The LIDDELL Guide to LEDs
Struggling to get to grips with led lighting?
Want to upgrade to LED lighting but not sure what’s involved?
a simple answer...yes you can
Any retrofit LED bulb can be swapped for a Halogen bulb in 99% of cases. Providing your fitting is mains driven (not a low voltage fitting) and the cap is the same the LED will work. It’s as simple as that. As long as you are swapping like for like it will be fine.
that is it in simple terms. Read on to find out why you should!
The difference between halogen and LED bulbs
I didn’t even know what a Halogen bulb was, let alone how it compared to LED bulbs. (That’s another thing, I get told off for calling them bulbs - the guys in the industry call them lamps). According to Wikipedia "A halogen lamp, also known as a tungsten halogen, quartz-halogen or quartz iodine lamp, is an incandescent lamp that has a small amount of a halogen such as iodine or bromine added." That didn’t really help me. In the end, all I needed to know what that a Halogen lamp is 'the one with the little wires in'. They come in all shapes and sizes and with different caps (the way they fit into the lamp holder). LEDs, do the same job, but last a LOT longer, cost (on average) 90% less to run, but on the downside, cost more to buy.
why should I spend the extra money on an LED bulb?
Think about this. In your kitchen, you have 6 lamps. The average cost of electricity is 13p per KW hour. You light your kitchen for 6 hours a day. Let’s see how the cost of running LEDs compares to running Halogen lamps.
So, based on the above calculations, you can see, by switching just 6 Halogen bulbs to LED bulbs, you can save over £75 per year.
what to look for when buying LED bulbs
When buying LED bulbs, there are 4 main things to look out for.
The wattage of the bulb relates to how much energy is used by a single bulb. This does not directly affect the brightness of the bulb.
The lumen (lm) level of a bulb is a measure of how bright the light of the bulb is. The higher the lumen, the brighter the light will appear.
The colour of the light will affect the atmosphere of the room. The higher the value (measures in Kelvin, or K), the 'whiter' the light will appear. For a kitchen or bathroom, you are likely to go for a higher value compared to living rooms and bedrooms, which require 'warmer' light.
The Cap (or fitting) you will need to buy will be determined by the fitting you are going to put the bulb into. GU10, Bayonet Cap & Edison screw are the most common. If you are having trouble figuring out the cap you require, use our handy fitting identifier.
is that it?
If you are swapping a like for like bulb, then yes, that is it. If you are looking to do something more complicated, such as install a dimmable bulb or use LED bulbs on a low voltage (such as a fitting that uses MR16 lamps), you are going to need to look at installing drivers and dimming modules. We would love to cover all possible options, but there is so much to it when you get going!
If you have any questions at all, we would love to help you out. Call us now on 024 7663 2849 to discuss your requirements - we guarantee we can help you!