Why are some LEDs blue in color, some are white and some are yellow? Light is measured in Kelvin temperatures. It is very important for any LED enthusiast to completely study up on color temperatures. The color 2700K is a very nice warm white slightly whiter than an incandescent bulb. The color 6500K is almost blue white. I really like 2700-3500K max in residential applications and I like 5000K for office or warehouse applications. I personally don't like lights over 5500K they are just too blue. Never buy LEDs that are called warm white, cool white or daylight. Always ask for the Kelvin temperature so you know exactly what you are purchasing.
Aren't LEDs still an unproven, over rated, sometimes snake oil product? On the contrary! No reasonable consortium, utility, manufacturer or engineer would disagree that this absolutely the light of the future. However, because this is considered an emerging technololgy, customers should be very careful who they purchase from. There are many false claims of longevity, lumens, quality etc. GreenWire has participated in many trade shows and we have vetted tens of thousands of dollars in LED's to assemble a perfect cast of product. We actually power up each LED and take light and wattage measurements before we ever endorse a manufacturer.
Do LED's really last 100,000 hours last some mfg claims? Probably not. However DOE standards and responsible manufacturers will claim that the LED has a lifespan until they stop putting out 70% of their initial light. It should be noted that LED's don't typically burn out they just get dimmer each year. LED's that are well designed will usually last between 30,000 to 50,000 hours. Unethical lifespan claims usually result in light outputs far below 70%.
What is Energy Star and how does it relate to LED's? Energy Star is a consumer protection program that sets very high performance standards for many types of energy savings devices. Most rebate programs insist that you purchase a Energy Star approved device or you won't qualify for a rebate. LED standards are just now being released and can be read online at the Energy Star website.
Are all of GreenWire's products Energy Star rated? No. However, most of our partners are Energy Star Partners which means they have submitted data and are working towards approval. We sell innovated products that are simply too new and are under review. Our partners typically are long standing companies that have deep R&D budgets who constantly develop and bring to market these products. The manufacturer warranty and reputation are paramount for the consumer to evaluate while waiting for these approvals.
Can I dim any LED light? No. However you can dim quite a few today and you will be able to dim many more in the very near future. Check before you purchase any LED with the manufacturer. This is usually on the product and is a very common question.
What are some other things to consider when evaluating the cost and payback of an LED? Your best payback will come from locations where you leave the lights on for the most hours. These areas are usually the kitchen, living areas and any lights that stay on dusk to dawn. Due to their extremely long life, LED lights are also ideal for hard to reach spots like very high ceilings. Payback comes very quickly in commercial or industrial applications.
What should I look for before purchasing LED's? The order of importance: Warranty, Lumens per watt, Color, CRI, UL Listing, Mfg Location then Cost.