A Primer on LED Lights
If you’ve decided to make the switch to LED lights, congratulations. You’re about to enter a whole new world of true, beautiful lighting, endless decorating options, and big energy savings.
You may have heard negative things about LEDs. It’s true that earlier LED bulbs were poor-quality, low-light options. But new LEDs are totally different. They produce brilliant, pure light that is perfect for any environment. At SESCOS, we sell, service and install all kinds of LED lights and fixtures and we’ll help you get set for success.
What to Expect from LED Lights
1. LED lights are directional. Instead of casting light and heat around the room, they send a steady directional light that’s perfect for working and for lighting up dim spaces.
2. LEDs emit bright, white light. If you’re used to the yellowish tones of incandescent lighting you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the cool, natural brightness of LED bulbs.
3. LED bulbs burn coolly. Since LEDs use all of their energy to create light rather than heat, they never feel burning hot to the touch.
4. LEDs come in a range of colors. You can use LED lights to add a colorful accent to your home and have fun setting different moods with color. A SESCO electrician can show you how to set up light scenes that you control with your laptop.
5. You get instant light. LED bulbs illuminate instantly, with none of the delay you sometimes get with regular bulbs. With an LED you have instant, bright light, which makes LEDs ideal for outdoor and security lights.
Rewiring or Retrofit?
If you’re deciding between a total rewiring or a retrofit with LEDs, your choice will depend on the wiring that’s in your home and the type of fixture you’re trying to use.
- A retrofit is ideal for fixtures that you’ve chosen for their looks, such as chandeliers and floor lamps.
- For installed lights such as recessed cans and fitted accents, a rewiring will be necessary.
- Always use good-quality LED bulbs and consult an electrician to get the best results.
When shopping for LED bulbs, don’t get confused about wattage. The average LED bulb has a much lower wattage than an incandescent, so looking for the same wattage won’t get you the light you need.
Instead, think in lumens. Most LED bulbs measure their light output in lumens. Check out these examples and consult the knowledgeable experts at SESCOS for the best results.
- A 40-watt incandescent bulb is equivalent to a 9-watt LED that emits 4600 lumens.
- To replace a 60-watt bulb, try a 12-watt LED bulb that gives off 800 lumens.
- A 20-watt LED emits 1600 lumens, equivalent to a 100-watt incandescent.
Always think of lumens rather than watts when choosing your LED lights. At SESCOS, we can help you choose from a wide variety of bulbs available for rewiring or retrofitting.
Driving and Dimming
These are two terms you should get familiar with as you think about buying LEDs.
The driver is the main control of the LED lighting system, similar to a transformer for other bulbs. Depending on the light output or number of bulbs you’re fitting, you need to know if one driver can handle it or if you’ll need several. Your best bet is to consult a qualified SESCOS electrician who will make sure you have all the light you need.
If you’re interested in dimming lights, you will need a separate dimming device that is compatible with your LED bulbs. A SESCOS electrician can help you make the right choice and ensure your lights are properly set up for dimming.
Cost of LEDs
LED bulbs cost more upfront than regular lightbulbs, but they will save you a lot of money in the long run. They cost pennies to use and will slash your electric bill in half.
- LEDs require a fraction of the energy to run that other bulbs do.
- An LED can last years without needing replacement.
- Average users can recoup their initial investment within a year.
LEDs have no toxins or dangerous elements unless they break. It’s not easy to break them, as they’re sturdy enough for years of outdoor use.
Breaking any bulb, whether it’s a CFL (compact fluorescent light), LED or halogen bulb, requires special care because they all contain small amounts of toxins that can be released when they break. All of them must be cleaned up carefully.
If you break an LED:
- Open the window in the room where it happened.
- Wear gloves and cover your mouth.
- Use a broom and a rag to sweep the pieces into a plastic bag.
- Seal the broom, rag and bulb pieces in the bag and dispose of them as hazardous waste.
The chances of an LED breaking are slim and the amount of toxins in them is very small. Don’t let this fear stop you from enjoying the benefits of LEDs. They are still, far and away, the most green, healthy and energy-saving option available when it comes to lighting.
Ready to Flip the Switch?
If you’re ready for the joys of a bright new lighting future, call SESCOS today. We’ll get you going with the right selection of bulbs, drivers, dimmers and everything else you need to start enjoying all the benefits that LEDs have to offer.