Light emitting diodes, more commonly known as 'LED', represent the cutting edge of lighting technology. These LEDs provide a very energy efficient light source, which produces low heat and is long-lasting. It is fast becoming an increasingly popular solution for residential and commercial lighting applications.
LEDs are a solid-state semiconductor device that converts electrical energy directly into light, through the movement of electrons. LEDs operate on a totally different concept than traditional incandescent lights. Instead of using a brittle metal filament that is susceptible to shock and vibration, LEDs are solid-state devices with no moving parts utilising an electronic chip that is generally encapsulated in an epoxy substrate. This design provides increased durability and a protective seal against outside or foreign elements.
At Southside Lighting, LED alternatives are available in a large variety of retrofitting globes, including:
- Bayonet cap, B22, B15
- Edison screw E27, E14
- PAR38 E27
- Candle and fancy round decorative globes
- MR16, MR11
- G4 12V
- G9 240V
In most domestic cases, there is a more efficient substitute. Like the florescent globe, LEDs are available both in warm white and cool white, though unlike florescent, LED is an immediate light source which means no warm up time.
Replacing a 50W MR16 halogen (the usual down light globe) would be the most common request. There can be issues when trying to replace these globes as the transformer needs to be compatible with the LED replacement. If you are able to determine what sort of transformer you have, then we can advise whether replacement will work. Another issue can be the housing/fitting – as LEDs get more powerful they require larger heat sinks which makes them physically longer at the back than a halogen globe. This can be a problem if the fitting closes in at the back.
Dedicated/integrated LEDs are fittings in which the LED component is permanently built into the housing. There are no replaceable parts. This means you will have to replace the whole fitting when it eventually fails. Although this does seem wasteful, realistically they should be lasting in excess of 20 years (if used 4 hours a day).