What differentiates high-quality LED lamps from poor-quality ones?
Date of publication: 15 October 2015
High-quality LED lamp is a durable, safe and cost-effective source of light, but a low-quality LED can reduce these benefits to nothing. How to choose high-quality LED lamps, even if you’ve never purchased them before?
After the recent jump in electricity prices and the arrival of heating season we all have realized the need to take additional measures to save money on “utility” bills.
Electricity is one of the most easily regulated cost items in terms of spending.
Therefore, if you still haven’t switched to energy-efficient light sources, it’s time for you to see into the matter and start replacing conventional lamps with LED light sources in your apartment today, rather than wait for vague tomorrow and further increase in utility tariffs.
Generally speaking, energy-efficient lamps can be divided into 2 types - fluorescent and LED. Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), more popularly known as “spiral” lamps, contain mercury vapor and are gradually going out of use. This type of lamp is being withdrawn from the market starting from 2015, and eventually Eurolamp will stop shipping these lamps to Ukraine. This decision was taken not least due to unresolved problem with disposal of CFLs (since they can’t be disposed of with normal household waste). The second type of energy-efficient lamps is a LED lamp (LED), which is, in fact, not just a lamp, but a full-fledged electronic device as well as the most cost-effective and durable light source as of today.
Since LED lamp is a durable product, it is important to be able to choose a high-quality lamp that will serve for many years without losing its properties. Let's gain insight into what steps should be taken to avoid making a wrong choice of LED lamps.
Step 1: Choosing a manufacturer
Many people are interested in knowing which manufacturer should they target when choosing energy-efficient LED lamps? We all want to purchase high-quality products at a reasonable price. According to experts, manufacturer's reputation and brand recognition on the market should always be taken into consideration when evaluating the price/quality ratio, since in the case of purchasing cheap products of unknown brands there is always a big risk of buying low-quality product that will not only “eat” your investments, but may also have a negative impact on your health.
We also recommend paying attention to warranty offered by the manufacturer - the longer the warranty term, the higher the quality of a lamp. For example, the LED-chip placed inside EurolampTM lamp is covered with a 10-year warranty - which means that the company is confident of the quality of its products and takes responsibility for them. It is also a good practice to pay attention to the country of origin - this information must be supplied on the packaging. Sophisticated purchasers can identify the country of brand origin by analyzing the first digits of the product’s barcode. European brands stand out for their high figures of merit – among them are Eurolamp, Osram, Philips. However, the latter two brands can take a big bite out of average customer’s wallet.
Step 2: Examining the package
You should always examine the product labeling and be well-versed in basic technical characteristics to avoid making mistakes when choosing any product. Eurolamp expert prepared a brief and straightforward overview of lighting industry terms to facilitate the execution of this task. So what should be paid attention to?
Luminous flux. It is measured in lumens (lm). This is one of the most important and most critical lamp parameters, because it tells us how bright your room will be, in other words, it provides an estimate of the amount of light the lamp will give off. It's simple - the higher the lumens, the more brightly lit a room will be.
Power. It is measured in watts (W). It’s also simple - the higher the lamp wattage, the more power it uses. Some people believe that the higher power consumption of a lamp, the more light it gives off. This is true in most cases, but you should always pay attention to the value of luminous flux. It is not uncommon for lamps with lower wattage to have a higher ratio of luminous flux and thus higher energy efficiency.
The majority of lamp packages include information about equivalent wattages of LED lamps and conventional incandescent lamps (GLS lamps) - at the moment the LED-to-GLS wattage ratio is 1 to 10 (in other words, a 10-watt LED lamp is equivalent to 100-watt incandescent lamp).
Color temperature. It is measured in degrees of Kelvin (K). Lamp’s color index tells us what will be the color of visible light. Color temperatures can be divided into the following groups:
- “similar to conventional lamp” or warm light (approximately 2700-3300 K). It has a yellowish tinge and is well-suited for lighting bedrooms and lounges, since it has a calming effect and relieves stress.
- daylight (4000-4200 K), also known as natural light; similar to gentle glow of scattered daytime skylight. An excellent solution for maintaining vigorous body state. It is often used in office premises.
- cold light (approximately 5000 K) – it has a bluish tint and can distort the color tones of surrounding objects. This light seems brighter than others and has a toning effect, but may cause body fatigue when used over a long period of time.
Lamp base. These are elementary facts from the perspective of majority of people who have any experience with purchasing a lamp, but still they should be kept in mind. It is also important to know that the range of lamp bases is not limited to E14 (the so-called minion) and E27, which are the ones we come across most often. In addition, there are also pin bases such as GU 5.3, GU 10 and G4.
LED type. This is an important factor in choosing a lamp, since your lamp’s service lifetime depends on the quality of LED. As of today, almost all manufacturers use diodes of SMD type in the production of LED lamps, and therefore the length of warranty and service life are the key factors indicating the quality of the LED – the longer the warranty and service life, the better the quality.
Step 3: Testing the lamp at the cash desk
It is advisable to test each lamp for pulsation before making a purchase. High-quality LED lamp doesn’t pulsate (flicker). LED lamp flickering is caused by poor-quality rectifier in the power supply unit, which allows 50Hz frequency to get directly to light-emitting diodes. Lamp pulsation is not visible to the naked eye, but it causes eye fatigue and has a negative impact on human nervous system in general. You can check the lamp for flicker using a mobile phone camera: simply point your phone camera at an operating lamp – if the lamp flickers, you will see a flashing image (barely visible lines running from top to bottom on the screen), in which case it is a good idea to refrain from purchasing such lamp.
LED lamps from proven brands are equipped with a special IC-driver, which prevents them from flickering. All Eurolamp LED lamps starting from 2016 product line onwards are equipped with IC-driver, which stabilizes the current and protects the lamp from network voltage variations, while your nervous system and visual receptors are kept safe from the negative effects of flickering.
We hope that these three simple steps will help you to make the right choice and purchase truly high-quality LED lamps. After all, LED is the light of the future!