a significant price drop is to be expected as advances in chip manufacturing continue to drive costs down, making LED lighting more competitive with traditional lighting technologies. COO Ayn couldn’t help but remark on the current day low price of the Genesys, compared to the Challenger: the first 4ft LED T8 we carried, which retailed at over four times the cost!
Whatever their prices may be, we stand by every product sold by LED Waves. In fact, we haven’t gotten a single return on the Challenger, in the 5 years since we sold that product. Those early adopters love their investment, and we think you will, too, when you shop today at LEDWaves.com!
We’ve slowed down on updates recently, and that’s because all hands are on deck here at LED Waves HQ! We’ve got tons of American-made industrial LED lights coming down the pipeline – undergoing design tweaks, in situ testing, and even re-naming! (It’s hard nailing down impactful, relevant names for our unique products.)
While we can’t reveal too much about these new products, we did want to take a moment on this Social Media Day to let you know what’s going on in the greater LED world. Everything in this industry is related: All advancements, no matter where in the technology and in the supply chain, lead to better performance and lower prices on LED lighting everywhere.
This doesn’t relate to LED Wavesdirectly, as we haven’t imported any new bulbs from the East since we launched our American-made LED bulbs in 2012, and our specialty lies in higher end, commercial and industrial lighting anyway. But if other manufacturers – particularly those with historic strongholds in the industry – are held to a higher standard, consumers will be better informed about lighting technology, have better user experiences, and are more likely to adopt earth-friendly LED lighting in other walks of life.
A driver is an component that regulates the current from a power source to an electronic device. Since this can cover such a huge range of consumer products – especially those experiencing rapid growth (Do you know anyone who hasn’t bought a new phone, tablet, or computer in the past year?) – these LED driver sales paints a promising picture in the adoption of this advanced lighting technology.
This topic was on the minds of many at LIGHTFAIR International earlier this month.
With record-breaking numbers of attendees seeking out LED lights and exhibitors selling them year after year, it’s become clear there’s no question if LEDs will achieve worldwide adoption, but when. This year, some were even wondering why: Is this technology really the go-to solution? With some industries – particularly agricultural settings – traditionally reliant on incandescent lighting for inherently incandescent qualities, are LEDs really capable of penetrating all lighting applications? With our upcoming line of rugged, industrial LED lights, LED Waves is setting out to answer these questions with a resounding YES.
Big news for our social media followers: LED Waves has launched a Youtube channel! Thanks to our friends at Hiccup Media, we were able to hit the ground running with a whopping eight video showcases.
The LED Waves Youtube channel offers an exciting new way to engage with viewers who are interested in switching to LED lighting. Our videos can also be viewed throughout LEDWaves.com on their respective product pages:
These eight videos – the first of many to come – focus mainly on our line of LED lights made in the USA. Subscribe to see coming content, including step-by-step installation guides for our retrofit lights, a video tour of LED Waves’ OEM facility, and even more product showcases as we grow our line of American-made LED lights!
We want to thank all the LED Waves customers who helped make our Earth Day sale a success. We’re cooking up more LED lighting deals for the month of May, but in the meantime, check out the year-round savings in our Clearance section!
Our Clearance LED lights include tons of energy-saving bulbs – both halogen and incandescent replacements – all reduced up to 75% from their original prices. It’s a pretty impressive selection, featuring quite a few big name LED bulbs under $20!
Shop today; all Clearance sales are final, so items will not be restocked once they sell out. For real-time availability, specification help, or bulk pricing for any of our LED lights, call our sales team at 1(800)986-0169.
When we first shifted LED Waves manufacturing operations stateside to debut a set of American-made LED PAR lamps back in 2012, we did so with three primary goals:
Lower costs by eliminating middlemen and consolidating operations in-house – accelerating wide-scale adoption of energy-saving LED lights.
Create jobs – especially in the green tech field, particularly for the United States (which was falling behind in this field at the time) and most importantly – for us personally – on a local level here in NYC.
Exercise closer quality control of our in-house exclusives – helping diffuse the discontent some early adopters experienced from poorly made LED products.
While we figured we were oddities at the time – supplying and manufacturing LED lights in-house in the USA, despite our small company size – we didn’t realize we were on the ground floor of a global sea change in the SSL industry.
China has long dominated our field, handling the intensive process behind the manufacture of all energy efficient lighting – from the glass-blown curvature of CFL bulbs to the board population and highly nuanced assembly of LED replacements – with a seemingly endless supply of cheap labor. Government subsidies made it even harder for American businesses to resist the allure of Chinese manufacturing.
Slowly yet surely, though, China is losing its foothold and manufacturing has shifted back to the United States. Forbes has noted six commonalities among manufacturers affecting this change:
This does not portend the end of Chinese manufacturing – far from it. Rather, we’re seeing a leveling of the playing field – and on a higher level at that. Healthy competition between LED Waves among other American manufacturers (not to mention other global contenders) breeds higher quality, lower cost LED lights, with more jobs and better employee satisfaction. And remember, that’s what drove our decision to manufacture LED lights in the USA.
Recently, LinkedIn’s Facility Managers Group swapped workplace horror stories in an illuminating discussion titled, “Stories of Neglect: What have you seen as a Facilities Manager that has been a result of poor maintenance or complete lack(there)of?” We noticed that a recurring theme in the responses was mass shortages of lighting due to failing fixtures that went unreported. These shortages can pose a huge danger for litigation and human life in general.
In these cases, those responsible for facility-wide inspections were often contractors who were unfamiliar with lighting terminology and standards – cleaning professionals, for example. Since many of the LED lights supplied by LED Waves are designed specifically for commercial and industrial buildings, this was of particular interest to us. How can lighting be effectively monitored by untrained personnel?
With filament-based lighting technology – halogen/incandescent – failure is pretty straightforward; the bulb suddenly burns out after a few thousand hours and stays dark until a maintenance worker gets around to replacing it. With gas-based, ballasted lighting technologies, however, failure can be trickier to diagnose.
By industry standards, a luminaire is considered failed once it produces less than 70% of its initial output (thus the “L70” references you may see on lighting literature). The ballasted lighting technologies most commonly seen in large buildings – fluorescent, HID, sodium, metal halide – decrease in lumen output exponentially shortly after being installed. (Fluorescent lights are especially bad, strobing and changing color noticeably as they near the end of their useful lives.)
Like the above lighting technologies, LED lights decrease their lumen output over time. Unlike the above, however, they don’t hit the dreaded 70% mark for 30,000 to 50,000 hours of operation – so inspections by qualified personnel, using proper equipment, can be scheduled fewer and farther between.
As LED lighting and controls get smarter, these inspections may fall out of human jurisdiction altogether in our lifetime – freeing up time for facility managers to prevent other stories of neglect.
Like the recently re-launched New York 3.0 PAR38, the Illinois uses a single high-powered Philips LUXEON CoB LED for higher efficacy, center beam candle power, and luminaire to luminaire consistency. Each one also features a uniquely textured reflector to multiply light output without added glare.
Like all LED lights made in the USA only by LED Waves, the Illinois comes with a 5 year warranty – thanks in part to the extra attention paid to heat dissipation. In addition to our signature lightweight aluminum heat sink that promotes air flow, the Illinois features a metal core printed circuit board (MCPCB) to lower thermal resistance from the LED. These high quality components work together to prolong the service life of the entire bulb.
We’re sure you’ll love the bright, feel-good light from the new Illinois™ Dimmable LED PAR30. Order today to be among the first to try it out!