What to Consider When Comparing LED Products

A good LED system will last for years, deliver the right amount of light for the area and the people working in it, and will not generate unnecessary heat. A bad LED system will have a shorter effective working life, may not generate enough light for as long as expected, and may also cause other problems. So, knowing what to look for and how to spot a bad LED will pay dividends.


LED lighting should last for many years. Most manufacturers offer a minimum 5-year warranty and many are beginning to offer a 10-year as the standard. Any fixture with less than a 5-year warranty suggests a higher potential for quality issues.


Brightness is given in lumens, not wattage. Older technologies typically offer an omnidirectional output, while LED offers the ability to direct the light where it is needed using specially designed optics built into the fixture.

The LED Chip and Capacitor

The quality of the product depends to a critical extent on the chip. Traditionally, the best chips were manufactured in the USA and Japan, but now Korean and Chinese companies also make high quality chips. Chip quality depends on both the material used and its size. Smaller chips have a shorter life and provide less illumination. All LED fixtures will have a life expectancy, many quality manufacturers offer an L70 rating over 100,000 hours.

Color Temperature and Accuracy

Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) is a gauge of how yellow (warm) or blue (cool) the color of light emitted from a light bulb appears. It’s measured in the Kelvin unit and is most commonly found between 2200 Kelvin degrees and 6500 Kelvin degrees. Color Rendering Index (CRI) is a measure of a light source’s ability to show object an object’s “truest” color. Simply put, the metric is a number between 0 and 100 that is used to predict how well a product renders color. The closer to 100, the better – or truer – colors should look under its light. Color accuracy matters in many manufacturing plants where detail is key.

Summary Point

LED lighting is essential for a safe and efficient work environment. Choosing and installing the right type of lighting for each area is essential for both worker efficiency and product life. There are countless online retailers and fly by night manufacturers that can offer an LED fixture, although quality manufacturers offer quality materials, heat sink technology and design to provide a long lasting, energy efficient product. Contact us, to discuss your needs.

LED Ratings and Listings Explained

When upgrading to LED’s for your business or warehouse, there are many factors to consider: cost, savings over time, the environment, worker safety, and more. Upgrading your business may seem complicated, but learning about LED lighting and knowing how to choose the right lighting will pay in the long run. You may have encountered different ratings and listings for LED lighting, and this article will help you and your business to make sense of these unfamiliar terms.

DLC Standard and Premium Ratings

Many commercial LED products have been certified by the Design Lights Consortium, a non-profit dedicated to optimizing lighting while reducing impact on people and the environment. The DLC only focuses on commercial LED lighting products, and offers standard quality ratings and premium quality ratings.

All DLC ratings include a minimum light output (in lumens) which vary depending on the product. Premium-rated products must put out at least 15 lumens over the standard products. All products must also pass an efficacy requirement (lumens achieved per Watt) which varies per product. Premium ratings require at least 15 lumens per Watt more than the standard rating.

Regardless of rating, all DLC-approved products must be capable of dimming. Premium products must have the option for integral controls, making them ideal for large businesses such as warehouses. Only retrofit kits and luminaries can receive premium DLC ratings.

Energy Star Ratings

Energy Star ratings are familiar and though they’re typically used for residential lighting, a few commercial LED products can receive these ratings for energy efficiency as well. These include accent lights and recessed downlights. Commercial LED products with an Energy Star rating have been tested for

Commercial buildings, however, can receive Energy Star ratings for being efficient without sacrificing quality, and LED lighting can help you as a business owner to achieve this. These standards are set by the EPA and certification happens once per year. Energy Star scores range from 1-100, with 75 or above meaning that a building is top of the line when it comes to energy efficiency.

L70 Ratings

The L70 rating for an LED can help you determine how often you should change your lighting in your facility. This in turn can help you to calculate your long-term cost of upgrading to LED’s.

The L70 rating will tell you how long you should expect an LED light to “live” before the lumens it gives off drops to 70% of its full potential. This is considered the length of its useful life. This rating is typically measured in hours.

IP Ratings

IP Ratings, or Ingress Protection Ratings, can tell you how well your LED lighting will stand up against hazards such as water and dust.

This rating can help you choose lighting based on the conditions inside your facility and can help you cut down maintenance costs in the long run. Buildings with more dust and moisture will benefit from LED’s with a higher IP rating.

IP ratings range from IP40 (lights designed to go inside fully enclosed and protected fixtures) to IP67 which offers complete protection against water and dust. These lights can be up to a full meter underwater without suffering any damage.

C1D1 and CID2 Ratings

Safety is always a concern in every facility, and you are likely familiar with CID1 and CID2 ratings, which indicate the presence where flammable gases could (or are) present.

LED lighting products with these ratings mean that they’re safe to use in these locations. A CID1 rating means that an LED can be used in CID1 locations (where flammable gases may be present) and a CID2 rating means that an LED can be safely used in a CID2 location (where such vapors are known to be present.)

NSF Ratings

Sometimes, LED lighting will be used in a facility where food prep or handling takes place. It’s important for lighting to prevent bacteria buildup and enhance the safety of both the food and the employees, and NSF-rated lighting must be shatterproof to avoid any broken glass in food. These lights are certified by the National Sanitation Foundation and is a requirement where LED lighting is used to aid in food preparation.

IDA and BUG Ratings

Reducing light pollution is a vital role for every business owner to play. A BUG (Backlight, Uplight, and Glare) rating can help your business choose lighting in a way to minimize light pollution that can be hazardous to people and wildlife alike.

The IDA (International Darksky Association) helped to develop the BUG rating which tells how much extra light escapes from a fixture during nighttime hours. The scale for lighting zones ranges from LZ0 (no light) to LZ4 (very high lighting.) This means that in a LZ0 zone, only lights with very low BUG ratings can be used, and in LZ4 zones, higher ratings can be tolerated.

If you are ready to take your company’s cost savings to the next level, contact us at Relumination today to get started.