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What is LED?

What is LED

What is LED lighting?

LED lights are the latest technology in energy efficient lighting. LED stands for ‘Light Emitting Diode’, a semiconductor device that converts electricity into light. LED lights are super energy efficient, using approximately 85% less energy than halogen or incandescent lighting – meaning significant savings on your power bills. LED lights also have a much longer lifespan than other types of lighting – see the table below.

Lighting technology Lighting technology
LED 25,000-50,000 hours
CFL 8,000-15,000 hours
Halogen 1,000-5,000 hours
Incandescent 1,000 hours

*Depending on the globe

What are the other types of lighting?

1. Incandescent
2. Halolux
3. CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) – Envirolux

About Incandescent

Incandescent globes look like the traditional ‘Edison’ shaped light bulb, with a filament strung across two metal bars in the centre of the globe.

Due to government regulations, as of November 2009 you are no longer able to purchase standard incandescent globes. These globes were extremely inefficient because they only converted 5-10% of the energy they produced into light, while the remainder was converted to heat. The result was an extreme waste of electricity.

About Halolux

Halogen globes will look similar to incandescent globes, but it uses an envelope filled with Halogen low pressure Halogen gas to help burn the filament to produce the visible light. In addition, regular 12 volt downlights that have not been changed to energy saving fittings are likely to be halogen.

These globes have typically replaced incandescent globes, for example in pendant lights, chandeliers and spotlights. Newer energy saving halogens – called eco-halogens – are now available and are about 30% more efficient than incandescent globes. All of the halogen globes you’ll find on our website are eco-halogens.

About CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) - Envirolux

CFLs are fluorescent tubes twisted into shape to fit a standard light fitting. CFLs are about 80% more efficient than incandescent globes but have some restrictions, such as dimming size and the appearance.

Benefits of LED Lighting

Long Life

Long life time stands out as the number one benefit of LED lights. LED bulbs and diodes have an outstanding operational life time expectation of up to 100.000 hours. This is 11 years of continuous operation, or 22 years of 50% operation. If you leave on the LED fixture for 8h per day it would take around 20 years before you’d have to replace the LED bulb.

LED’s are different to standard lighting: They don’t really burn out and stop working like a standard light, moreover the lighting diodes emit lower output levels over a very long period of time and become less bright.

Energy Efficiency

Todays most efficient way of illumination and lighting, with an estimated energy efficiency of 80%-90% when compared to traditional lighting and conventional light bulbs. This means that about 80% of the electrical energy is converted to light, while a ca. 20% is lost and converted into other forms of energy such as heat.

With traditional incandescent light bulbs who operate at 20% energy efficiency only, a 80% of the electricity is lost as heat. Imagine the following scenario:

If you use traditional lighting and have an electricity bill of e.g US$ 100, then US$ 80 of that money has been used to heat the room, not to light it! Using LED illumination with 80% efficiency, the electricity costs would be around US$ 20 and you’d have saved around US$ 80.

The long operational life time acts as a multiplicator and helps achieve even more energy efficiency, especially large scale and when thinking in terms of urban infrastructure projects, such as cities, railroads and airports.

Think of e.g an airport using energy efficient LED lighting exclusively and achieving a 30% power consumption reduction in comparison with an airport using conventional lighting technology.

Because the long life span of LED lights, also the maintenance work – think of all the work and energy it would take to purchase, stock and change the conventional light bulbs of an airport – you’ll see that you can make significant energy savings also when it comes to maintenance and replacement due to the long operational life times of LED lighting.

Ecologically Friendly

LED lights are free of toxic chemicals. Most conventional fluorescent lighting bulbs contain a multitude of materials like e.g mercury that are dangerous for the environment.

LED lights contain no toxic materials and are 100% recyclable, and will help you to reduce your carbon footprint by up to a third. The long operational life time span mentioned above means also that one LED light bulb can save material and production of 25 incandescent light bulbs. A big step towards a greener future!

Durable Quality

LEDs are extremely durable and built with sturdy components that are highly rugged and can withstand even the roughest conditions.

Because LED lights are resistant to shock, vibrations and external impacts, they make great outdoor lighting systems for rough conditions and exposure to weather, wind, rain or even external vandalism, traffic related public exposure and construction or manufacturing sites.

Zero UV Emissions

LED illumination produces little infrared light and close to no UV emissions.

Because of this, LED lighting is highly suitable not only for goods and materials that are sensitive to heat due to the benefit of little radiated heat emission, but also for illumination of UV sensitive objects or materials such a in museums, art galleries, archeological sites etc.

Design Flexibility

LEDs can be combined in any shape to produce highly efficient illumination. Individual LEDs can be dimmed, resulting in a dynamic control of light, color and distribution. Well-designed LED illumination systems can achieve fantastic lighting effects, not only for the eye but also for the mood and the mind:

LED mood illumination is already being used in airplanes, classrooms and many more locations and we can expect to see a lot more LED mood illumination in our daily lives within the next few years.

Operational in Extremely Cold or Hot Temperatures

LED are ideal for operation under cold and low outdoor temperature settings. For fluorescent lamps, low temperatures may affect operation and present a challenge, but LED illumination operates well also in cold settings, such as for outdoor winter settings, freezer rooms etc.

Light Dispersement

LED is designed to focus its light and can be directed to a specific location without the use of an external reflector, achieving a higher application efficiency than conventional lighting. Well-designed LED illumination systems are able to deliver light more efficiently to the desired location.

Instant Lighting & Frequent Switching

LED lights brighten up immediately and when powered on, which has great advantages for infrastructure projects such as e.g traffic and signal lights.

Also, LED lights can switched off and on frequently and without affecting the LED’s lifetime or light emission. In contrast, traditional lighting may take several seconds to reach full brightness, and frequent on/off switching does drastically reduce operational life expectancy.


A low-voltage power supply is sufficient for LED illumination. This makes it easy to use LED lighting also in outdoor settings, by connecting an external solar-energy source and is a big advantage when it comes to using LED technology in remote or rural areas.


LED Light Costs

It’s commonly known that LED luminaires are expensive. They cost at least 3-4 times more than T5 fluorescent lights. However their life is also much longer as compared to fluorescent lights.

LED lights are super energy efficient, using approximately 85% less energy than halogen or incandescent lighting – meaning significant savings on your power bills. LED lights also have a much longer lifespan than other types of lighting – see the table below.

  Costs Payback Life Efficiency
T-8 LED Tubelight Rs 1600-2000 3-4 years 10-15 years About 110-120 lumens per watt
T-5 Fluorescent Tubelight Rs 500 6 months to 1 year 3-4 years 110 lumens per watt
Regular Fluorescent T-8 Tubelight Rs 100 3-4 years 60-80 lumens per watt (lower for one with electromagnetic ballast)

The table above is based on our research of costs of various types of tubelights. The LEDs are expensive but they last long and thus provide energy saving for longer periods. Their payback period (or cost recovery due to savings in electricity bills) is slightly longer just because of the upfront capital costs. Please note that the payback here is in comparison to regular T-8 lights.

LED Lighting FAQs

How can I tell whether I have incandescent, halogen or CFL globes?

Incandescent globes look like the traditional ‘Edison’-shaped light bulb, with a filament strung across two metal bars in the centre of the globe. Halogen globes will look similar to incandescent, but have a filament between the bars inside another glass envelope. In addition, regular downlights that have not been changed to LED are likely to be halogen. CFLs look like a fluorescent tube twisted into shape to fit a standard light fitting.

How can I tell what wattage globe I have already?

This information will be printed on, or etched into, the base of the globe.

How many LED downlights do I need for an area?

The number of downlights you need for a certain room or area is dependant on which downlight you choose.

This also comes down to personal preference. Some people like to have controlled beams of light that have the ability to highlight areas, others like to have an even constant single level of lighting. For expert advice on your lighting plans, click the ‘Ask Debbie’ icon at the top right of your screen to chat live via instant message, or Call Debbie on 03 8561 1599 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm EST). If shopping in store, speak to one of our helpful customer service assistants. If you need help with designing the lighting for your entire home, why not book a Bright Design in home lighting consultation?

How do I replace my halogen downlight globes with LED globes?

Beacon Lighting has a number of DIY replacement LED globes.

Do LED lights work with motion sensors?

Yes! However some older sensors may not work. It is best to test the replacement light fitting or lamps first as some sensors don’t completely switch off and residual current can allow the LED to glow. We have suitable sensors that will work on LEDs.

Can I use LED globes in my chandelier?

Yes, if you are using the chandelier primarily for effect (rather than bright light). Beacon Lighting has LED candle globe in warm white. The candle globe has been specially constructed to show the crystal with the sparkle and clarity you would be used to with an incandescent globe.

What if I break an LED?

As LEDs contain no mercury, these lights are very safe. To dispose of a broken globe, simply wrap it in newspaper to avoid cutting yourself, and put in the bin.

Is it safe to buy LED lights from eBay and online retailers?

eBay and other online sites are very popular. However, it’s important to be aware that LED is a new technology. With any new technology there are many businesses that will try to profiteer from it, and may use eBay and online businesses to do so.

In reality, some of these businesses have no experience with lighting. Many disreputable businesses and sellers on the internet will make claims about the performance of their products that are completely false and misleading. As a general rule, if the claim from the seller – be it a retailer or online seller – seems too good to be true (and comparable products cannot be sourced from reputable suppliers), then it probably is.

The Lighting Council of Australia is well aware of this issue and Lighting Council members like Beacon Lighting are helping the Lighting Council stop these traders from misleading the public and in turn damage the good reputation that LED deserves. The introduction of the SSL label is assisting consumers to recognise a tested product from a product that has no independent testing. The SSL label checks and confirms the stated lumens, wattage, CRI and beam angle are all true and tested statements.

Only purchase from a reputable retailer, and buy well-known brands as you know they will be around in the future to handle any problems you may have.

As LED is new technology and a long-term investment for you, it is very wise to do your homework and use reputable businesses only.

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