Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Cool Lights!

50W halogen downlights have been hot stuff in the world of lighting for far too long - see an earlier blog for our thoughts on halogen downlights. Fortunately, there are some cool new alternatives, such as unvented 8W LEDs. See just how hot and just how cool below!

We decided to make a direct comparison and installed a 5W LED in place of one of five 50W halogens in a kitchen. The old halogen globe, light fitting and transformer were quickly and simply removed and the LED was installed directly into the existing hole in the gyprock (sometimes it can be a little trickier depending on the wiring set up).

The result is impressive - the new LED (on the right, above) is very bright and it casts a broader and more even light than the halogens. This kitchen will only need 3-4 LEDs (rather tha 5 halogens) that's a reduction from 250W to 24-32W!
Most impressive was the temperature difference. The lights were switched on at the same time and in less than 5 minutes the halogen was at 98 degrees and the LED was just 16 degrees! The LED is barely visible on the right hand side of the thermal image above. See below for close ups.
The LEDs not only reduce your lighting energy-use and fire risk, but because they are a completely sealed unit they prevent any air leakage (and they can be insulated over because they are so cool), significantly reducing heat loss... and therefore even more energy use!

You can read more about this partiuclar LED here.

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