FAQ Spot lights Bulbs

Q: What does LED stand for?

A: LED stands for Light Emitting Diode?

Q: Is an LED a bulb?

A: LEDs do appear to be bulbs, but in fact are not. LEDs are tiny semiconductors encapsulated in plastic which protects their components and helps to focus the light.

Q: Do LED bulbs give off heat?

A: LED light bulbs only give off ambient, room temperature heat around the LED itself. One reason LEDs are efficient is due to the low amount of heat around the LED diode junction. To accomplish this efficiency, heatsinks are required to draw heat away from the LED junction. The heatsink may get hot, so be careful not to touch it.

Q: What is the difference between an incandescent bulb and LED?

A: Incandescent creates light by the use of a filament. When power is applied, the filament glows and generates heat - which in turn produces light. LEDs are just the opposite. LEDs create light through a 'cold process'. When power is applied to semiconductors (usually gallium, asenic and phosphorous), they're stimulated by the movement of electrons, which creates photons. Photons are the light that is visibly seen by humans.

Q: What is lumen?

A: Lumen is amount of light emitted from light source.
According to Wikipedia, "If a light source emits one candela of luminous intensity into a solid angle of one steradian, the total luminous flux emitted into that solid angle is one lumen. Alternatively, an isotropic one-candela light source emits a total luminous flux of exactly 4π lumens. The lumen can be thought of casually as a measure of the total amount of visible light emitted." For example, a standard 100 Watt incandescent bulb emits about 1500 lumen.

Q: What is Lux?

A: Lux is lumen per square meter.
According to Wikipedia, "The difference between the lux and the lumen is that the lux takes into account the area over which the luminous flux is spread. 1000 lumens, concentrated into an area of one square meter, lights up that square meter with an illuminance of 1000 lux. The same 1000 lumens, spread out over ten square meters, produce a dimmer illuminance of only 100 lux."

Q: Why do LEDs use such a little power?

A: LEDs do not use a filament where a conductor is heated and light is created. Filament based lighting consumes more power than the light produced. LEDs produce very little amounts of heat and do not use filaments making them far more efficient in consumption and output.

Q: Can LEDs be damaged if hooked up backwards?

A: Yes, they can. LEDs are diodes and only allow power to pass in one direction. To ensure that you will get the most life out of our LED devices, we add additional circuits to prevent this from occurring in both AC and DC applications.

Q: How do you get more light out of an LED?

A: LEDs are made by a process that deposits the junction materials on a substrate material. One of the limitations of LEDs is that imperfections in the material deposited on the substrate reduce the efficiency. Improvements in the manufacturing process have given us brighter LEDs, as have new junction materials.
To a certain extent, you can also make the junction larger to get more light. But you can't extend that very far, mainly due to those imperfections. Their accumulated effect prevents a junction from growing much bigger than a square millimeter. So we won't likely see larger LED junctions without some advance in materials science to overcome that limitation.

Q: Are bulbs with more leds brighter than bulbs with less?

A: The number of leds is not the determining factor of bulb brightness. Different types of leds vary greatly in brightness. The wattage of a led bulb is a better indicator of the light output. The typical light output for the current generation of white leds is about 30 lumens per watt. However, the newest power leds from Cree are in a different category with output up to 65 lumens per watt. Just three of these big leds can output as much light as 100 or more common leds.

Q: Do LEDs attract insects?

A: No, they do not. Insects see entirely differrent spectrums of light and are attracted to ultraviolet light. A side note - flowers create "nectar guides", invisible to the human eye and ultraviolet light attracts insects to flowers for reproductive purposes. This is not to say that all bugs aren't attracted to LED lights, but most can't see the light that LEDs produce.

Q: Can I use 240v AC/12v AC transformers with these bulbs?

A: Yes - although only with the iron core transformers, they will not operate properly with electronic transformers.
Electronic transformers are looking for a constant high load and will flicker from continuous start-up and shutdown.
Rectifiers are built into all our AC capable bulbs, this brings the current back to DC as LED's themselves are DC driven.

Q: What do "cool white" and "warm white" mean, and what is CCT?

A: The Color Correlated Temperature (CCT) is given in the description of each of our white led bulbs. The color (CCT) of our white bulbs ranges from a warm white (2700K) to a cool white (9000K). The warm white color looks a little bit yellow. The cool white color looks a little bit blue.

Q: Will your LED light bulbs work on a dimmer switch?

A: We do not recommend using our LED light bulbs on a dimmer switch, this type of switch can potentially cause damage to the bulb.

Q: What is the proper way to dispose of used LED bulbs?

A: Follow your local disposal procedure for electronic products with circuit boards in them.

Q: What does PAR mean?

A: PAR=Parabolic Aluminized Reflector. PAR is also a unit of bulb measurement. In this system of lamp identification the first number listed denotes the maximum diameter of the lamp expressed as a number of 1/8's of an inch. For example, some common sizes are:
PAR-56 (7")
PAR-38 (4.75")

Q: Why does my Led light bulb not work properly in extreme temperatures?

A: Any temperature below -40° C or above 70° C may cause a LED bulb to flicker, dim, change color, or cease to function. Once the LED bulb is returned to an operational environment it should began to work properly.

Q: What is the AC Voltage tolerance for our LED bulbs?

A: Their AC voltage tolerance is +/- 10%.

Q: Do your LED bulbs emit UV light?

A: No, but you should never point an LED light into your eyes. The light is very bright and could cause damage.

Q: What are the advantages of using LEDs over traditional incandescent lighting?

A: There are quite a few advantages to using LEDs. Generally they are heatless, use 90% less energy, and last ten years. They are also smaller and do not contain any dangerous chemicals like mercury. They can readily be put in places that have always been too small or out-of-the-way for many incandescent lights, as well as in places that were always very dangerous or difficult to get at. Also, the more sophisticated LED apparatuses like wall washers and spotlights are DMX-controllable, which means they can be used in some really impressive ways.
The bottom line is that LED's are easier and safer to use than all previous lighting technologies. Plus, LEDs will save you money by consuming less power, lasting much longer, and generating much less heat, which in turn combine to result in lower climate control costs.

Q: Who is using LED lighting?

A: EVERYONE! Architects and lighting designers are specifying entire lighting packages in their new designs. Contractors are using them in everything from custom kitchens to retail stores. Many homeowners are replacing their incandescent with LED bulbs. LED lighting can replace every instance of old lighting technology; as well create entirely new lighting applications due to its versatility. Your imagination is its only limitation.

Q: Where is it appropriate to use LED bulbs?

A: LED light bulbs are appropriate when you need powerful directional lighting. Presently, LED excels over other bulbs in spot and flood lighting applications. Track lighting, spot lighting, canister lights, and outdoor flood lights are currently the most appropriate places to use LED bulbs.
At the moment, if you need general radiant illumination, use energy saving compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs…but stay tuned for LED replacements of CFLs in the very near future!

Q: Just how long is 50,000 hours?

A: 50,000 hours lit for 24 hours per day will last over 5 and half years.
50,000 hours lit for 12 hours per day will last for over 11 years.
50,000 hours lit for 8 hours per day will last for over 17 years.
50,000 hours lit for 4 hours per day will last for over 34 years.

Q: Do LED bulbs work in regular light sockets and fixtures?

A: Yes. LED light bulbs will work in most standard light sockets and fixtures, such as Edison screw-in base and MR16 track lighting.

Q: What transformer can I use with MR16 LED bulbs?

A: You should use a transformer rated at 12V only. As a general good practice, please test your transformer’s voltage before using LED or any other light bulb. A transformer not operating at 12V will create bulb flicker and potentially ruin the bulb.

Q: Are LEDs expensive?

A: LEDs can operate as stand alone devices, but when grouped or clustered they require additional steps to operate properly. LEDs need proper components such as a circuit board, driving components and some cases and housings to endure the elements. So, the upfront costs are typically higher if you buy an LED light bulb, versus an incandescent or CFL light bulb. Think of it as an investment with a long-term guaranteed payoff.
Let’s look at how much money you’ll save over time with an LED light bulb.
Here’s a cost comparison of two MR16 bulbs - a 5-watt LED versus a 25-watt halogen.

Light bulb type - MR16 base Halogen (MR16) LED MR16
# Watts 25 5
 Life Span (hours)  2,000  50,000
# of Bulbs Used over LED life span 25 1
Avg Price/Bulb  $8.00  $44.00
Total bulb cost over LED life span $200.00  $44.00
Electrical Usage (kWh) over life span  1,250  250
 Cost/kWh  $0.10  $0.10
 Total Cost of Electricity  $125.00  $25.00
Total Lifetime Cost  $325.00  $69.00
Total Lifetime Savings with one LED bulb    $256.00
Avg # of bulbs/household 12  12
Cost Savings/household    $3,072.00

Q: Are LED bulbs good for the environment?

A: Yes. In fact, LED light bulbs are the most energy efficient light sources available on the market today. Given the superior energy efficiency and extremely low replacement needs, LED light bulbs offer a huge environmental advantage over incandescent or CFL light bulbs.
Here’s a CO2 emissions comparison of two MR16 bulbs, one a 5-watt LED, and the other a 25-watt halogen.

Carbon Output - MR16 Halogen (MR16) LED MR16
kWh over lifetime  1,250  250
 mWh over lifetime   1  0
Electrical Grid CO2 output factor (mT/mWh) 0.61 0.61
Total CO2 output over lifetime (metric tons - mT)  0.76  0.15
Total CO2 output over lifetime (lbs)  1,681  336
Total C02 savings with one LED bulb (mT)   0.61
Total C02 savings with one LED bulb (lbs)    1,345