FAQs

Got questions? We may have the answers you’re looking for. Browse through our frequently asked questions or give us a call. We live and breathe all things LED!

Incandescent is the standard light bulb that we all know. Early versions of this technology showed up in 1760 and the early 1800s. Joseph Swan and Thomas Edison commercialized the early incandescent bulb and it evolved into the standard bulb that we have used the majority of our lives. With incandescent bulbs electricity flows through a filament made from tungsten. The filament is in a high temperature glass container with inert gas creating a vacuum. The lifespan of an incandescent bulb is about 1,000 hours on average. They put off a lot of heat (roughly 56 BTUs per hour) and are damaged easily. They are not energy efficient, typically producing 16 lumens per watt on average.

The CFL or compact fluorescent began replacing the incandescent bulb. Many of us refer to these bulbs as the “spiral” bulb. Electronic ballasts in the base of the light excite mercury atoms in the glass tubes causing the radiant ultraviolet light. CFLs contain mercury which is toxic, making disposal complicated. The lifespan of a CFL bulb is about 6,000 hours on average. CFLs do put off heat, but less than incandescent (roughly 20 BTUs per hour). They are more energy efficient than the incandescent bulb and are about 60 lumens per watt on average.

LED or Light-Emitting Diode, is the new industry standard for lighting. Although LED technology came out in the late 1920s, it has been used more recently for lighting because of its advantages over incandescent and CFL. LEDs are semiconductor devices. When suitable current is applied to the LED, electrons are able to recombine with electron holes. Energy is then released in the form of photons as a byproduct. The lifespan of LEDs is 50,000 hours on average. They put off very little heat (roughly 2 BTUs per hour), and do not contain mercury unlike CFLs. LED is currently the most energy efficient lighting in the market, putting out 150 lumens per watt on average.

The average lifespan of a LED is 50,000 hours. Typically they come with a 5 year warranty, but some companies will offer 7 or 10 year warranties.

Light is like beauty; it is always in the eye of the beholder. You need to consider the end user for each lighting project. LED uses Kelvin coloring scale. 2700K, 3000K, and 3500K are typically used in residential settings. These are warmer lights closer to the yellow/orange spectrum. 4000K is considered a bright white, perfect for office spaces. 5000K is daylight color, which is a great color for warehouses.

Most LEDs are dimmable. However, there are some LEDs that are specified as non-dimmable.

There are two different options for dimming:

Some LEDs are line dimming and are specified as such. This requires a certain line dimmer. Oftentimes, you need to turn down the variance on the switch so the dimmer can recognize the smaller load on the circuit.

The majority of LED fixtures are dimmed using 0-10 Volt Dimming. There are several 0-10 volt dimming methods, including physical switches, sensors and controls, and wireless communication. Because many LED drivers range in voltage from 100-480 volts, dimming the line voltage will not cause the LEDs to dim. In fact, doing so could cause the driver to be underpowered in some cases. To dim using these fixtures, dim the signal side of the driver.

All light sources produce some heat. However, LEDs put off very little heat compared to Halogen, Incandescent, or CFLs. On average LEDs put off about 2 BTUs per hour.

LED Direct specializes in distributing quality commercial / industrial LED lighting at factory direct pricing. We sell interior and exterior lighting that can fulfill a variety of needs.

Although we specialize on the commercial/industrial niche, we have the ability to supply residential lighting to contractors and electricians that require certain products.

Through our network of electrical contracting customers, we are able to offer full Turn-Key installation services of our LED fixtures

Our lights are ballast-bypass and don’t require any other accessories that could create additional electrical costs. The cost of buying a high-wattage bulb, including the fixture and ballast is extremely similar to buying one of our ready-to-go LED fixtures.

We work very closely with our manufacturers and have hand-selected the best products from each company.   We have developed relationships with many factories over the course of time. All of our lights are DLC certified and include warranties ranging from 5-10 years.

LED’s emit a higher level of light than fluorescent bulbs and require less wattage. Because of the reduced amount of watts per fixture, LED’s create a lower monthly electrical cost. Often times, our lights will pay for themselves within a couple years (or less) due to the electrical savings.

CRI stands for Coloring Rendering Index.   Specifically, it is the ability of a light source to reveal the colors of various objects faithfully in comparison with an ideal or natural light source.  Therefore, the higher the CRI, the truer the color of an object will be under the light source. CRI levels > 80 are typical with LED lighting

This is a common misconception with LED lighting.  LED chips do produce heat, just not as much as other types of lighting. This is why one of the most important components of an LED fixture is the heat sink.  The heat sink allows the fixture to dissipate heat more effectively.

To go along with the above question, heat needs to be dissipated in a LED fixture.  If an LED chips gets and stays too hot, it will have more light loss / light degradation over time, it will have an increase color shift (color of light will change over time), and the likelihood of it going completely out dramatically increases.

This is a very commonly confused comparison with LED Lighting.  With all other types of lighting in the past, lumens was the way you determine how much light a bulb or fixture is giving off.  With LED, you have to measure “delivered lumens.” With LED lighting, all lumens are “delivered” to the source…typically the ground or work plane.  With a fluorescent bulb or metal halide bulb, the light is emitted in all directions, or 360 degrees. A lot of those lumens have to bounced off a reflector and then back to the ground or work plane.  Therefore, not all lumens are “delivered.” This is why a LED fixture with 19,000 lumens will almost always have more light to the ground than a standard fixture with 3x or more lumens

This often changes slightly depending on environments but this is a general rule of thumb:

Standard Wattage   – LED wattage equivalent

100w                            15w-30w

150w                            30w-45w

175w                            45w-55w

250w                            75w-90w

400w                            120w-150w

1000w                          250w-300w

LED Lighting as many great aspects. Energy saving are the most well known but LED lights can also provide better light output, more natural color, reduce heat, increased production, and reduce maintenance.

The blue light refers to the Kelvin Color of the lights. Early stages of LED lighting was mostly made in the “blue” light. Now days we can get LED lights in any Kelvin Color you’d like. 2200-7000k.

Prices of LED Lighting are decreasing over time but they are still more expensive than your typical fluorescent lights. LED’s are a new technology that require a driver instead of a ballast allowing them to me more compact, produce less heat, and provide better lighting. As with any new technology, the price starts high and slowly reduces to meet the market demand.

LED Lighting will reduce as much energy or more depending on the use of your lights. The numbers claimed are based on average usage and existing watts. Due to the directional light output of LEDs, they only need to use a fraction of the energy that older lights used with a 360 degree output of light.

Yes, the most common and widely used tax advantage is Section 179(D).  It commonly allows for a Federal Tax deduction of $.60 per sqft assuming certain criteria are met.  There may also be some tax advantages for Abandonment, Bonus Depreciation, among others. Please consult your Tax Advisor for details.

When LED lights go out or start flashing it is mostly the driver going bad. This is an easy fix. LED Direct offers warranties from 5-10 years to replace these so you won’t have to worry about solving this on your own. Like all technology, LED lights can fail earlier than expected.

Matching your existing light output can be difficult if you’ve never working with LED lights before. First thing to consider is the Kelvin Color you need. Then figure out what your existing wattage is and use LED Direct’s in-house experts or our cheat sheet to find the wattage you need in LED.

Standard Wattage   – LED wattage equivalent

100w                            15w-30w

150w                            30w-45w

175w                            45w-55w

250w                            75w-90w

400w                            120w-150w

1000w                          250w-300w

Just like a large majority of products, our lights are manufactured in China. This allows us to keep our costs down. We have face-to-face personal relationships with our factories and make sure each product we bring in is DLC listed to ensure quality.

We keep common lights, such as tubes, flat panels, high bays, wall packs, and parking lot lights, in stock so we can deliver them to our customers very quickly. Large or custom orders we can have in 2-8 weeks based on which shipping option is chosen.

DLC stands for Design Light Consortium. DLC is a non-profit organization whose mission is to drive efficient lighting by defining quality, facilitating thought leadership, and delivering tools and resources to the lighting market through open dialogue and collaboration

Buying LED Lights online can lead to purchasing cheap, incorrect, or outdated products. Warranties can be difficult to claim through online websites, as well.

LED lighting will be plenty bright enough if you choose the correct wattage. Each fixture can change it’s beam angle to ensure the light covers the correct amount of surface area based on it’s mounting height. LED Direct’s in-house experts can help design this with free photometric drawings and sample products on display our their showroom.

Yes they are. DLC rating only allows one wiring diagram per product. They are capable of being direct wired both ends as well as ballast compatible.  

Yes they are. They have to have a compatible 0-10v dimmer. Some products, like common 4’ tubes, are not dimmable. Ask us for specifics.

The corn lamps will get too hot in the existing fixture and lose light output much more quickly than a new fixture. On top of a new fixture lasting longer, it will be brighter and come with a longer warranty.

9 times out 10 it is the driver. If it is flashing like a strobe it is almost certainly the driver.