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What does L70 mean?

Building regulations are an essential part of life which you can’t ignore. Whether at work, at home or out doing the shopping, your safety depends on them. All aspects of a building must meet the standards set by authorities, and lighting is no exception.

If a room isn’t sufficiently lit, it could be hazardous to those inside it. So the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) introduced measures to promote safety and quality in the lighting industry. An LEDs’ efficiency can be measured by lumen maintenance and L70 is one of the standards set by the IES.

Lumen maintenance measures the light produced by a light source when it’s brand new. It compares it with its light output at a specific time in the future. So a light source which emits 1,000 lumens when new and 700 lumens after 50,000 hours of use has a lumen maintenance of 70% at 50,000 hours. In other words, it has an L70 of 50,000 hours. While lumen maintenance ratings of L50, L80 and L90 exist, L70 is most commonly used. Why? Because the human eye cannot detect the difference in a light’s output until it has reduced by 30%.

An L70 of 50,000 hours is the current average rating for domestic LEDs. But how many years will they last the average user? To put it in perspective, Somerset council recently fitted the first LED street lights in the UK. They have a lifespan of 60,000 hours or around 16 years if used 10 hours a day.

This highlights just how energy-efficient LEDs are, and next time you’re shopping for some you can compare L70 ratings and maximise your own energy efficiency! And remember, the better the L70 rating, the longer your LEDs will light your home to a safe standard according to current regulations.

 

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