LEDs have truly changed the whole industry for good. Because of them, touch screens and large displays are made possible with great accessibility and affordability. LEDs have replaced incandescent and fluorescent lights while performing way better and consuming far lesser energy. However, like everything else, there is no such thing as a perfect invention.
Because of the massive demand and constant usage, there can be obstacles encountered from the manufacturing process to the consumer end. This article will attempt to provide useful answers to common issues linked to the use of LED for lighting purposes.
Common LED Lighting Problems
The most common problem encountered in LED lighting is flickering. It can happen even in the moments you least expect it. The flickering in LED lights can occur abruptly or continuously. Depending on the duration, it can have many reasons why it happens.
Flickering can be a sign that the LED light is old and about to go busted. If you are unfamiliar with the construction, inside an LED bulb is a collection of LEDs connected in a circuit. This connection is usually a “series” network. Therefore, when one LED is underperforming, it affects the others since the electricity is being impeded. This is mainly a manufacturing issue.
Another common cause of flickering is dust. When a bulb socket collects a significant amount of dust and dirt, it can affect the contacts of the LED bulb and the wire. Dust and dirt usually act as insulators and therefore, can interrupt electricity conduction. Hence, the LED light flickers.
When your LED lights are flickering, the first thing to do is to inspect any presence of dirt, dust, or stain. If there are any of them, clean the bulb and socket while ensuring that the electrical circuit is switched off. If the issue persists, then it is time to replace the faulty lights with a newer, more reliable one.
2. Color Temperature Inconsistency
Color temperature inconsistency is a common problem in LED lights, particularly those that don’t emit white light. The nature of LEDs is being a semiconductor. Like all other semiconductors, they perform better in cooler environments and worse in hotter conditions. So, you may associate the inconsistency of the color with the temperature of the surroundings.
However, the LED lights that we have today are designed not to be that sensitive to the surrounding temperature. If your red LED light is looking paler, that means the LED is of poor quality. You can determine that by comparing LED lights of the same color but different brands.
The only solution for having inconsistent colors in LED lights is to replace them for good. And as you choose replacements, make sure that they are of good quality. You can have them tested first before completely purchasing them.
As mentioned, the performance of LEDs is proportional to the temperature. This is because of the nature of the semiconductors. This does not only refer to the surrounding temperature but also that of within the bulb. The longer the LED lights stay on, the more heated it will get. This will cause the light to not fully illuminate and thus, the energy will be wasted as heat.
Furthermore, the surrounding temperature can even contribute to overheating. If you haven’t known yet, one of the fundamental laws of thermodynamics states that heat flows from a hot region to a cold one until all systems involved attain the same temperature. So, if the LED light is already hot and the surrounding temperature is even hotter, overheating is easily achieved.
If the LED lights to be installed are meant to be turned on for long hours, then choose those with good proper heat dissipation. In simpler terms, the bulb’s design must have good ventilation. Aside from the bulb, consider also the location. If it is installed in an enclosed room, make sure you have at least a fan or AC running or a window opened while the lights are on.
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4. Compatibility Issues
Did you know that an LED light has to be compatible with your system? The usual setup for lighting is just an on/off switch. This accommodates all types of lighting fixtures. However, if a dimmer is used in your setup, the bulb has to be compatible with the variability of switching.
It is actually not hard to see whether your LED is compatible with a dimmer switch or not. It is not compatible if it flickers or makes a buzzing sound when you put it on a system with a dimmer switch.
Fortunately, you can have a LED light checked first if it is compatible with a dimmer switch before purchasing. Most hardware stores have a testing kit to ensure that the bulb you purchase is not wrong.
5. Premature Failure
Premature failure in LED lights simply means that they bust upon early usage. After you install your newly purchased LED light bulbs (assuming it is being checked before purchase), it turns on for a while when switched on and then gets busted for good. Assuming there is no current surge or anything that shorts them, the only explanation is that there are manufacturing defects.
The good thing about purchasing technical stuff is the return policy. Most stores offer an equivalent replacement within the first week of purchasing the defective product as long as you have the receipt and the original packaging. If there is still a premature failure, then that means the batch of LED lights manufactured is defective. It is better to choose another brand.
Glare is a situation wherein the illumination is so bright that it affects your vision. The objects illuminated are hard to see and your eyesight becomes uncomfortable. The cause of glare in LED lights is too much brightness in them.
To prevent the glaring issue, make sure you install LED lights in the appropriate setting. You don’t need super bright LED lights in a room where you watch TV. Those lights belong outside. Furthermore, check the wattage of the bulbs. The wattage can be your basis for whether the bulb is bright enough or not. Also, choose those that have reflectors for they reduce glare.
7. Blue Light Hazard
As LED technology becomes the standard worldwide, there are different studies conducted about it. One of the most significant studies is about the identification of the hazards of blue light. Light, as being taught in Physics, is an electromagnetic wave with a spectrum of colors. The longest wavelength is color red and the shortest wavelength is violet.
As long as there is visible light being emitted such as the sunlight and all the bright white light you’ve experienced, almost all colors certainly exist including blue light. Filtering them wherein only a specific color can pass through is a major technical task.
Violet light is considered to be the most harmful since it has higher energy density but the ozone layer has filtered that in sunlight and most lighting fixtures manufactured don’t emit that. The next thing though, blue light, is unavoidable.
There seems to be no escaping from its exposure unless a tech feature specifically reduces it. The best way to overcome the harmful effects of blue light is to take a break from the exposure.
LED is one of the best pieces of technology developed so far. It illuminates the world we know of aside from sunlight and is very energy-efficient. However, it still poses problems to consumers, namely the seven mentioned above. You must know how to identify them and how to solve those issues accordingly.