DOES VARIANCE LIGHTING STILL OFFER INSTALLATION SERVICES?

 Yes, we offer national installation services. In certain situations, it might be a better choice for you to hire different installers, with us overseeing the project. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have at www.VarianceLighting.com or call us at 888-461-4899.

 

DO YOU OFFER RETURNS?

Variance Lighting strives to provide our customers with an excellent shopping experience. Our products are of high quality and we want our customers to be satisfied with their purchase. If you are not satisfied with your product, you may request to return the merchandise for a refund within 14 days of the invoice date. check our Return Policy.

 

Do I need a special dimmer switch for LED light bulbs?

While most LED bulbs are now dimmable, not all of them are and not all of them dim in the same manner Since LEDs consume such a low wattage, many types of dimmers do not function with LED in the same way that they do with high wattage load incandescents. When dimming an LED you may notice the following:

  • Smaller amount of dimming rage (Typically 70-90% range vs. 100% with incandescent)
  • LED Bulbs may not shut off at lowest dim setting: this is caused by the dimmer thinking the bulb is completely off due to the low amount of wattage an LED consumes.
  • On dimming systems based on X10 or Power Line Carrier (PLC) control technology, LEDs may flicker when modules are communicating due to the small fluctuations in power on the line. 

It is suggested that you test your current dimmers to see if they work with the LED bulbs you have purchased, chances are they will likely work fine. However, if you experience any of the above issues with your current dimming control, purchase dimmers designed with LED light bulbs in mind and offer a trim adjustment switch that will allow for full and accurate control of dimming range.

 

Does a Higher Color Temperature (Kelvin) Bulb Produce More Light?

When shopping for LED bulbs, the color temperature of the light, rated in Kelvin, is a frequently cited specification. Shoppers are often confused if buying a higher Kelvin bulb will produce more light.

Lumensare a measurement of total light output while Kelvindescribes the color of the light. LED bulbs of a higher Kelvin may appear brighter due to the higher contrast the cooler light provides but often are equal or just slightly brighter on a Lumens measurement.

Ultimately, the choice in color temperature should be made on the basis of which color of light you prefer, for the vast majority this will be the familiar 2700K soft white color we are used to. For those looking for a more daylight or higher contrast light, 4000K or higher color temperatures will provide this.

 

What is the difference between Lumens, Kelvins and Watts?

When shopping for LED bulbs you will frequently see three key specifications mentioned Lumens, Kelvin and Watts. It is quite common for shoppers to get confused about the differences between these terms.

Lumens

Lumens is a measurement of total light output or in other words the brightness of the bulb. More lumens means it's a brighter light; fewer lumens means it's a dimmer light.

Lumens are to light what

  • Pounds are to bananas
  • Gallons are to milk

Lumens let you buy the amount of light you want. So when buying your new bulbs, think lumens, not watts.

The brightness, or lumen levels, of the lights in your home may vary widely, so here's a rule of thumb:

  • To replace a 100-watt incandescent bulb, look for a bulb that gives you about1600 lumens. If you want something dimmer, go for less lumens; if you prefer brighter light, look for more lumens.
  • Replace a 75W bulb with an LED bulb that gives you about 1100 lumens
  • Replace a 60W bulb with an LED bulb that gives you about 800 lumens
  • Replace a 40W bulb with an LED bulb that gives you about 450 lumens

Kelvin

Kelvin is a measurement used to describe the color temperature of a light source. This is the specification that gives a description of the warmth or coolness of a light source. When a piece of metal is heated, the color of light it emits will change. This color begins as red in appearance and graduates to orange, yellow, white, and then blue-white to deeper colors of blue. The temperature of this metal is a physical measure in degrees Kelvin or absolute temperature. While lamps other than incandescent such as LEDs do not exactly mimic the output of this piece of metal, we utilize the correlated color temperature (or Kelvins) to describe the appearance of that light source as it relates to the appearance of the piece of metal (specifically a black body radiator).

By convention, yellow-red colors (like the flames of a fire) are considered warm, and blue-green colors (like light from an overcast sky) are considered cool. Confusingly, higher Kelvin temperatures (3600–5500 K) are what we consider cool and lower color temperatures (2700–3000 K) are considered warm. Cool light is preferred for visual tasks because it produces higher contrast than warm light. Warm light is preferred for living spaces because it is more flattering to skin tones and clothing. A color temperature of 2700–3600 K is generally recommended for most indoor general and task lighting applications. Color Temperature is not an indicator of lamp heat.

Watts and Equivalent Watts

Watts are a measurement of power consumption. With traditional incandescent light sources typically the higher the wattage, the brighter the light. With energy efficient bulbs such as LED this is somewhat different because there is no hard and fast rule to correlate Wattage with output. For example one brand's 9 Watt LED bulb may emit enough Lumens to replace a 60 Watt incandescent but another brand may need to use a less efficient LED, lets say 12 Watts worth to create enough lumens to replace a 60 Watt bulb. This is why as we mention above, it is more important to take a look at Lumens versus Watts. 

Many household and commercial fixtures were not designed with LED bulbs in mind. They typically feature warnings that indicate "Fixture designed for a XXX max Watt bulb". These are heat ratings designed to prevent users from placing a higher wattage bulb inside of the fixture than what it was designed for. LED bulbs consume far less wattage and consequently, produce less heat therefore a 60 Watt equal LED bulb could be safely used in a fixture rated for a 40 Watt incandescent, same goes for using a 75 Watt equal LED bulb in a fixture designed for 60 Watt incandescents. 

When we describe the "Wattage Equivalent" of a LED bulb this is a simple way of letting shoppers know what level of output this bulb will provide at a glance without having to dive deeper into the Lumen specification but it remains Lumens should be your guide when measuring the total output of a particular light bulb.

 

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 immersion in water.

 

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.

 

What are the benefits of converting to LED bulbs?

  • Better and higher quality light dispersion, lower maintenance, and lower cost of operation.
  • An immediate reduction in your electricity bill.
  • Less heat. LED lighting products are extremely efficient converting electricity into light.
  • LED lights last longer. A good quality LED light bulb can last from 50,000 – 100,000 hours.
  • Highly recyclable - with no hazardous parts or materials like mercury. You can recycle LEDs easily.

 

How does LED lighting compare to fluorescent?

There are several differences between LED and fluorescent lights that people should acknowledge when making the decision to purchase either type of lighting. While fluorescent lights have proved to be more energy efficient than older methods of commercial lighting, LED lighting can last up to 25% longer than fluorescent bulbs while saving up to 80% more on energy costs.

LED lighting also offers more customizability for each application, with different lenses, shapes, and colors available that you won't find with fluorescent lighting systems.

In short, if businesses want to save money on energy costs while benefitting from longer-lasting lights with more custom options, outdoor and indoor LED lighting is ideal for their facilities.

 

What does bulb maintenance really cost?

Bulb replacement costs depend on the fixture and the equipment needed. In some cases on streets with commercial lighting, a special multi-operator crew equipped with a “boom arm” or “cherry-picker,” plus a lane flasher behind it can create a bulb change cost over $250, not including the cost of the bulb. Two year life spans or less for older bulbs can really add up the maintenance costs when compared to newer lights that can exceed 10 years before bulb replacement.

 

What is lumen depreciation, and why is that important?

Every light source starts out at a certain level of lumen output, and over time, that output will decline or depreciate. With LEDs the life expectancy is determined by when the light drops to 70% of the initial lumens. This is important because some light sources claim longer life expectancies but fail to tell you that they drop over half their light output over that time. Other light sources define the life as when the bulb burns out, or drops 100%.  “add a couple graphs showing the lumens depreciation over time”

 

Why are there so many kinds of LEDs and why is there such a difference in cost?

LEDs have a wide range of quality and light output. Some include special thermal features that help keep the LED cooler. There are others that have been pre-sorted to get very close color matches to other LEDs. Others come in groups with 5 colors (RGBWA – red, green, blue, white and amber) that can combine to create every different color. Other LEDs can be much more efficient in terms of lumens per watt. Cost is usually a factor that determines special features, color, brightness, quality or power efficiency. There are larger, more established LED companies with higher quality that charge more for their LEDs, but have a good track record of reliability and standing behind their products. They also provide accurate technical data that allows the lighting engineer to obtain the expected performance from the LED. There are literally thousands of new LED companies, many located overseas, with very cheap pricing, and no real track record to consider. We have tried these sources and recommend utilizing an LED from an established manufacturer even though the cost may be higher. With LEDs, the old adage rings true – you get what you pay for.

 

How do LEDs Work?

LEDs are comprised of 3 main components: the LED's (the chip set that produces light), the driver (converts AC to DC) and the heat sink (to keep everything cool). LEDs take DC power from the driver and create light. The heat sink captures heat from the LEDs and the drivers. Although LEDs produce significantly less heat than the light bulbs we have been used to over the past century, the heat they produce must be managed. The better this is done, the longer the life of the product.

LED's also performs the job of converting electricity to light more efficiently than other light sources, that is why we can replace a 400W metal halide bulb with a 100W LED retrofit.

 

Can LED bulbs be used with dimmer controls?

Yes and No. First, not all LEDs are dimmable. The driver must be designed to allow dimming. Secondly, you must purchase the right type of dimmer. Most retail stores now carry dimmers specifically designed for LED bulbs. Please note, if you purchase a non-dimmable LED bulb and try to dim it, it will cause the bulb to fail and also void the warranty.
Some of our industrial and commercial LED fixtures (high bays, floods, area lighting, retrofits) work with a 0-10V dimming system. 0-10V dimming requires special wiring and a special type of dimmer.
The two most common types of dimming is: 0-10V low voltage and Triac dimming.

 

Do they contain any hazardous or heavy metals like Mercury?

No, LED bulbs do not contain mercury or any other hazardous metals or chemicals. CFL's and fluorescents do contain a very small amount of mercury that needs to be disposed of correctly. So when your LED bulb eventually stops to work, you don't have to worry about costly or special disposal procedures.

 

When I buy LED, should I buy based on watts or lumens?

Always buy based on lumens, watts is a number that is used to determine how much energy it takes to produce those lumens. It is important to pay attention to lumens per watt, or lm/w. The higher the number, the less energy you will need to produce the light. You will notice that some lights take less energy to produce the same amount of light, and this is something you should watch for. Typically, the higher the ratio, the better.

 

How long do the bulbs last and what sort of warranty is associated with your LED bulbs?

Our bulbs come with a 5 year manufacturer warranty. Warranties only apply for normal use of bulbs and do not include misuse or usage for which the bulb was not intended to perform. All our warranties are parts-only warranty. We do not cover the cost of labor or shipping.

 

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