LEDs Performance in Cold Temperatures
Our expert looks into solid-state lighting’s sensitivity to colder air temperatures in response to a reader question about task lighting in a garage.
I have a question about the ambient air temperature sensitivity of LED under-cabinet lighting. I recently installed a countertop and sink under an existing overhead cabinet in my garage. The garage is insulated and the nighttime temperature does not go below freezing, but tends to hover between 35 and 40 degrees during sub-freezing weather. I am considering mounting a single 3- to 4-foot LED fixture to light up the sink area and counter, but I am concerned about how well LED performs in cold temperatures — say, between 35 and 60 degrees. I need a higher-output fixture to ensure adequate lighting for task work. We have strip LED under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen and we have been very pleased with it. Plus, we woud like to take advantage of the energy efficiency and slim profile of LED fixtures for my garage application. Would LED be a satisfactory choice for a garage application? Or would halogen or fluorescent lighting produce better results in lower temperatures? I’d rather not use halogen since I have received feedback from friends who use it and it seems like they are forever replacing bulbs.
Yours is a good question. I knew that LEDs did well in exterior fixtures where temperatures dropped into the low 20s, when CFLs in many outside fixtures would not start up. Before giving you a definitive answer, I wanted to talk to a manufacturer who makes LED task lights. I spoke with Allison Winton at Radionic Hi-Tech Inc. She said that their affordable ZX Series under-cabinet fixtures will work great in a garage type of setting where the ambient temperature is 35 to 40 degrees. They offer two color temperatures at 62 to 66 lumens per watt (which is more than adequate). They come only in 12-inch or 19-inch versions, but can be linked together. These models are plug-in, but a hard-wire version was forthcoming. If there are other manufacturers out there, get me samples so I can test them out. I’m a “show-me” kind of guy. As a side note, Winton also mentioned that LEDs in general are ideal for cooler temperature locations (down to approximately 20 degrees). Stores like Wal-Mart have installed LED lighting in their freezers and refrigerators because they hold up so well in cool settings and save energy in these types of “24/7” applications. A million Wal-Marts can’t be wrong.
Randall Whitehead, IALD
Lastest from ask randall
You have some flexibility with the distance off the mirror. It is the distance off the floor (5 feet 6 inches to the center of the luminous source)... read full story
This sounds like a lovely combination of finishes. We do have a bit of a challenge here. How do we keep these colors looking cool and crisp without... read full story
You're asking a good question. It is one that I am wrestling with myself right now. Because the fully integrated LED fixtures are so expensive, I'm... read full story
Free CEU Webinar: LED Lighting 201 - ABC's of LED Lighting, 2015 Update, How Solid-State Lighting is Shaping the Future of Sustainable Design
Sponsored by Pure Lighting/Edge Lighting and Spotlite-USA. Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2-3 p.m. EST Register for this free CEU webinar by clicking here. Webinar Overview:... read full story
Sponsored by Access Lighting, Engineered Lighting Products, Langlais Group Inc., LTF and Pure Lighting/Edge Lighting. This webinar has already taken place, but you can... read full story
Sponsored by Access Lighting, Engineered Lighting Products, Ferguson, GM Lighting and Maxim Lighting/ET2. This webinar has already taken place, but you can view an... read full story