How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Upgrading to LED

How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Upgrading to LED

Compared to traditional lighting systems, an upgrade to LED lighting can save you almost 50% or more on energy consumption.  With such extreme savings like that, it’s no wonder consumers are rapidly making the switch to LEDs.  When you have an option to save on money and energy, and you have a product that is already retrofitted for existing traditional lighting fixtures, the switch is a no-brainer.   

There are a few things that you should know before you decide to upgrade your lighting systems, however.  There is potential for you to run into a few hiccups along the way.  Fortunately, you can avoid these pitfalls by knowing exactly what your requirements are before purchasing LED bulbs, as there are several important factors that you should consider before upgrading.  Here’s what you should know:


Brightness is the most basic factor in choosing a comparable bulb in terms of replacement.  Most LED packages come covered in a bunch of identifying numbers.  To new consumers, this can be a bit confusing when it comes to picking out the right bulb.  What you want to pay attention to is the light output numbers mentioned on the packaging.  Sometimes, light output figures make false claims as to their actual light values, so make certain that you know what to look for before buying.  Know your lumen conversions.



The color of the light being emitted is also of great concern when it comes to LED replacement, though it’s not often thought of until after the purchase and installation, when the actual hue really comes to light (pun intended).  Too often, buyers fall into the comfortable trap of buying the wrong LED bulbs by simply opting for the assumed go-to, ‘warm white,’ but grabbing the right box takes just a little more effort than that.  You have to read the box carefully.  If you grab one that doesn’t say ‘color’, then it’s not what you think.  For that natural ‘warm white’ that we’ve all become accustomed to, the box should in fact say ‘color’, and you’ll want an LED bulb with a color number of 3000K or lower (depending on personal preference).  



The light factor of an LED bulb can be a bit confusing to consumers unfamiliar with their design as well.  LEDs are made with a metal or plastic casing at the bottom of the glass with a fixed cap.  This casing is what holds all of the electronics that power the bulb and helps to dissipate any generated heat.  However, this casing also prevents light from being more fully emitted, because light can’t shine backwards.  So, for example, if you have a fixture where the bulb points towards the ceiling, then that is the direction of the light disbursement.  There will be far less light emitted downwards, thus, the space will be dimly lit.  It is for this reason that you should know your exact requirements and expectations when lighting a space with LED bulbs.  If you want more light to shine backwards, then opt for an LED bulb that is slumped over the casing for a more full effect.  



Many consumers want dimming bulbs, but what most don’t know about LEDs is that not all LED lamps can be dimmed, and to that same end, not all dimmable LED lamps can be dimmed using traditional dimmers.  In fact, LED manufacturers don’t actually make dimmable lamps that are compatible with older dimmers simply because they are totally different technologies.  So, if you want dimming LEDs, you may want to invest in advanced dimmable LED lamps.  

When it comes down to it, education is power.  Before you go out and spend a bunch of money on upgrading your lighting system to LEDs, know exactly what you need and what you require.  Once you do, it’s simply a matter of paying close attention to the packaging details, knowing the fixtures and spaces in which they will occupy and choosing what best works for you.  

Do you still have questions about making the switch? If so, give us a call at 773.775.1613. We’re happy to help you with all of your LED lighting needs!

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