Current Trends in the Lighting Industry
Here is an example of what is happening in the the world of lighting today and what will continue to happen in the foreseeable future. LED’s are all the rage and designers are finding all sorts of new ways to incorporate them into light fixtures. The reasons are clear: LED’s consume far less energy than incandescent light bulbs, LED’s are cool to the touch, LED’s have better color temperature than they did in the past, LED’s have a super long life, and LED’s are small so fixture design can be very creative. In addition to LED fixtures like this one, LED light bulb design is evolving very quickly also. Technicians are finding ways to make them more attractive and more like the good old fashioned incandescent light bulbs. Some of the new LED light bulbs even grow warmer in color temperature as they are dimmed, just like incandescent light bulbs do. Additionally, new, more efficient heat sink materials are being developed which allow LED light bulbs be more streamlined and closer in appearance to both A-lamps and candelabra bulbs. Pretty soon you will be able to use LED bulbs in chandeliers and not notice a difference between them and the candelabra bulbs they replace. Best of all, LED’s are becoming less expensive all the time as manufacturing becomes more efficient and more manufacturers enter the marketplace. As with anything though, I urge you to be careful when buying any LED product as there still are huge quality differences among the myriad of products and producers out there. Try to see the product before you buy it to make sure the color of the light is acceptable to you. I recommend buying dimmable LED light bulbs and fixtures – some LED’s are not dimmable. I also recommend caution in using dedicated LED recessed lighting fixtures. Once you install them they are in the ceiling a long time and the quality of the light might not be satisfactory for you. Instead, consider buying a regular recessed fixture and using an LED light bulb. That way you are not locked in. Please visit our website www.fogglighting.com and like us on Facebook. You also might be interested in the Underwriter’s Laboratory app, LightSmart, which can be downloaded from the App Store. It has all kinds of great information about lighting…and its free.
What Do I Think About LED?
I get asked this question almost every day, and every day I have the same answer: “Don’t get locked into a technology that is changing daily.” By this I mean, use LED replacement light bulbs, but do not buy fixtures with dedicated LED modules already built in. The LED dedicated fixtures are much more expensive than conventional fixtures, and you will be stuck with them when a much more advanced LED option becomes available in a few months or a year. The exception to this rule is in the use of under cabinet or cove lighting where LED tape light and other LED fixtures have been proven to be good alternatives (albeit more expensive).
The Light bulb pictured here on the left is a technological breakthrough. This light bulb is manufactured by Soraa, the most advanced LED MR16 manufacturer in the world. This MR16 can be used in any fixture that uses MR16’s. It is dimmable, comes in various color temperatures and is available with a variety of lenses, filters and louvers which control beam spread and glare. Not all replacement bulbs are created equal. This is one of the best. It costs a little more than it’s cheaper rivals, but the results are noticeable.
The light bulb pictured on the right is an LED replacement bulb for a standard incandescent light bulb. Notice the “fingers” that extend up from the socket to the base of the globe. These “fingers” are made from a material that will draw heat away from the solid state components in the light bulb. (LED’s generate heat because of the resistance in the solid state components – much like a computer).
This brings me to crux of the LED dilemma – until scientists can find much more efficient heat sink materials than are available today, LED’s are stuck in limbo. The greater the lumen output, the more heat is generated and this heat must be dissipated. This breakthrough will come fairly soon, and when it does, there will be a flood of new products.
Please visit us at www.fogglighting.com and like us on Facebook. Also check out the app “LightSmart” from UL which has tons of great information about lighting. Need lighting help, call Fogg Lighting at 207-797-7568.