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Exterior Lighting


Getting the greenlight


The lighting industry has experienced significant change over recent years – and at the very heart of this activity is LED technology.


W


ith products now available to suit a variety of domestic, commercial and industrial applications,


Graeme Shaw (pictured), Technical Application Manager at Thorn Lighting, part of the Zumtobel Group, explains how wholesalers can help electrical contractors select the right LED solution for the job. LED lighting has revolutionised the lit


environment and created a level of change not seen since gas lamp manufacturers witnessed the introduction of carbon filament products. It has permeated into all sectors of the built environment and prices have declined to a point where it is the economical choice in almost every application. However, while the technological


developments associated with LED lighting are undoubtedly impressive, not all LED luminaires are the same and it’s important to understand what to look for.


Knowledge is power For some electrical contractors it is difficult to know where to start when embarking on an LED lighting installation. Specifying the right product is vital though, as the pitfalls of selecting a poor quality luminaire can be significant. Premature


ewnews.co.uk


product failure and the associated costs, poor lumen output, low lm/W and inefficient design can compromise a lighting scheme and delay any return on investment (ROI). One of the many reasons that LED lighting has become so popular is its incredibly long life. Manufacturers are claiming lifetimes of between 50,000-100,000 hours for their products and, to get a sense of perspective on this figure, it compares to 2,000-5,000 hours for a halogen bulb and 8,000-15,000 hours for a compact fluorescent lamp (CFL). This means less maintenance and, over the course of time, fewer replacement luminaires to be purchased.


Level best Even so, it is important to note that the light quality of LED luminaires degrades over time – something that is referred to as parametric failure – and this can reduce useful operating life to a shorter period. When referring to the lifetime of an LED, lumen deprecation describes a period of time when light output falls to a given level. The most commonly quoted levels are when a luminaire outputs only 50 per cent or 70 per cent of its original light and these are called the L50 and L70 ratings. Let’s use the example of the L70 to see what this means in practice. If a light


●Continued over October 2019 electrical wholesaler | 15


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