Everyone, it seems, is offering an LED 2D lamp. They’re great – plug straight into the existing luminaire socket – fit and forget! They even come complete with sensor options and emergency packs.
But, have you ever stopped to think about the specification and how they’re used? No? Well here are some things you may wish to consider.
Firstly fitting them – it’s not quite as straight forward as simply removing the CFL type and plug in the new LED version. More than likely the luminaire will have a high frequency ballast which you need to disconnect and bypass. Even with a magnetic one, to achieve maximum energy saving, you need to bypass the ballast. In both cases rewiring of the fitting is needed.
Then there is the emergency pack. Fluorescent packs do not work with LED lamps so you will need to buy the LED emergency pack and work out how to install it securely adding to the time, and therefore, the cost of replacement.
Then there is the spec. Most LED replacement lamps are quoted at 12 watts and around 1000lm. Indeed a huge saving over the fluorescent type but actually not quite enough light. The cool white ones are 1000 lumens but the chances are you’re replacing a warm/neutral white lamp. You’re probably only getting 800 lumens from these – well short of what is required.
The Earlsmann solution is to replace the complete LED gear tray – simpler to install – just the Live, Neutral and Earth to connect and the extra permanent Live for the emergency version. They are rated at 15 watts so use a bit more power but then they give you 1200 lumens which provides a light level far nearer the original fluorescent. They don’t cost any more than the replacement lamp solution and are quicker to fit.
Of course it may not be suitable for every luminaire so you’ll need to ask us.