Less energy, more savings
Lighting can consume up to 30% of a home’s energy. Light Emitting Diodes (LED’s) are ideal replacements for traditional incandescent and halogen downlights, and far more cost-efficient in the long-term. At Energy Partners we supply and install a range of LED downlight fittings to help homeowners reduce their energy consumption.
How the technology works
Unlike conventional light fittings, LEDs create light through Electroluminescence – a characteristic of some materials to emit light when an electric current is passed through them. This process is extremely efficient at turning electric energy into light, whereas other technologies waste a lot of energy as heat. This is why conventional fittings feel hot to the touch while operating.
LEDs have been fashioned into a full range of fittings that can replace just about any type of traditional light, without requiring extensive rewiring. A conventional halogen downlight drawing 50W can be replaced with a 5W LED – that is 1/10 of the energy consumption – and provide equivalent light levels.
There are 2 important factors to note when changing from traditional light fittings to LED – colour appearance and dimmer compatibility.
Colour appearance or “rendering”. Traditional bulbs produce a warm, almost yellow light – measured on a scale called the Correlated Colour Temperature (CCT) scale they are typically 2800-3400k. Traditional LEDs have a brighter, almost blueish white appearance, a CCT of 5000k – which can appear harsh. However, the latest LEDs are available in a full range of colour tones and can easily replicate exactly the light quality that you require.
Dimming. Traditional dimmer switches may not work with LEDs because the LEDs draw such a low load. If you have dimmers on your downlights, you may need to upgrade your dimmer switches as well. However, this is still a nominal cost compared to the money you save on energy.
Our unique solution
Energy Partners stocks LED fittings supplied predominantly by OSRAM, one of the leading lighting suppliers internationally. Most OSRAM LEDs are guaranteed for 30,000 running hours – that’s more than 10 years running for 7 hours a night.
The 2 most commonly used downlights are GU10 and GU5.3 lamps. The fundamental difference between these 2 is that the GU10 bulb will run at 240V, with a small transformer in each fitting, whereas the GU5.3 runs at 12V with a single transformer somewhere on the circuit. There are LED versions available for both types of fitting, so it may not be necessary to change your wiring at all.
Cost and savings
LEDs have a short payback period and offer an excellent return on investment, if good quality fittings are used. The cost and savings will obviously depend on the number and type of fittings in your home, as well as how long you run your lights. The figures shown here are for a large home with ~50 LED downlights and typical usage.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you only replace downlights?
No, we can replace other lights too. However, we focus on downlights because they are more complicated to replace due to the various types and voltages. Most other fittings are relatively simple for homeowners to replace themselves with over-the-counter LEDs.
Can LEDs be dimmed?
Yes, you get dimmable and non-dimmable LEDs. However, in some cases you will still need to upgrade your dimmer switches to work with them.
Are LEDs more expensive than normal lights?
On a per-light basis, LEDs are initially more expensive than traditional lights. However, LEDs typically last 10-20 times longer, and are therefore actually cheaper in the long run. When you add the energy savings on top of this, LEDs are very economical.
What features do I need to consider when selecting LED lamps?
- Light direction
- Dimmable or non-dimmable
- The CCT in Kelvin
- Lifespan in hours
- Type of fi tting (GU10 or GU5.3)
- Breakage and vibration resistant