How to Choose the Best LED Lights?
Energy-efficient, long-lasting, and environmentally friendly, LED lighting is a thoughtful choice for the residential, commercial, industrial areas nowadays.
Consumers have suffered from confusion when selecting LED lights, however. It’s not surprising. LEDs come in different shapes, colors of light, and specifications. It’s hard to know at a glance how they compare in brightness to incandescent lights.
To simplify the experience of buying LED lights that are right for you, here’s what you need to know about the LED components.
- LED Chip
- LED Driver
- Thermal Management
Why are they so important?
Good components lead to a longer LED lifespan. Each of them needs to be in good quality and materials in order to work together to have the best performance and last for a long period of time.
What are they exactly? Here’s what we will cover in this article and boiling down into details.
LED chips play a huge role in determining light quality. They are manufactured with various brightness, voltage, and wavelengths. A diode is a two-way electronic component that emits light by allowing an electrical current to flow throughout the light bulb.
They are made up of semiconductor layers that allow the protons and electrons to flow freely. There is a certain standard quality and material that is good for generating light, for example:
Chip on Board (COB)
This high-powered and single LED chip comes with a printed circuit board. It can control the thermal components of the bulb and makes sure it doesn’t overheat.
Multiple LED chips placed on PCB.
Brightness of LED lights
Brightness is measured in lumens, while the energy a bulb consumes is measured in watts. To produce similar amounts of light, LED and fluorescents bulbs consume far fewer watts than incandescent or halogen bulbs. A standard 60W incandescent produces 800 lumens, whereas LEDs consume 13-15 watts to produce 800 lumens.
The higher the number lumens of lumens, the brighter the bulb.
Lifetime of LED Lights
LM-80 is a method that measures the lumen depreciation of LED chips at different temperatures over a period of time.
In other words, it is also to determine the lumen maintenance life of LEDs which are calculated in hours with light output percentage together.
Unlike other lighting products that fail suddenly, LED tends to have their brightness become dim after quite some time. This is called “lumen degradation”.
Normally, the lumen degradation of a fluorescent light is faster. However, a good quality LED light with LM-80 standard is much more different than them.
Yet, the LM-80 standard’s LED can maintain 70% original light output for 50,000 hours, which means it only drops around 30% of light output over a period of 50,000 hours. If you use your lights for 10 hours a day, LM-80 LEDs can be used for a range of 13.7 years.
In the graph is showing that LED Chips brightness will not degrade more than 20% from the first usage of 100,000 hours with 85˚C (Standard Operating Temperature). Unlike conventional lamps that degrade more than 30% after the 1st month usage.
This is an assurance for you to have a high durability and reliability LED product.
An LED can be said to have ‘failed’ when its light output falls below a threshold expressed as a percentage of peak output. In this lumen maintenance ‘failure’ mode, of course, an LED is still producing light, but not at the specified level.
Get the color of LED lights you want
An ordinary LED has the color temperature of 3000K. If color temperature shifting occurs, LED is most likely fail to work efficiently.
With the LM-80 standard, the color temperature will shift within a small tolerance.
However, for those with bad quality, you can see that it shifts towards blueish or yellowish color in a very short period of time.
Color temperature is important as it can affect one’s mood and eyesight. So, LEDs with LM-80 is to ensure the color temperature maintains longer and would not shift colors suddenly.
Color shift in LED lights
Color shift, also known as chromaticity shift, has been a problem in the lighting industry for a long time. But the color of LED lights with LM-80 standard will not shift easily. This is because they are made with superior grade quality materials and it has undergone various tests maintain it.
However, for those with poorer quality, color shift will happen frequently which is caused by temperature and time.
In the graph is showing that LED Chips chromaticity shifting rate is very low. With this assurance, LED ligths will not easily shift from the exact color bin and it will maintain the color consistency and evenness of light ambient.
LM-80 is one part of a larger puzzle of overall LED luminaire performance or reliability. Other components, including the heat sink, LED drivers, and luminaire housing, should also be taken into consideration to form a full picture of an LED luminaire’s projected useable life.
Driver of LED Lights
LED drivers are actually devices in LED which provide an accurate amount of electricity to the lightbulb. It also serves as the protector of LED from any voltage or current fluctuations.
It is used to break down and regulate a proper voltage and current so that the LED can light up accordingly. LED drivers convert the incoming 240VAC power supply to the required DC power supply for the LED light fitting.
Even though you have good LED lights, they would not operate for long if you have a bad quality LED driver.
For instance, 95% of the LED Driver will just fuel up because of the inability to control the excessive power running through LEDs that cause it to overheat and burn.
Do LED lights work with a dimmable LED driver?
If you wish to dim your LED lights then you need to use a dedicated dimmable LED driver.
Rather than having the light turn down and warm, an LED will dim by lowering the lumen output, thus decreasing brightness of the light.
However, a bad LED driver can cause a lot of problems such as flickering and shimmering. This is because the dimmer switches are not compatible with the LED driver.
So, be sure to find one LED driver that is compatible with the dimmable LED driver to ensure the whole lighting system can run smoothly and has nice dimming performance with high durability.
Good & Effective Thermal Management of LED Lights
Most of the electricity in an LED becomes heat rather than light (about 70% heat and 30% light). If this heat is not removed, the LEDs run at high temperatures, which not only lowers their efficiency but also makes the LED less reliable.
So, you should look carefully to choose the right LED components that could release heat efficiently to prevent LEDs being overheated and damage the other LEDs components along with it.
How do I know if the thermal management of the LED lights is good?
One major feature that is needed for the casing is high heat conductivity. This is to enable the heat to dissipate easily to prevent overheating.
Nano-plastic fits the case perfectly. Not only does it have high heat conductivity, it can even avoid discoloration and be able to provide balanced illumination too.
What is a thermal paste?
Thermal paste is a thermally conductive chemical compound which is commonly used as an interface between heat sinks and heat sources. It also eliminates the air gaps from the interface area to maximize heat transfer and dissipation.
It placed between the LED chips and heat sink. This is because the heat from LED chips will then flow straight ahead to heat sinks then the surroundings through thermal paste more efficiently.
Heat must be removed from the LED Chip to maintain expected light output, life, and color. Short terms effects of improper heat sinking would be lower light output, and also a wavelength color shift, while the long-term effects would be a lower lamp life.
Electronic components are very sensitive to heat. If the temperature is too high, the components will degrade much faster hence shortening the lifespan of the LED product.
There are some lighting products that come with combination of heat sink and fan together. With heat sinks as a conductive material to release heat and fans working together to force air surrounding your heat sink will in turn be cooler and allow for better thermal transfer from the heat sink surface to outside.
In short, all three things that have been mentioned above are equally important to an LED lighting product.
It is no doubt that each of them needs to be in good quality in order to work together to have the best performance and last for a long period of time.
EvoGreenTech has the expertise and background to help you choose best LED lights based on these criteria which are LED quality, driver reliability, and also the performance of thermal management. Shop our EGT® LED lighting products now. Enjoy the light!