Fairy tales, legends and myths about the LEDs and lighting with light emitting diodes

Around the world LED (Light Emitting Diode) lighting popularity is increasing, Lithuania is not an exception. In our country, huge number of companies offer various LED products. Unfortunately, as it in other areas of the market, these products are not always high quality. The faulty products, the lack of information about LED products and various LED lighting specifications creates countless myths.
I am a professional in this field - I work in this field for more than 10 years. I know LED products both in theory and in practice. I know all the subtleties of the diode from the growth of crystal to the final production of quality fixture.
Since my goal is not only to sell our company's established products, but also to popularize the technology, and educate people (I am a scientist, so I have a 'sports' interest), I tried to collect as many myths about LED lighting and to deny them. My wish - that the people themselves could easily select any product they need or do not need, and to make able to distinguish which of the offered products are high quality.
Here are the myths that I have found the vastness of the Internet, in chats and various forums:


Myth 1 "Short LED lifetime, or they quickly burnout"


LED fixture lifetime is determined by the only one factor - quality. For the high quality LED fixture, three high-quality and well selected fixture elements should be chosen:
• superior crystal (active light emitting area);
• well-chosen lamp housing or the radiator;
• high-quality power supply.

Light-emitting diodes made up of many components, but let's start from the "heart" - the crystal. The crystal is grown from several dozen extremely thin semiconducting material layers. The crystal is small enough and can be compared with sugar grains. LED lifetime depends on this crystal quality. If you obtain a poor-quality crystal, light-emitting diode can quickly burn out. Therefore, before choosing a fixture check out what LEDs are used inside. Well-known manufacturer can offer higher quality and more durable LEDs, because the larger companies protecting their name and taking care of the product quality. Here are some of them: Philips-Lumileds, Osram, Cree, Nichia, Epistar, Seoul.
Further, the same LED is mounted into bulb or into fixture. Correct selection of the fixture housing (calculated its mass, surface area, and the selection of the material from which it is produced) creates the necessary cooling of the diode. If this is not properly addressed, even the best quality LED will not be able to serve a long time, due to improper heat dissipation.
Another very important element is the high-quality power supply, which prevents the LEDs from flickering and assures long-term performance.
Combining these three elements (high-quality LEDs, a reasonable housing and outstanding power supply) one can get really long lasting light source. Selection of at least one cheaper or poor quality component, it is natural, diminish durability.
High quality LED fixture will last you up to 50,000 hours, i.e. 11 years, if you use the lamp 12 hours per day. However, please note that this lifetime is applicable only for high quality products.

A natural question arises, how to obtain reliable and durable lighting device? Do not afraid to ask your seller - check out what brand of LEDs are inside luminaire, whether the proposed product has CE certificate, do the light-emitting diodes meet the Energy Star standard, are these LEDs in accordance with LM-80 standard? What information is provided by the seller about the product? What are the warranty and post warranty terms and the seller's obligations? Also, do not forget the price-quality ratio. Relatively inexpensive product all the time should raise the suspicion about the quality of components that are used in manufacture process.

Myth 2 “LED light is dim"

Modern lighting fixtures with light emitting diodes have the same or better characteristics as traditional lamps or luminaires. Everything depends on the buyer's desired or expected light intensity. In order that your expectations do not vary with the reality we offer to measure current or expected light intensity with the lux meter (special light intensity measuring device, which tend to have almost all lighting fixture trading vendors). With illumination requirements in lux it is significantly easier to offer the solution that fit your needs, and avoid subjective evaluations like "too much" or "a little" light. In domestic premises it is often enough from 50 to 300 lux, and for the workplace from 300 to 1000 lux.

Myth 3 "LED light harms the eyes"

As I have said before - I am a scientist, so I would like to explain scientifically, that the light emitted by the LED does not affect the eyes. Below I give a picture which shows a typical LED light emitted spectrum. The figure also shows the range over which refers to the visible light region. As we can see, the LED emits light only in the visible range (no harmful UV or thermal infrared radiation), so it can not harm human vision.

Figure. White LED spectral power distribution. According www.philipslumileds.com

Myth 4 "LEDs emit only bluish light “

This myth is probably the most popular. In fact, LEDs are the same as compact fluorescent bulbs that can emit both warm white and cool white color. You just need to choose the right shade. By the way, LED luminaires can emit not only the white light, but other colors: amber, red, blue, green, etc.
When choosing a white light radiating fixture, please note that the white LEDs are divided by color temperature:
• 2200-3000 Kelvin is a warm white color
• 3000-4500 Kelvin - neutral white
• 4500-6000 Kelvin cool white color.
When choosing lighting device, be sure to check out what color temperature light is emitted from the fixture. Warm white color is a yellowish tint. It is more appropriate to create a cozy and relaxing atmosphere. Neutral white color is more suitable for office space. The cool white has a bluish tint, but it does not distort colors and shades, so suitable for advertising signboards, and other areas where it is essential as closely as possible to see certain object color.

Myth 5 "Bulbs with light-emitting diodes emit “poor” quality light"

"Poor quality" - is meant to distort colors and shades. Today's LEDs are divided according to one more important characteristic - color rendering index (CRI). The more this figure closer to 100, the more natural color reproduction of a lighting device you will get, ie colors will be close to those as if they were lit by the sun. For office and daily life, in accordance with accepted standards, we recommended lighting with color rendering index higher than 80. When using a diode lamps with CRI lower than 70, most object colors looks faded.

Myth 6 "The wider light distribution angle - the" better "lighting"

When choosing lighting you should think about how will travel the light and does it blind other person in the. Narrow-angle (5-30 degrees) down lights creates very small and intensely lit areas. This type of lighting suitable for accent lighting: niches, plants, highlighting the columns and so on.
Wide-angle (100-160 degrees) are highly diffusive light fixtures, and it will be seen from every spot of the room. This type of lighting is recommended for use in large, spacious rooms.
For everyday use we recommend an intermediate option (40-90 degrees). This luminaire is perfect for general room lighting, do not glare, and light will be properly diffused.

Myth 7 “LEDs are only suitable for accent lighting "

LED lighting can be used in a various type of illumination scenes, and also for accent lighting. It is important to note that the fixtures for Accent lighting, unsuitable for general indoor lighting and vice versa.
For accent illumination usually low power (0.01 to 0.2 W) light-emitting diodes are used. These LEDs usually are narrow angle, so they ideally fit for accent lighting.
For current general lighting luminaires usually high-power LEDs (1-5W) are used. These LEDs are sufficiently effective, and the emitted light output is more than 120 lm from the consumed one watt of electricity (in comparison with the incandescent lamps - only 10-14 lm / W).

Myth 8 “Chinese produce only low-quality bulbs and defective fixtures "

This myth applies to all goods sold in Lithuania and other countries. If you look the deeper, you can find that China can offer a wide range of quality products - both low-end and very high quality. Everything depends on the price paid for manufacturer. In the same China in a factory you can get multiple bids for seems the same product. However, the product of higher quality is more expensive. Unfortunately, but in many cases, in to our country brought the cheapest and worst quality goods. Therefore, buyers have the impression that China produces only low quality goods.
It should also be noted, that in China manufactured products are made not only by China developers, and they also outsource products. It could be in any country developed high quality, good technical solution that in China manufactures carefully selected companies, according to specified criteria. These products are really good quality.
Even in Germany, which is considered as a country of good quality goods, companies manufacture its products in China.
Therefore, when choosing a product, pay attention not only where it manufactured, but also how it is made. Pay attention to the earlier mentioned high-quality LED luminaire criteria.

Myth 9 “LED lamps can cause cancer "

This one, probably, one of the most embarrassing myths. It would be nice if the people who put these myths and spread them on the Internet, sometimes think, or at least try to look for scientific information, research results, and so on.
For manufacture process of LEDs, or the lighting housings or power supplies manufacturers do not use substances that may cause cancer (mercury, lead, etc.). Also these products do not contain substances that can cause such diseases. LEDs are also do not emit harmful ultraviolet rays. They emit light only in human visible in spectrum field (Figure presented to the myth, no. 3), so these illumination devices do not affect eyesight and human skin.
High quality lighting products (specifically, power supplies) should be electromagnetically compatible, do not radiate electromagnetic interference, which can be measured by special electromagnetic pollution monitors. These disturbances can affect radios or other electronic devices operation. And often this factor contributes to this myth.

Myth 10 “LEDs are harmful to human biological clock "

The human biological clock - it is the body's response to light. The human biological clock with light activity is mainly linked via the hormone melatonin, which is rapidly produced t in the body during sleep. This hormone affects human alertness, ability to work and concentrate. With increase of this hormone in the body, the person becomes calmer, sleepy, distracted, and unable to concentrate attention.
Melatonin production can be suppressed by blue light, so in the evening or at night is not advisable to use light, with intense blue color component (cool white), because in the evening the body needs to calm down. For evening light the best option is to use a low color temperature (2700-3500K, warm white) light.
Meanwhile, during the day most suitable for daylight illumination is 4000-6000K, cool white light, which stimulates the activity and do not let you asleep.
It should be noted that the compact fluorescent and fluorescent lamps also have a blue component. Meanwhile, the LEDs have an ability to change the color temperature, and hence the blue color component contribution.
I would suggest, before choosing lighting, consider where you will use it. In offices, where the most necessary staff activity, use the cold white light. At home, where you want to relax after a day's work, calm down before sleep time, the most suitable - warm white lighting.

Myth 11 “LED lamps flicker and irritate eyes"

Unlike the compact fluorescence bulbs, LED luminaires do not flicker and do not irritate eyes. LED light fixtures or lamps may flicker in only one case – when faulty power supply is used. When high quality power supplies are used, there could be no flicker, because LEDs are powered with a constant current.


Dr. Saulius Miasojedovas

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