LED Street Lighting Template/Specification published by America’s DOE

America’s DOE’s MSSLC (Municipal Solid-State Street Lighting Consortium) releases adaptive controls spec for LED street lights, which would be very useful for the UK to adopt this spec?

The MSSLC has released its Model Specification for Adaptive Control and Remote Monitoring of LED Roadway Luminaires aimed at helping municipalities and utilities maximize energy savings.

The template for procuring LED street lights with integral network and adaptive-control technology. The template is another step in the MSSLC’s goal of helping cities, local agencies, and utilities accelerate the deployment of solid-state lighting (SSL) technology for roads and parking. This demonstrates yet again that America is leading the way with adoption of LED technologies while the UK is not creating standard specification to deliver a high volume reliable product at low cost.

The template can be downloaded here “ Model Specification for Adaptive Control and Remote Monitoring of LED Roadway Luminaires

This new template follows the original baseline model specification document for roadway luminaires, a financial analysis tool, and demonstration reports released by the MSSLC.

In Iowa State a number of cities banded together, and relied on the MSSLC specification to make a large buy of LED street lights.

Can I use my existing dimmer switch with LED dimmable light bulbs?

LED GU10 Dimmable Next Gen light bulb

LED GU10 Dimmable Next Gen light bulb

There are two types of modern dimmer switch trailing and leading edge. A trailing edge dimmer switch is generally suitable to use with LED GU10 light bulbs. Through testing we have established that the Varilight product range is one of the best LED dimmers for LED lighting.

Varilight V-Pro and Eclipse dimmer switches have one of the lowest minimum load settings of all dimmer switches, 10 Watts.  If you are dimming 3 GU10 4.5 Watt bulbs your are just meeting this load. For instance if you were only using 2 bulbs e.g. 9 Watts, on this dimmer then you may experience some flickering when dimming.

Some of our customers have purchased Aurora LED dimmers only to  find that the minimum load is a massive 50 Watts (not much use for LEDs) on replacing the dimmer with a Varilight all their issues were resolved.

You may find your current dimmer switch works but there is a chance you may need to still replace the dimmer switch with one which is compatible with LED dimmable bulbs. LED dimmer switches can be purchased from our store. If you experience flickering when dimming the bulb or buzzing you should change the dimmer switch.

Surprisingly the old-fashioned style of dimmer switches CAN be used with LED bulbs. The internal variable resistor in the dimmer switch simply reduces the amount of voltage available for the bulb which in turn reduces its brightness. LED bulbs are far more sensitive to voltage than conventional incandescent and halogen bulbs, and so small changes made to the dimmer switch setting have a much larger effect on brightness.

The new style of dimmer switch, Leading Edge, which turns the supply on and off CANNOT be used with 240V AC LED bulbs as it will seriously reduce their operational lifetime.

To find out what kind of dimmer switch you have it is not necessary to be an electrician. If the dimmer switch feels warm to the touch when the lights have been on and dimmed for a while, you have the old style; otherwise you have the modern version. We do sell LED dimmer switches.

Can LED GU10 non-dimmable light bulbs be used on a dimmer?

NO they do work but not for long about a week!!!

You will invalidate your warranty and be left with some attractive expensive paper weights!

Any LED light bulbs which are not labelled as dimmable must not be used on a dimmer switch.

Unlike CFL non-dimmable bulbs they won’t explode!

LED MR16 What power transformer or driver can I use with LED light bulbs?

LED MR16 next generation light bulb

LED MR16 next generation light bulb

MR16 12V low voltage light bulbs will work on your existing LED power supplies as long as the power supply’s minimum wattage is met. A 50 Watt halogen MR16 light bulb being replaced with 4.5Watt LED MR16 results in a significant power drop which not all power supplies can handle. If after replacing your MR16 and you experience flickering or the bulbs switch off after a period of time this would indicate that your power supply is struggling to cope with the reduced power draw. A temporary fix would be to add a halogen bulb into the circuit to increase the overall wattage.

LED Power Supply 12V DC

LED Power Supply 12V DC

If you are replacing the power supply the best option is to opt for a 12V DC supply that is slightly more powerful than your total power requirements. Direct Current power supplies produce better results in terms of brightness and ensure the bulb will experience a longer life. Traditional halogen low voltage downlighter would generally have their own power supply, MR16 LEDs use very little power so you can power all the LEDs of one transformer.

You don’t need to run new cables find the first transformer in your run and hook that directly into your cabling and then remove the other obsolete transformers and hey presto you now have low voltage LEDs saving you money and electricity. Please note always consult a qualified electrician.

There are different colour options with LED bulbs why?

LED Colour Choices

Three different colour choices for LED bulbs

The three colour choices we offer on our light bulbs are Warm White, Near White and Pure White. Traditionally LED bulbs were only available in two colours warm white and pure white. The names of the colours are not quite descriptive to reality.

Pure white is between the frequency of 6000-6500K which some people describe as a light similar to an overcast day. Warm White is between the frequency of 2800-3500K it is very close to the light provided by a incandescent light bulb. Near white is the holy grail of colours some LED developers/scientists describe this colour as being the next big thing 4000-4500K and should really be described as pure white or the colour of the moon.

Obviously not everyone has the same taste and this is true of LED lights, some people love the pure white colour which is described as a more natural colour than traditional halogen bulbs, while some prefer warm white which is very similar to the previous light colour, while near white is ideal for those who want a white light.