With each year that passes, LED lighting becomes a more dominant force in the lighting field. This is largely due to their major efficiency edge over both CFL and incandescent bulbs, as well as the fact that they do not produce excess waste heat. Despite all the benefits they offer, however, they face a few distinct issues. While these are easy to avoid, it is important to be aware of the stumbling blocks LED design can create. Below are a few of the mistakes most people make when integrating this technology.
Not Using Broad Spectrum
One of the most important benefits of LEDs is the higher quality of light they are capable of providing. Unfortunately, not all LED lighting is created equal. Many lamps produce excess light in the high-blue spectrum. This is dangerous because the human body mistakes it for daylight, which can drastically affect melatonin production. Low levels of melatonin have been shown to contribute to insomnia and seasonal affective disorder. To avoid this, make sure that whatever lamps you integrate are specifically marketed as broad spectrum.
Utilizing Low Quality Chips
The other benefit LED lamps most often tout is their extremely long lifespan. With more than six times the lifespan of CFL bulbs, these lights can drastically cut the cost of bulb replacement. Except that many lamps fail to reach this expectancy. While the average life of an LED lamp is around 50,000 hours, lamps with poorly manufactured control chips will begin to develop micro-cracks, leading to a decline in intensity. Many lamps produce only 80% of their original intensity after just 8,000 hours. This is especially bad when you consider that lighting professionals recommend replacing your lamps once their output reaches 70%.
Using Mismatched Drivers
Another common issue is that many LED lighting manufacturers do not ensure a proper match between their lighting drivers and other components. While it may seem like a minor issue, this mismatch can cause the lamps to produce light that intermittently, imperceptibly flickers. Despite being nearly invisible to the naked eye, our eyes still attempt to adjust to these rapid changes in light. As a result, it can quickly tire our retinas, eventually leading to repetitive eye strain, and eventually stress-induced migraines. These can drastically affect workplace productivity.
Failing to Use Natural Light
In spite of the advantages that LED lighting can provide, there is one major thing that building owners often discount—the benefits of combining natural and artificial light. In many cases, daylighting and LED lamps are extremely capable of working in unison. In fact, the stable broad spectrum light that sunlight provides can even act to balance out some of the issues less expensive LEDs can create.