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Striplight FAQs

LED lighting doesn't have to be difficult. Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions. Just click on a question to reveal the answer.

If you have a question that's not answered below please call us and we'll do our best to answer it for you: 0845 459 8010.

What is an LED?

LED's have been in our lives for a long time already. In the simplest of examples, they are commonly used in electrical appliances to signal that the unit is on - e.g. the little red standby light on the front of your TV. However, individual white coloured LED's were never bright enough to be considered as a lighting source.

The combination of many LED's mounted together meant that the light output (measured in Lumens rather than watts) was a viable lighting source. This technology helped define the introduction of LED's into everyday light fittings such as GU10 spotlight bulbs.

Has LED technology been around a long time?

Yes, LED bulbs have been around for a few years now. Most large DIY stores stock the first generation of LED bulbs which feature a large number of individually mounted LED's. They are not generally appropriate as a direct replacement for existing bulbs throughout your home however as they simply do not produce enough light. They also tend to have a very strong blue tint to them. Technology has advanced greatly since then and you can now confidently replace your existing incandescent / halogen bulbs with LED'swithout compromising the finish.

How long do LED bulbs last?

LED bulbs have a huge life expectancy in comparison to other technologies. The LED technology is very stable and so LED bulbs should last for between 25,000 – 50,000 hours. The life expectancy figure quoted on LED products related to the L70 value which is when the light still emits 70% of their original brightness.

Are they safe?

All of our products are CE & RoHS marked meaning that they have been tested for conformity and sustainability for use in Europe. We are among the only online retailer to have our bulbs tested independently by the test lab TUV SÜD for safety and conformity. Our bulbs have class II double insulation, thermal cut outs and EMC suppression.

Do I need an LED-compatible transformer / driver?

With some LED bulbs it is necessary to change existing transformers, as they will not be compatible. You would see that they are not compatible with the LED bulb as they would cause the bulb to be very dim or have a very pronounced flicker or strobe. Our NxtGen MR16 LED bulbs have been designed to be compatible with 90% of regular transformers.

Are LED lights cost-effective?

LED lights are very cost effective as the savings are two fold. Firstly, the LED technology is extremely efficient and so you will use around 90% less electricity than traditional lighting. Secondly, as the LED light has a huge life expectancy you will save on the cost of replacing the old traditional bulbs and also the hassle of physically replacing them.

What are the best features of LED lights?

Where do we start!! Choosing LED lights is simply a “no brainer”.

  • LED lights are massively cheaper to run saving you money on your electricity bill and also saving the planet from the harmful effects of having to produce that extra electricity.
  • There are no hazardous chemicals used in LED light bulbs.
  • LED light bulbs are not fragile like traditional bulbs.
  • LED light bulbs have a life of around 30,00 hours which is around 30 times more than a traditional light bulb.
  • You can choose the colour of the light that you want from a LED Light bulb.
  • LED Lights will be standard in all homes in the future; traditional lighting has just simply been superseded by better technology.

Can LED light bulbs be used with dimmers?

LED light bulbs can only be used with a dimmer switch if they specifically state in their technical specification that they are dimmable. If there is no mention of the bulbs dimming facility you should always assume that the bulb is not dimmable.

Believe it or not, dimmer switches come in two different varieties. These are leading edge and trailing edge. LED dimmable bulbs need the trailing edge dimmer switches which are for sale on our website. A further guide to dimming LED bulbs can be found by clicking here.

What are SMDs?

SMD stands for Surface Mounted Diode. In simple terms, this is the LED diodes / chips that are fixed to the flat surface of the bulb. One characteristic of this type of bulb is that you will get a wider beam angle than traditional bulb types, which is more desirable.

What is 3528?
3528 refers to a type of chip. This chip has been in production for quite some time and it actually is the size of the chip that is 3.5mm by 2.8mm.

What is 5050?
5050 is the type of chip used in a SMD bulb. This chip is widely used and the size of this chip is 5.0mm by 5.0mm

What is 6060?
6060 is the newest type of chip that has just been launched. This chip is 6.0mm by 6.0mm

What SMD chips are used in our LED bulbs?
We use different chips in different bulbs in order to have a range of different prices and light outputs. The chips are the same technology but just different sizes. You would need around twice the number of 3528 chips to produce the same amount of light as a 6060 chip.

What are the benefits of using LED lights?

You can save around 90% on your lighting electricity bill by swapping to LED bulbs. Yes, they do cost more than the existing filament bulbs to purchase but they will last on average for 15 years! They also produce very little heat, which is a common problem with flush mounted ceiling spotlights.

Firstly, it can be dangerous if the spotlight does not have adequate space around it in the ceiling void for the heat to dissipate which can be a potential fire risk. Secondly, the spotlights can contribute significantly to unwanted heat in a room - particularly in summer

Will LED bulbs fit into my old light fixtures?

When choosing your replacement LED bulbs it is advisable to get the dimensions of the bulb to ensure that it will fit your fitting. Most of the latest LED bulbs are “true fit” and so will be the same dimensions as the traditional bulb that it replaces.

Do I need to replace my fittings to use LED bulbs?

No. LED bulbs have been designed to retrofit existing fittings. You should double-check the dimensions of the new bulbs just to make sure that the particular product will be the correct size for your existing fittings even if you are ordering the correct cap type.

What is the difference between warm white and cool white colour bulbs?

The effect or feel that the colour of a bulb that is chosen will have on the space that it is used. Warm white most closely replicates the colour of a traditional/halogen bulb. Cool white has a brighter, whiter effect and can give a modern or even clinical feel to a space.

We have some more information and also a short video dedicated to this question that can be found if you click here.

Which colour is best for indoor use?

70% of our domestic customers order warm white bulbs for replacing their old traditional or halogen bulbs. For commercial use such as offices or shops, many customers choose cool white.

Which colour is best for outdoor use?

For outdoor use it is really up to each individual. We do stock red, green & blue static coloured bulbs; remote controlled colour changing bulbs and also the warm or cool white. It depends what kind of effect you wish to create.

Can LED lights be used outdoors?

Yes, LED lights can be used outdoors as long as the fitting they are used in is suitable for outdoor use.

To be used outside, fittings should have an IP rating which will tell you how sealed and therefore how waterproof that fitting is. For further information on this please click here.

Which is better for LED lights, low voltage circuit or mains circuit?

There is no right answer for this question as it is up to the customer’s preference. One thing to consider is that at the current time you cannot buy dimmable low voltage (MR16) LED bulbs only mains voltage (GU10). Mains voltage bulbs do not need external transformer/drivers and so there is this cost saving also.

Can I use LEDs on a 12-volt circuit?
Yes, there are LED bulbs that run on 12v and also 24v circuits. Always check the bulbs technical specification to see if it is suitable for your application.

What is a GU5.3 LED bulb?
GU5.3 is just another term for a MR16 low voltage bulb.

What is a GU4 bulb?
GU4 is just another term for a MR11 low voltage bulb.

How do I know if my transformers are compatible with LED bulbs?

Transformers are only needed with low voltage bulbs such as MR16, MR11, G4 or low voltage versions of AR111. If a transformer is not compatible with LED bulbs you may see one of the following: Strobing, flickering, the bulbs are very dim or will not illuminate at all.

If you find an LED to be incompatible with your existing transformer then you could try another brand of LED or alternatively try another trasnformer / driver until you find a combination that suits.

Our NxtGen range of bulbs are compatible with 90% of existing transformers. In order to ensure the longevity of an LED bulb it is recommended to change transformers over to specialist LED drivers.

How can I save the most money on my electricity bill?

There are so many ways to cut down your electricity usage and therefore your electricity bill. You can look at your heating and hot water, lighting, products/appliances, insulation, water and your energy supplier.

Lighting will account for 20% of your electricity bill and so changing your current light bulbs for LED energy efficient bulbs is such an easy thing to do.

For further information on how to cut down your electricity bills please click here for a home energy check.

What fittings should I have for my bathroom?

Fittings in a bathroom need to be installed by a qualified electrician. Light fittings in bathrooms have different IP requirements and for further information on this please click here. Generally, the higher the numbers of the IP rating the more waterproof it is.

What does IP65 mean?

The two numbers following the IP ( Ingress Protection ) are in reference to how much protection they offer against both intrusion, and moisture.

6 = totally dust tight & 5 = protection against low-pressure water jets (all directions).

What does IP67 mean?

The two numbers following the IP are in reference to how much protection they offer against both intrusion, and moisture.

6 = totally dust tight & 7 = protected against temporary immersion in water.

Do I have to have fire-rated fittings?

Fire rated downlights differ from standard downlight fittings as they are a metal enclosed fitting rather than an open backed fitting. This will give protection in the event of a fire and fire rated downlights are now the accepted standard when installing new downlight fittings. For more information on fire rated fitting please click here.

How hot does an LED bulb get?

A 50W GU10 halogen bulb reaches around 260o C and our NxtGen 5W GU10 LED bulb reaches around 60o C.

Does a GU10 LED bulb give the same brightness as my old halogen bulb?

Depending upon the product, Yes. A 50W halogen bulb emits around 420 lumens of light. Our NxtGen series of LED lights emit the same amount of light as a traditional halogen.

Why are LED lights considered a green technology?

LED lights are green technology as they require a small amount of electricity compared to traditional lights to give out the same amount of light. LED bulbs also do not use the harmful chemicals that their CFL counterparts use.

How does ambient temperature affect the performance of LED lights?

Ambient temperature can affect a LED light, as LED technology is susceptible to very high or very low temperatures. The newest design LED bulbs feature thermal cut out in the bulbs circuitry. This will switch the bulb off when the temperature is too high and will then allow the bulb to switch back on when the temperature is back within the bulbs limits.

How often will I have to replace LED bulbs?

How long the LED bulbs last is calculated by the number of hours the bulbs are in use, for example if you only have a bulb in use for 1 hour per day it will last longer than a bulb on for 4 hours per day. LED bulb life is expressed in hours and typically is around 30,000 hours, which is approximately 10 – 25 years.

Check out our Energy Saving Calculator to find out how much you could be saving.

Do LED bulbs have any toxic materials inside them?

LED bulbs do not contain the same hazardous materials as CFL bulbs. Due to the electronics inside the bulbs they still need to be disposed of by recycling through the WEEE system.

Do LED light bulbs switch on immediately or do they have to warm up?

LED light bulbs do not have any warm up timer and switch on immediately to full brightness.

Does the level of light produced reduce over the lifetime of the LED bulb?

Yes, the brightness of an LED bulb will reduce over time. L70 is used to describe the point at which the bulb reaches 70% of the original brightness. It is at this point that the bulb is deemed to have reached the end of its life.