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LED Lighting Blog

  • Bulb Safety and Disposal

    Here are a few points to bear in mind to help ensure your safety when handling, installing, using and disposing of lamps.

    Always handle lamps with care and store them appropriately to minimise the likelihood of glass breakage. If you do break a lamp, please remember that some lamps contain harmful substances and should be handled accordingly. LEDs do not contain mercury but do contain substances that could be harmful in large quantities. Therefore they should be handled with care and disposed of in accordance with your local waste authority rules and health and safety policies.

    Lamps should be easy to install and remove from their fittings and should never be forced as this can often result in breakage of the glass. If you keep a record of all of the lamps that you use by either checking your previous orders on your account or noting them down can help you remember whether they are push fit, twist lock or screw-in fittings. This should help prevent twisting a push-fit lamp or vice-versa!

    Please remember that lamps are often hot in operation and should always be installed in such a way as to minimise the possibility of personal injury and the risk of fire. Many lamps actually emit more energy as heat than they do light and should never be placed close to combustible materials or furnishings. Please check the packaging of the lamp before you install it and make sure you adhere to any manufacturer’s guidelines on safety distances etc.

    Look out for the pictograms found on the packaging of many lamps. Some require a little interpretation but they should always be observed.

    Always install the correct lamp for your fitting. Some lamps may look very similar but may have quite different heat characteristics that could cause damage or fire risk.

    LEDs should be disposed of carefully as although the gases they contain are not deadly, a large amount of them could be extremely dangerous. If a bulb is broken, sweep it up carefully and wear gloves and a mask if you own them.

    Always observe the maximum wattage and bulb shape specified for a light fitting or lampshade. Failure to do so may lead to damage to the fitting or even a fire risk. Lampshades are generally rated both for the maximum wattage and recommended shape of bulb. For example a large shade may be rated for use with a 100W GLS bulb whereas a smaller one, or one with more delicate fabric, may specify a 40W golf ball. Never use a physically larger bulb than that specified (eg a GLS bulb instead of a golf ball) since this will bring the hot surface of the bulb closer to the fabric and risk burning.

    Most lamps are designed for use indoors or in closed luminaires (ie protected from the elements). Please ensure that you use an appropriate lamp for outdoor applications, particularly in open fittings or luminaires. GLS or golf ball style lamps can only be used in uncovered outdoor applications if the fitting includes appropriate watertight features and the bulb wattage is no more than 25W. Larger wattage bulbs are prone to cracking if splashed with rain while hot.

    WEEE Directive

    The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive encourages the recycling of WEEE in order to reduce landfill and to reduce the potential effects on human health and the environment caused by the presence of hazardous substances which are contained in many types of electrical equipment.

    The WEEE directive does not apply to LEDs in small amounts which can be treated as normal waste but it does cover all types of discharge lamps such as fluorescent tubes, compact fluorescents, compact fluorescent energy savers, SONs, Mercury, Metal Halide and other types of discharge lamps. All of these contain various substances such as mercury, lead, cadmium or sodium which are potentially hazardous and/or damaging to the environment.

    From 13th August 2005 all such items are marked with a crossed-out wheeled-bin symbol to show that these items should not be disposed of as general waste. Simply LED are obliged under these regulations to offer our domestic customers free take-back of their WEEE on a like-for-like basis when you buy new discharge lamps from us. Please note however that ‘free take back’ means that we will not charge you for recycling costs however it is under the obligation of the customer to return the goods to Simply LED. Please contact us for details of your nearest recycling location if you are purchasing new discharge lamps and wish to send back the old ones for recycling. Businesses wishing to find out more about recycling can find further details on the Waste Recycling website.

    RoHS

    The Restriction of use of certain Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive came in to force on 1st July 2006. This aims to restrict the use of a number of hazardous substances including mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium and lead. All lamps that we supply are manufactured to meet the requirements of the RoHS directive.

  • Glasgow's Arena is lit up for the Commonwealth Games

    The SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow has been given a makeover. According to Pollstar, the arena is the fourth most popular venue in the world.

    The SSE Hydro Arena was designed by Foster + Partners and fitted with specialist lighting by Arup. The 13,000 capacity venue will be holding the 20th Commonwealth Games on the 23rd of July.

    The architectural lighting is controlled by a Lutron system which is co-ordinated with Martin show-lighting software. A model of the façade can be sent out to a concert lighting designer for advance programming so that the arena is easily set up on arrival.

    The actual arena is lit by Philips luminaires, based on LED high bays. These can emit over 300 lux or be dimmed to 5%. There's a huge rig so that when the Commonwealth Games comes to town, its specific lighting scheme can simply be attached.

    Lighting Designer, Patrick Elsdale, said: "We designed it so that you can get the inside, the outside and (eventually) the plaza all controllable by show control. The whole scheme can be integrated with the interior lighting. Once you get up into the lobby, that whole level is lit almost entirely by façade lighting and suddenly it's all about colour and show. It's an amazing space when lit up. Once we had cracked the rock'n'roll lighting everything else was simple."

  • When choosing LEDs...

    The main reason people choose LEDs is because they emit a good quality light, require low wattage (therefore using less energy) and have a long lifespan making them more cost-effective in the long-run. Here are a few things to consider when choosing LED light bulbs:

    Efficiency

    Manufacturer’s claims vary wildly about the efficiency of LEDs and can often be quite misleading. The simplest way to ensure that you are comparing “like with like” is to look at the efficiency in Lumens per Watt. That is, how much light do you get for each Watt of electricity used? An example is this B22 GLS OMNI LED bulb. It is 4.6W and gives out 470 lumens. This means it produces the same amount of light as a 40W bulb.

    Colour Temperature

    LEDs are available in a range of colour temperatures from warm white (2700 or 3000K) up to daylight (6000K and beyond). LEDs with a higher colour temperature do however tend to be slightly more efficient than those with a lower colour temperature so some companies offer these as a way of making their products seem brighter. To replace standard incandescent or halogen lamps, a colour temperature of around 2700K to 3300K is preferred. Some companies use non-standard terms when describing the colour of LEDs such as “natural white” or “office white” which cannot be readily compared with other products. To ensure that you are comparing like with like always check the colour temperature.

    Colour rendering

    The colour rendering of LEDs varies quite markedly between brands. For some applications this is not particularly important but for ambient lighting it is important to check the quality of light emitted. The LEDs that we offer for ambient lighting all have good colour rendering, comparable to that of a good quality fluorescent tube. Many manufacturers do not however quote a colour rendering index for their LEDs so we are rarely able to quote specific figures.

    Heat output

    LEDs are cool to the touch unlike other bulbs which can get hot because of the infrared light produced. However, LEDs do produce heat from inside the bulb and should have good heat sinking otherwise there is a risk that the characteristics of the bulb will change.

    Rated Life

    The one area where LEDs really score highly is in their rated operating life which typically ranges from 20,000 to 50,000 hours. This is 20 to 50 times longer than a typical incandescent lamp so LEDs are ideal for use in areas where maintenance is difficult or long life is important.

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