Increasingly we are posed with a question when we refurbish a scheme – whether it is better to specify dedicated LED light fittings or choose retro-fit lamps for existing fixtures? It’s a choice that can be tricky – so I thought it would be useful to share my criteria with you all. The truth is – LED lamps are improving constantly and I would recommend the current generation of lamps to anyone simply looking for a replacement. However – when it comes to professional lighting schemes – many of which must fulfill a function – some other considerations must be taken into account.
This is my selection criteria when choosing between a retro-fit lamp and a dedicated fitting.
- cheaper than most dedicated fixtures
- lower cost could offer opportunities to use budget surplus elsewhere compared to dedicated fittings
- offer a great saving compared to older technology
- colour temperatures are much better now – good extra warm whites
- better choices of colour temperature available now
- high output GU10 versions of 600 + lumens out there on the market – 35W low voltage equivalents
- manufacturers are offering genuine guarantees
- Generally higher junction temperatures within the LED, so the chip is working harder lowering it’s lifespan and making it more prone to colour shifting as it ages
- Most lamps on the market are around 400 lumens output – with many lamps still struggling with good outputs.
- Choices of colour temperature will affect the lumen output of the lamp – specifications on the box can get a little misleading and confusing.
- Misleading labeling and widespread exaggerated claims of ‘50W halogen equivalents’ have undermined confidence in using lamps.
- Lumen outputs are from the lamp only – once in a fixture there is undoubtedly a degree of loss that is difficult to measure.
Remember for both dedicated LED fixtures and retro-fit lamps
- both lamps and dedicated LED fittings require (whatever is dimming the circuit) to have a huge amount of extra capacity in the system to allow for a start-up spike of current.
- dimming compatibility still critical between fixture / lamp and dimmer.
If you need advice on the new generation of lamps available that we recommend call us. We also have a full selection of dedicated fitting and luminaires to meet every purpose in your next project.