LEDs vs. CFLs
Randall Whitehead, IALD, tackles the modern-day great debate.
The artist used red LEDs to create a glow of crimson light behind this bronze, x-shaped sculpture.
Randall, will the future embrace LEDs or fluorescents? According to some experts, LEDs don’t save much more energy than fluorescents. Also, they’re not cheap—but admittedly do defray maintenance costs in commercial projects because of their extremely long life. In residential lighting this explanation doesn’t really hold, so why is there so much buzz about LEDs?
Whoa, take a breath. It’s not a competition. I think that LEDs and fluorescents will both play a big role in the future and eventually nudge incandescent lighting out altogether. Both sources are energy-efficient, but they provide two different types of light. Fluorescent is an omnidirectional source, so it is better at providing ambient (indirect or general) illumination. LEDs are a unidirectional source, so they emit better directed (accent or task) light. A cohesive lighting design will incorporate both. LEDs have a great variety of uses in commercial design. They backlight signage, and they are in exit signs, traffic lights and behind the buttons of elevators. The more intense colors—red, blue, green and yellow—have a ready use in commercial settings. It wasn’t until a more incandescent color of LED was developed that an opportunity was created for residential spaces. These newer color versions have less brightness than their deeply colored predecessors, so they work better in homes where the ceilings are lower than in commercial spaces. The artist used red LEDs to create a glow of crimson light behind this bronze, x-shaped sculpture. The artist used red LEDs to create a glow of crimson light behind this bronze, x-shaped sculpture. Some forward-thinking companies like Permlight offer an LED retrim kit that goes into existing 4-inch and 6-inch housings. They come in a screw-in variety and a hard-wire variety. The screw-in takes three minutes to install, and anyone can do it. The hard-wire version would be necessary for Title 24 compliance and should be installed by an electrician. The 6-inch has a high enough lumen output to satisfy California’s Title 24 efficacy requirements. They are incandescent in color and dim with a standard incandescent dimmer. The 6-inch versions provide 75W worth of illumination for a fraction of the energy consumption; they last 50,000 hours (as compared to 750 hours for a standard household bulb, 2,000 hours for a reflector bulb and 10,000 hours for a compact fluorescent), and they are totally green. What could be better than that?
Randall Whitehead, IALD
Lastest from ask randall
The best lighting for illuminating your face at a mirror is side lighting, also referred to as cross illumination. This would be a pair of fixtures... read full story
Even though I'm all about energy-efficient lighting and have replaced 98 percent of my incandescent light with alternative light sources, the one... read full story
Natural light is definitely ideal for applying makeup when you're being seen during the day. So when you are getting ready for work it's better get... read full story
Sponsored by Access Lighting, Engineered Lighting Products, Langlais Group Inc., LTF and Pure Lighting/Edge Lighting. Complimentary live webinar will take place at 2 p... 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
Sponsored by Access Lighting, AFX Inc., Engineered Lighting Products, Langlais Group and Pure Lighting/Edge Lighting. This live webinar has already taken place, but... read full story