How to Choose Quality LED Lights

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1. Check for Energy Star or DLC Certifications

As the importance of energy efficiency has grown, several organizations have been created to help guide consumers in the process of becoming more efficient. Certain organizations offer certifications on lighting products to help consumers recognize quality and efficient options. The two most known organizations are DLC and Energy Star.

Energy Star is a U.S Environmental Protection Agency voluntary program that helps commercial and residential owners become more energy efficient. To the right, is an example of what their certification would look like on a LED bulbs box. This certification means the LED light has met Energy Star’s standards on performance and quality.

Philips LED Box with Red Circle around Energy Star Logo

DesignLights Consortium or DLC is a non-profit organization that focuses on defining quality and efficient lighting through resources and tools for individuals and businesses. Like Energy Star, DLC offers a certification but they only certify LED fixtures, not lamps or bulbs. To find if out if a fixture is DLC listed you can either check the spec sheet of the product or search for the product on DLC’s website. To the right is what the DLC certification would look like on an LED fixtures spec sheet.

DLC Logo

2. High Efficacy

You most likely are interested in LEDs because you want to save money on your utility bill. LEDs are significantly more efficient than outdated options such as fluorescent and metal halides but not all LEDs are created equal. Many LED products will list the efficacy on the box using a simple ratio of lumens/watts. In general terms, lumens/watts is a measure of how much light a bulb produces compared to how much energy it uses. Therefore, the higher the lumens/watts, the more efficient that LED light is. If the box does not have the efficacy listed, you can simply calculate it yourself! Below is a quick example of calculating efficacy of an LED bulb.

850 lUMENS / 10 Watts = 85

3. Long Lifetime (L70)

LED lights last a long time but certain products depending on their quality will last longer than others. The longer your lights last, the less time you must spend switching them out and money you must spend purchasing new bulbs. Since LED lights last so long, their useful life is assessed using a rating called L70. In general terms, this measures how long it takes for an LED to reach 70% of its original light output. Today, it is common to see LED fixtures last well over 20 years depending on the application and product you choose. Most LED products will list the rated life or L70 directly on the box. We recommend choosing bulbs that have a rated life of 25,000 hours or more and fixtures that have a rated life of 50,000 hours or more. 

4. High CRI

CRI or Color Rendering Index is a measure of how well a light source reveals the color of objects in comparison to natural light. CRI is measured on a 0-100 scale, the higher the CRI, the better the light source will render color. This is important for applications where consumers are interacting with physical products such as clothing or produce. A grocery store that uses low CRI lighting will make their produce appear drab and unappealing to consumers which can decrease sales. Therefore, if you are choosing LEDs for a location that requires interaction or viewing of physical products, a high CRI light source is extremely important.

5. Respected LED Brand

As the LED lighting industry has grown, there has been an influx of new companies creating LED lighting products ranging from commercial grade to architectural lighting. Integra LED has worked with many of these brands and over time has found the ones that offer the best products. Below is a list of a few of our most trusted brands but is by no means the only companies we use.

RAB

Acuity Brands

Max Lite

Philips

Green Creative

EIKO

As you can see, there are many variables that go into choosing a quality LED bulb or fixture. Integra LED simplifies this process by offering turnkey LED lighting upgrades for commercial locations. Our team completes the entire process from ordering product to installation. Furthermore, we work directly with your utility company to secure incentive funds that can reduce the cost of your project up to 50%.

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