• David Darrah

LED Lighting- Some Things to Consider

We talked about LED lighting recently. There are more things to consider when changing over to LED lighting than just energy efficiency. Let’s talk about color and intensity.

The color of the lighting matters when trying to compliment home decor or figure out an outfit to wear for work (at least make sure the socks are a matching pair, right?). Most people look to get as close to natural sunlight as possible for daytime use, but at night may want to create some ambiance. This is especially important in professional photography and filmmaking, but appropriate light in the workplace and home matters as well. For instance, people may have a light sensitivity and eye strain with certain lighting colors especially while viewing computer or TV monitors.

Two scales, Kelvin and Color Rating Index, show the information you need when choosing your ideal lighting.

New to the Kelvin scale? Here’s what every color temperature looks like.

Lewis McGregor, Sept 16, 2019 (Shutterstock.com/ blog/kelvin scale breakdown)

Kelvin Scale

2000k-3000k for the warm white and yellow glow of flames and household bulbs

3000k-4500k for tungsten lights and early and late parts of the day

4600k-6500k for direct sunlight, overcast skies and HMI lights

CRI: Color Rendering Index for lighting

Consider both of these scales together in order to light your space for your particular needs. Kelvin rating will get you the color range you need, and CRI scale will determine the clarity and brightness of the lighting. Using dimmable fixtures and switches will help you adjust throughout the day as well.

This leads to one last consideration. Using the appropriate dimmer switches for your lighting needs. There are two basic types of dimmer switches: Trailing Edge (TE) and Leading Edge (LE). TE dimmers work best with LED bulbs, LE are best for traditional incandescent and halogen bulbs. Below is some key information when determining what you need for dimming LED bulbs and fixtures. (If you want to skip the math and leave it in the hands of a professional, jump ahead to the end of the blog.)

“To find out how many LED light bulbs your dimmer switch can support, divide minimum and maximum load of dimmer by 10.

Ex: Dimmer rated 100W-400W

Dimmer Min Load: 100W/10 = 10W

Dimmer Max Load: 400W/10 = 40W

This means that when this dimmer is used in conjunction with LED light bulbs, the load must be between 10W-40W.

Then, add up the combined wattages of the LED light bulbs to find out how many can be supported by this dimmer.

The total wattage of the LED light bulbs on the circuit MUST exceed that of the calculated minimum load of your dimmer- ‘Using an LES load outside of this range could cause flickering or poor dimming performance and could lead to an early failure of the LED light Bulbs.” Dimming for Dummies- Your Complete Guide (Lightbulbs Direct Blog> FAQ’s)”

As with any electrical work and renovations, it is important to have the proper skill and know-how to safely install new lighting and switches to meet your home and business needs. Contact Gringo Dave’s Electric, Inc. today at Dave@gringodaveselectric.com or 719-290-1484 to answer questions about LED lighting choices and individualized recommendations.

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