If you buy a set of 5 lights for 20 bucks do not expect it to last very long or hold up in extreme conditions. Research what you are going to buy, ask others and make an informed decision.

LED Buyer Beware

Frank Patterson | The Lightup Co.

LED Buyer Beware
If you buy a set of 5 lights for 20 bucks do not expect it to last very long or hold up in extreme conditions. Research what you are going to buy, ask others and make an informed decision.
LED Buyer Beware
Frank Patterson, The Lightup Co.

These days there are a lot of people making claims about LED lights. I am taking the time to set the record straight about what is real and what is hype. The first thing I want to clear up is that LEDs have their place in lighting, but only for certain applications. LEDs are great for directional lighting, but are not good for replacing standard light bulbs. A standard light bulb produces light in 360* while a LED light can only produce light in one direction from its emitter. The best that a LED can do is about a 110* from its emitter, even this is limited in output.

The next thing to consider is that LEDs do not light at their original output for the 100,000 hour lifetime as many people claim. Most applications today use 5 mm LEDs and only produce full output for around 5000 hours then start to degrade. I have tested many brands and this holds true to all of them. They start out at a very impressive output but a year later they lose up to 60% of there original output. There is a big change in color output as well.

Lets' talk more about the color output. Most LEDs run in the 5000K to 8000K (Kelvin or light output temperature). A standard light in your home runs at around 3200K which produces a nice yellowish color output. Streetlights are 1800 - 2200K for the High-pressure sodium or yellow streetlights. A good full spectrum light like the one's used for growing plants are in the 5000K range. If we go too far, for example in the 8000k, we end up in the blue spectrum and the light is no good for seeing in the dark because blue light is eaten up by dark surfaces. You have seen this driving down the road, looking at your neighbors yard. He has gone to the local hardware store and bought a set of cheap lights and put them in his yard. At night when there are no other lights on you look at them and well, they look blue not white as was stated on the package the lights came in.

These lights also go through a color shift. In time the blue light output gets worse not better as the LED ages it keeps going to the blue side and loses its output.

Yes there are many of these lights on the market. I recommend you try one out before spending money on a bunch of them and finding this out the hard way. Not all products are junk. But it seems that the cheap lights from overseas that are flooding the market now do fall into this category.

At this time there are some excellent high power LEDs out there that do last for around 60,000 hours. This is a long time considering that the average life of a standard incandescent light is around 2000 hours. Should you wish to pay a bit more for a better product you can have a LED light that will last and be worth the extra money you paid for it.

We at the Lightup Co. take great care to consider how to get the best output and color out of a LED. The newer high power LEDs, such as one and three watt units can produce enough light for many applications. All LEDs produce heat and heat kills LEDs. Great care must be given in designing a LED light fixture so as not to cook it from it's own heat. I myself have to laugh at some of things I see on the web for sale. There are people selling screw in Lights with 144 5mm LEDs in a light that is 3" in diameter. They have packed the LEDs one next to the other with no space between them. Then they drive them over the safe current limit to get the most light they can out of them. There is no room for air-cooling, or for that matter any way for it to dissipate the heat produced. I have seen these lights melt down, burn the plastic reflector and die. They may be good for use not longer than a few minuets at a time. If you were to replace your porch light and run it all night long with one of these lights, it surley would die and be a big waste of your money.

We manufacture LED lights for many companies and we hold ourselves to the highest standards and strive to make the best lights that can be made. We were making and selling LED lights before most others out there were even thinking about it. We custom manufacture solar LED lights as well as AC LED Lighting for the government and private companies. Our lighting has been in use since 1997 and we have lights in places such as Disney Land, NASA and many Military bases.

In conclusion, you get what you pay for. If you buy a set of 5 lights for 20 bucks do not expect it to last very long or hold up in extreme conditions. Research what you are going to buy, ask others and make an informed decision. After all it's your money.

Written by Frank Patterson Owner of The Lightup Co. www.thelightupco.com or www.solarhid.com 518-287-1934

The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of AltEnergyMag

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