Three Reasons Why You Shouldn't Rely On LED Lighting

By Jeff Brain | May 25, 2017

While LEDs continue to grow in popularity as a sustainable lighting method, many people are ignoring a set of issues which they commonly face. While not all lamps are susceptible to these problems, many are, which can make a building’s reliance on them a major problem. Here are three of the most common issues which plague LED lighting.

Intermittent Flickering

You may have noticed your LEDs flickering subtly, but it’s entirely possible that this flicker was completely imperceptible to you. Despite this, your eyes were still likely struggling to adjust to the changes in the light. This flicker is caused by low quality lighting ballasts, which cause interference in the system. While seeming innocuous, this actually puts an enormous strain on the eyes. It has been shown to contribute to repetitive eye strain and can lead to conditions such as myopia and stress-induced migraines.

High Blue-spectrum Light

Another common issue with LED lighting is that it has a tendency to produce excess light in the blue spectrum. Because our bodies translate blue light as daylight, overexposure causes us to stop producing melatonin, the neurotransmitter which moderates our sleep cycle. This contributes to insomnia and seasonal affective disorder, leaving building occupants fatigued and unfocused throughout the day.

Loss of Intensity

Caused by microcracks in the control chips, many LED lighting systems experience loss of intensity over time. Rather than burning out suddenly, LEDs continue to lose intensity until they are no longer bright enough to light your facility. While the advertised average lifespan for LED lamps is around 50,000 hours, many systems produce only 80% of their initial intensity after just 8,000 hours. Because many lighting experts recommend replacing your lamps once they hit 70% this means some systems begin to approach total inefficiency long before the halfway-point of their projected lifespans.

While all of these issues can harm the efficiency of LED lighting in your building, LEDs are still one of the top artificial lighting solutions. One way to work around these issues is to integrate daylight around your artificial lighting. This will provide consistent, broad-spectrum light throughout the day, while minimizing the hours you need to run artificial lights. By utilizing natural and artificial lights together, you can maximize the potential benefits of each, while minimizing the presence of potential issues.

To learn more about the different systems currently available on the market, download our free eBook A Comprehensive Guide to Sustainable Lighting.
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