Apr 032014

Outdoor LED Lighting

Outdoor LED Lighting FAQs

What types of applications is Outside LED Lighting best suited for?

You can use Outdoor LED lighting anywhere you need security lighting.  You can install LED flood lights in standard junction boxes around your home or business.

How high should I mount a security light?

This, of course, depends on your application.  A high light will illuminate a wide area, but the light will not be focused.  A lower light will illuminate a smaller area but will be more focused and appear brighter.  In typical installations, you want to install security lights between eight and 18 feet above the ground.

Floodlight vs spotlight. What is the difference?

Spotlights tend to output a narrower more focused beam of light (less than 45 degrees).  Spotlights tend to concentrate their light on a small area.  Floodlights, on the other hand, output a wider beam of light (120 degrees or more).  The light produced by a floodlight is spread out over a much larger area.  Spotlights are best when trying to illuminate objects whereas spotlights are best for illuminating areas.

What is a LED?

A light emitting diode (LED) is a semiconductor that converts electrical current into light.

Do LEDs contain any hazardous materials?

Outdoor LED Lighting

Unlike fluorescent bulbs, LEDs do not contain mercury or any other hazardous metals or chemicals.

Is there difference in the light that a LED produces?

The light emitted from LEDs is different to the light that is emitted from incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs. LED light tends to be whiter in color and is very similar to daylight.

How long will a LED flood light last?

A typical LED will last at least 50,000 hours.  That’s almost 6 years if left on all day, every day.

Will LED light levels decrease over time?

Like fluorescent lights, the output of a LED gradually decreases over time.  LEDs will fade as they near the end of their operating life.  The decay is very gradual and hardly noticeable.  The technical term for this effect is Lumen Degradation.  You will notice that some LEDs specify a value for L70, which is an indicator of how long it should take for the light to fade to 70% of its original capability.

What is a lumen?

The brightness of a light is expressed in Lumens.  The more lumens, the brighter the light will be. A standard 60 watt incandescent light bulb produces about 800 lumens.  Be careful when comparing the brightness of different LEDs.

What is color temperature?

Color temperature, measured in Kelvin degrees, indicates the color of a light when illuminated.  Lights that appear blue have a higher color temperature and those that appear yellow, a lower temperature.  A typical LED bulb will have a color temperature in the 2700K to 7500K range.  If you want to compare the color temperature of two LEDs, use the Kelvin scale as the terms manufacturers use to describe color temperature (Day White, Natural White, Warm White, and Cool White) are not consistent. The general rule of thumb is that warm light is about 2700K and cool light is 6500K and higher.  Warmer lights produce yellow tones and cooler lights produce blue tones.

How efficient are LEDs?

LEDs use only about 20% as much electricity to produce the same amount of light as an incandescent bulb.  LED lights are designed to direct a greater percentage of light where it is needed.  This makes LEDs as much as ten times more effective than incandescent bulbs.  Overall LEDs are capable of reducing energy usage by 90%.

Are flood light with more LEDs brighter than those with less?

The brightness of the light is not determined by the number of LEDs.  A few factors that determine light brightness include the type of LEDs used, the wattage, and how they are focused.  The best way to compare the amount of light produced by two flood lights is to compare the number of lumens they produce.

What happened to incandescent lights?

Something interesting happened at the start of 2013 that you probably did not notice unless you went shopping.  The tried and true incandescent 75 and 100-watt light bulbs, the mainstays of the lighting industry for years, were being phased out.  That is right, the lighting that Thomas Edison invented back in 1879, and which has been a part of our lives for more than 130 years, is slipping away. The Energy Independence and Security Act which became law in 2007, established a requirement that lighting become 25 percent more efficient.  This new requirement was to be phased in from 2012 through 2014 and effectively banned the manufacture of incandescent light bulbs.  Unfortunately political wrangling took out some of the teeth of the act, but lighting manufacturers still took it seriously and are producing more energy efficient lighting.

Why not CFLs?

So if incandescent lights are being phased out what is being phased in?  For a long time, lighting manufacturers have been producing compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) that work just like the long fluorescent light tubes that we have all seen  in offices and stores, and are designed to fit into standard light fixtures found in the home.  CFLs use about one-fifth to one-third the electric power of comparable incandescent lamps and can last eight to fifteen times longer.  Although CFLs are much more efficient than incandescent lamps, they have their own set of problems.  They are more expensive that incandescent lights and like all fluorescent lights they contain toxic mercury.  Another problem, which makes them unpopular, is the time that they take to warm up on days when the ambient temperature is low.

Where did LEDs come from?

Light emitting diode (LEDs) are semiconductors that convert electrical current into light. They were first used in electronics around 1962.  The earliest LEDs emitted infrared light and were used in remote-controls.  Early visible-light LEDs were used to replace incandescent bulbs used as indicator lamps in electronic devices.  You probably first saw LEDs in the form of seven-segment displays commonly used in digital clocks.  Today you see LED indicator lamps in just about every electronic device and appliance in your home.  Outside your home, you can find them being used in aviation, automobiles, billboards, traffic lights, and cameras.  In addition to lower energy consumption, LEDs have a longer lifetime, improved physical robustness and are smaller.  For use in your home though, compared to CFLs, LED lamps have the advantage that they turn on instantly, contain no toxic chemicals, and produce a light similar to that of incandescent bulbs.

Outdoor LED Lighting

Please continue reading my LED Floodlights – 3 product review and visit my LED Floodlights Store.
Also, see my other review posts for this green living product: 

Eighteen best features of LED floodlights.

How LED floodlights work.

Ten reasons why LED floodlights are green.

Tips and tricks for LED floodlights.

Thank you for visiting, and for supporting Switch it Green, Switch it Forward.


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