LED lights greatly outlast CFL bulbs, incandescent bulbs, and halogen bulbs. In addition to long life, they produce an equivalent light quality using only a fraction of the energy required by other bulbs.
Now that you understand more about ballasts, retrofitting, and the benefits of switching from fluorescent to LED, let’s get into even further detail about LED T8 lights. These lamps come in a few different configurations. The most obvious of which is the single and double-ended tube. Knowing whether you’ll need a double ended T8 LED or a single ended T8 LED tube for your lighting project gets you on the right track to completing the ideal renovation.
What Kind of Lamp is the Single Ended T8 LED Tube?
Single ended tubes receive all of their power from one side. This is the side that contains both the neutral and live pins. It is known as the input end. Many of these types of lamps are direct-wire, and do not require a ballast in order to operate. However, if you are using this lamp in a retrofit, the lampholders will require replacement, and the ballast removed.
What Kind of Lamp is the Double Ended T8 LED?
On the double ended T8 LED, you will find the neutral pins on one end, and the live pins on the other end of the tube. Traditional fluorescent lamps also have this double ended configuration. When replacing fluorescent tubes with LEDs, using the double ended LED lamps can make retrofitting much easier.
If this is your first major lighting project, consider enlisting the assistance of a licensed technician or electrical expert. Once these lamps are installed throughout your building, they are guaranteed to bring energy and dollar savings for years to come.
When doing an outdoor lighting project, there are so many options to choose from. Among all available lights, the most energy efficient are easily the ones with LED technology. Once you know LED is the way to go, you have to know what beam you need, how wide of a beam is necessary, and how to calculate the beam spread you’ll need. Let’s take a look at a few of the key differences between an outdoor LED flood light and the LED spotlight.
Spotlight – an LED spotlight will project a light beam that fairs on the more narrow side, at 45 degrees or less. This sort of beam spread is concentrated in a more specific area, and can be simpler to direct.
Flood Light – LED bulbs in this category create a large beam spread that can cast from 50 to 120 degrees of light. As this is a larger beam, this light covers a significantly large amount of space without compromising energy efficiency (wattage) or light brightness (lumens) in comparison to the spotlight.
Which to Choose?
LED spotlights can be seen when looking to highlight specific points or details, such as artwork in a museum, features in landscaping, or items for display.
If your project requires illuminating large spaces that need a wide and even distribution of light, the outdoor LED flood light is the one you want to go with. These lights are used in settings such as parking lots, warehouses, other commercial spaces, and driveways to name a few.
Measuring the Coverage Area
While having a general idea of what setting a spotlight or floodlight can be used in is helpful, being able to measure in feet how much coverage you’ll have per light can make your lighting project run even more smoothly. Keep this formula handy for when you need to do just that:
Distance from Bulb x Beam Angle x 0.018 = Beam Width in Feet
For example, if you want to cover 20 feet of area using a 90 degree floodlight:
20 x 90 x 0.018 = 32.4 feet
With your knowledge of how an outdoor LED flood light differs from an LED spotlight, and with this formula in hand, you’re now more than ready to take on that next lighting project.
According to the US Energy Information Administration, lighting accounts for 10% of total energy consumption in commercial buildings. This includes schools, hospitals, warehouses, offices, and other industrial spaces. Limiting the amount of energy lost from lighting is just as simple as changing the lights. The most common type of lamp found in these buildings are fluorescent T8 lights. By simply replacing them with T8 LED light bulbs, you can easily reduce energy usage and costs right along with it.
What’s So Different?
When looking to replace fluorescent lamps with their LED counterparts, the first thing to check is wattage. For example, if you’re replacing a 32-watt fluorescent, a 17-watt LED T8 will do the trick. This cuts the energy being used from just the one fixture by more than half! Imagine the savings possible after replacing them all.
Next, do a comparison of lumens. While wattage measures the amount of energy being consumed, lumens accounts for the brightness of a bulb. Let’s take the same example from earlier. A T8 fluorescent that uses 32 watts of energy typically produces 2500 lumens of light. It’s LED equivalent, while using only 17 watts, produces 2200 lumens.
Additionally, T8 LED light bulbs have a lifetime rating of 50,000 hours, more than 3 times longer than 15,000 hour average lifespan of T8 fluorescent lights. Also keep in mind the warranty period. Generally, most fluorescent tubes have a 2-year warranty. Their LED counterparts are warrantied for as much as 5 years after the date of purchase.
There are two types of T8 LED tubes: Plug and Play, and Ballast Bypass. If you’re looking to do a quick replacement and install, you’ll want to go with the plug and play LEDs. These models do just as the title suggests. Rewiring isn’t necessary, and this reduces the maintenance costs. Installing Ballast bypass LEDs is slightly more complicated, and a professional electrician should be contracted to do the job. The existing ballast in the fixture will first need to be removed. These lamps work by using the voltage that flows directly to the socket.
All LED tubes come in either cool white or daylight color temperatures, matching the colors of the already installed lamps. T8 LED light bulbs allow for less energy use, greater energy savings, longer lamp life, and less maintenance. They are manufactured to make the switch both seamless, and well worth it in the long run.
When searching for LED bulbs, you may have come across the phrases wet location and damp location. While they sound like they’re describing the same kind of bulb, these two ratings are very different. The bulbs are each given their classification by the Underwriters Laboratories. Here, each light undergoes testing to determine the environment it is best suited for. Understanding the difference between damp rated LED bulbs and wet rated LED bulbs will allow you to remain safe when installing them in fixtures for your home or business.
What Qualifies as A Damp Location?
Where LED bulbs are concerned, a damp location is an environment that is mostly shielded from outdoor weather conditions, yet still experiences humidity and moisture. These settings are exposed to condensation, or “sweating,” yet the fixtures installed here do not have actual contact with water. Examples of this would be:
What Qualifies as A Wet Location?
Wet rated LED bulbs are installed in fixtures that have been designed to specifically withstand exposure to water: from simple splashes, to complete submersion. The fixtures have to be produced with seals that waterproof its electrical portions. This also prevents damage, and even power shortages. Bulbs with this rating are manufactured for use in almost all outdoor light fixtures, as these fixtures are exposed to conditions such as rain and snow. A few settings where wet location LED bulbs are installed in include:
United Laboratories has carefully crafted the rating system for these bulbs. In doing so, this prevents lighting from being installed in the wrong location, which can cause short-circuiting, and even be potentially dangerous. Understanding the difference between damp rated LED bulbs and wet rated LED bulbs will allow you to get the most out of your LED lights. It also takes you one step closer to making the right choices for fixtures both inside and outside of your house or building.
This post has been updated from its original version.
PL lamps, given their name by their originator, Philips Lighting, have been in the game for many years now. These pin-based lamps are widely used and installed in a variety of fixtures, from recessed cans, outdoor fixtures, and ceiling fans, to table lamps and wall sconces. They’re used in both residential and commercial buildings across the country. Like most energy efficient lamps, these were first introduced in compact fluorescent format. While CFLs will always be the better choice over incandescent lamps, by considering CFL to LED conversion, you’ll discover an entirely new range of benefits. Just think of it as leveling up.
Dollars and Sense
For starters, let’s look at wattage. The wattage amount used by a bulb measures how much energy it consumes to illuminate the room. LED PL lamps that use only 12 watts of energy can replace CFL PL lamps that consume 26 watts. By switching out just one bulb, you’re cutting the energy consumption, and equally the costs, for that one bulb by more than half. LED lamps have been made to replace 13, 18, 26 , 32 and 48-watt CFL bulbs.
In addition to saving money long-term, LED technology is such that it removes the glow and flicker that is so commonly associated with fluorescent lighting. The LED lights provide instant-on lighting, and warm up in no time at all. While CFLs typically come with a 5 year warranty and 10,000 hour lifetime rating, their LED counterparts have warranties upwards of 10 years, and are rated to last 50,000 hours on average.
Battle of the Ballast
When shopping for PL lamps, you may notice some are labeled Plug and Play while others are labeled Ballast Bypass. Plug and play lamps attach directly into the socket of your fixture and operate using the ballast that’s already there. No additional wiring is required, making the transition both smooth and simple.
Rewiring is necessary to install ballast bypass LED PL lamps, as the existing ballast has to be removed. They are, however, a great choice for anyone wanting a lamp that will call for less maintenance. Each type is available in horizontal and vertical design for illumination in both commercial and residential environments.
Bulb Base and Basics
PL lamps come in multiple color temperatures and either a 2-pin led bulb or 4-pin led bulb configuration. All have a base of either GU24, G24 or GX23. You’ll want to pay careful attention to these details in order to avoid getting the wrong bulb for your fixtures. They come in color temperatures that range from the warm 3000K to a cool 5000K. The warm, or soft glow at the beginning of the spectrum is ideal for living areas. The cooler light is what is typically found in office buildings, schools, and hospitals. Once you’ve chosen your wattage, ballast, base, and color, you’ll be good to go! You’ve already switched from incandescent to CFL. Now committing to CFL to LED conversion just got a little easier.
This post has been updated from its original 2014 version.
Before the introduction of Omni Directional LED Bulbs, Single Directional LEDs seemed to be the ultimate answer to our energy efficient needs. But despite their brightness and power saving capabilities, single directional LEDs fail to offer light that spreads out in more than just one direction. While regular single directional LEDs project light to around a 230 degree angle, the Omni Directional LEDs give out light in a 270 to 300 degree angle. This pattern of light makes them well suited for anywhere that non-directional light is needed.
Omni Directional LEDs offers the same level of energy efficiency and environmental friendliness of the tried and true single directional LED. Both offer a long lifespan between 25,000 and 50,000 hours. Both are recyclable as they contain no chemicals that are harmful to the environment and are mercury free. The main difference between the two comes in the form of their ability to spread light. Single Directional LEDs lack the ability to light from all sides of the bulb, emitting light from only the top half. Omni Directional LED Bulbs emit light from the entire bulb, creating a more vast space of light. This ability to spread light in more than just one direction makes them LEDs perfect for a variety of purposes including residential, commercial, and industrial properties. These LEDs offer instant startup as well as the ability to dim anywhere between 10% and 100%. Though, like standard LEDs, the price upfront is a bit higher, you can be sure that with 78% less energy being used and a significantly longer lifespan, youâ€™re saving money in the long haul.
When it comes to updating your incandescent or CFL bulbs to something a bit more energy efficient, Omni Directional LED Bulbs are perfect for the job. Because of their ability to spread light, these become a truly effective replacement for incandescent lamps at a variety of wattages. We no longer have to sacrifice quality of light for energy efficiency with Omni Directional LEDs you can have both. This one for one replacement makes the switch from incandescent to LED a breeze. In the same way, they are good replacements for CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) as well. With a three to four times longer life, much quicker start-up, and a spread out range of light, these LEDs are a great alternative to CFLs. If you’re in the market for an energy efficient LED with a wider illumination pattern, then Omni Directional LEDs might just be the right fit for you.
The main difference between a LED MR16, GU10, and PAR16 light is that the bases are different. Both MR16 and GU10 use pin bases that look and work differently. This is done so that bulbs do not get confused during installation. Since MR16 bulbs run on only 12 volts, they need external transformers to convert the building’s main 240 voltage supply to the 12 volts needed to run these bulbs. On the other hand, GU10 based bulbs can simply be plugged in and are ready for action. Some MR16 bulbs also come with other pin bases such as GU5.3.
As far as MR16 vs. PAR16, the main difference is the size, variety, and heat. Unlike MR16 type halogen bulbs which have dichroic glass reflectors, the PAR bulbs have aluminized glass reflectors which direct the heat generated by the bulb to the front of the bulb. Because of this, PAR16 bulbs are usually not suitable for ceiling installations of 8 feet or lower. PAR16 bulbs also produce more directional yet duller lighting and have a standard, medium screw-in type of base and work in medium sized E26 sockets. MR16, on the other hand, generates heat to the rear of the bulb and produce a lot more light for the wattage because of the multi-faceted reflector (hence, MR).
Although these three types of bulbs are different and should not be confused for correct installation, they will all save energy and minimize replacement and maintenance costs. Switching to any of these bulbs today can show you savings in as little as one year!
Being namesakes of their halogen and incandescent counterparts, PAR 30 and BR (or R) 30 LEDs are the green solution to outdoor and indoor lighting. Though they bear some similarities, understanding their differences will help you make better decisions about which one of these bulbs works best for your needs.
BR (for bulged reflector) bulbs are lamps with “wide flood” beam angles, which means that they provide more than a 45 degree angle when lighting an area.
PAR (short for Parabolic Aluminized Reflector) bulbs are available in these angles:
Narrow spot, 5-15 degrees
Spot, 16-22 degrees
Narrow flood, 23-32 degrees
Flood, 33-45 degrees
Wide flood beam, over 45 degrees
Though PAR 30 bulbs offer more options for lighting, both PAR and BR LED lamps are made to easily replace the energy-stealing halogen and incandescent lights. Because of this, both bulbs have the same medium (E26) base for North American sockets.
The numbers after PAR and BR, like 30, stand for 1/8th of an inch. To find the diameter of the lamp, just divide the number after it by 8: e.g., the diameter of a BR 30 bulb is 30/8ths of an inch, or 3.75 inches in diameter.
Lighting and Application BR30 light bulbs deliver soft-edged, directional light and can typically be found in general household light fixtures, recessed can lighting, and/or track lighting. Their lighting is less precise and produces less shadow than PAR bulbs, but they are great for fixtures that use dimmer switches.
PAR lamps deliver strong, narrow to wide, directional light. They are traditionally used outdoors as aircraft landing lights, security lighting, or indoors for concerts, movie production, and theater.
PAR and BR bulbs share the same voltage of 120VAC and have the same Kelvin degree color code as all light bulbs:
Energy Savings and Average Bulb Lifetime
Some LED PAR 30 bulbs offer nearly 90% in savings in comparison to halogen bulbs. They emit low heat, and can last for up to 70,000 hours.
BR-shaped LED lamps are much cheaper than PAR LED lamps, but they have a lower average lifetime of 25,000 hours.
Up to 25% of your energy bill is being burned with traditional light bulbs, and though the specifics may differ, switching to energy efficient lighting throughout the home can save you tons off your energy bill.
Further, with longer bulb life than their halogen and incandescent friends, both the PAR and BR LED light bulbs last longer and therefore require less changing.
These differences and similarities are also applied to other Par/R combinations as well, such as the Par20 and R20 LED bulbs. When searching for the perfect PAR or BR light bulb for your fixture, be sure to keep in mind the different angles, lighting, cost, and average bulb lifetime.
For many business, indoor lighting is one of the most important decisions to be made. Equally important, however, should be how the outside is illuminated. For potential customers passing the building at night, or walking through the parking garage, the outside will be their first impression of your establishment. While HID lamps have been the standard outdoor lighting option for years, LED canopy light fixtures help provide many options to create a safe and inviting environment while greatly reducing both energy use and lighting costs.
LED manufacturers made sure to provide many options to address a myriad of commercial lighting needs. The LED fixtures are available in two different types: Parking Garage Distribution and Canopy Distribution. The lamps also come in different shapes (round and square) to make the switch simple. The shapes allow multiple choices for mounting: ceiling, arm, and wall mount to name a few. HID lamps generally emit a somewhat orange light color. Their LED counterparts however, provide a cool white light. This gives them a much brighter appearance, and helps foster feelings of safety and comfort where installed.
Switching and Saving
Regardless of where the new lights are being installed, you’ll want to make sure the old ones are being properly replaced. LED canopy light fixtures are available in 20 to 53 watt options as replacements for the following HID lights:
20W LED – 100W Metal Halide
30W LED – 150W Metal Halide
40W LED – 175W Metal Halide
53W LED – 250W Metal Halide
The LED technology allows these lamps to use such low amounts of energy while still maintaining brightness. This is because the brightness is not dependent on wattage, but lumens. The higher the lumen count on a lamp is, the brighter the light emitted from will be. Further opportunities for savings are realized through dimmable and motion sensing lamps. By installing the LED canopy light fixtures, you’ll be cutting energy usage per fixture by up to 80% and as a result, energy costs.
Traditionally, fluorescent T8 linear lamps have been used as the main light source in commercial buildings such as hospitals, warehouses, schools, and more. LED T8 lamps are quickly replacing their fluorescent counterparts. The LED technology provides higher efficiency, many color and lumen options, and sizes. Advancements in lighting capabilities have also led to more options for installation. When deciding on which lamps to replace your fluorescent T8s with, one of the main things to consider is the ballast type. Knowing the difference between a Plug and Play LED T8 and a Ballast Bypass T8 will make the process of switching even easier.
Ballast compatibility absolutely matters when the LED lamp you’ve chosen is of the UL Type A variety. The Plug and Play LED T8, also referred to as direct fit, is the easiest of the two types to install. This lamp works directly with the existing ballast to quickly replace the fluorescent T8. While this is the simplest installation method, the LED lamp must be compatible with the ballast of the fluorescent it is replacing in order for the new lamp to work. The makers of the LED T8 typically provide a list of compatible ballasts. Make sure to check out this list before purchasing your replacement lamps.
LED lamps classified as ballast bypass, direct wire, or UL Type B do have a more involved installation. As a result, it is best to hire an expert electrician to complete the process. The Ballast Bypass T8 does just that. The technology of these lamps works straight from the line voltage that flows through the sockets.The process of retrofitting fluorescent fixtures for this LED type entails the removal of any electrical ballasts as well as verifying non-shunted sockets are in the fixture. The initial installation costs of the lamp is made up for by getting rid of the maintenance costs the ballast would otherwise need.
Both Plug and Play LED T8 and Ballast Bypass T8 options provide as much as 40% more savings in energy use and costs when compared to fluorescent lamps. Having an understanding of how the ballasts impact your fixture, installation process, and overall maintenance can help you better choose which lighting option will work best for you.