Frequently Asked Questions
This comprehensive guide addresses frequently asked questions and provides helpful tips and tricks. In this guide you will find information on Compatible Dimmers, Constant Current vs Constant Voltage, Driver Selector, LED Current Selection, and more…
LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. It is a solid-state electronic device that directly converts electrical energy into visible light. A LED does not contain any moving parts, gases, or a filament that needs to be heated.
Structurally, the LED's semiconductor features two distinct regions: a positively charged (P) region and a negatively charged (N) region. An electrical current flowing between these two regions causes electrons to move to the opposite region, a process during which energy is both created and released. The emitted energy, known as a photon, generates the light that our eyes can see, which is then emitted by the diode. Thus we have a Light Emitting Diode.
LEDs, being electronic devices, do not operate with complete electrical energy-to- light efficiency. A small portion of the electrical energy is converted into heat. LEDs run at significantly lower temperatures compared to traditional light sources, such as incandescent bulbs that emit light via a white-hot filament.
An 18-Watt Switch Lighting luminaire that replaces a 100-Watt incandescent bulb reaches temperatures of approximately 70-75°C at its hottest point, compared to the white-hot filament of an incandescent bulb which reaches over 2000°C.
LEDs are specified for a maximum Junction Temperature (Tj).
If the Junction Temperature (Tj) is allowed to rise above the maximum range, due to inadequate thermal design of the luminaire, the LED will degrade, initially observable by a change of colour and/or brightness. Eventually the LED will fail.
Switch Lighting's entire luminaire range is designed to operate the LEDs well below their maximum Junction Temperature, ensuring a long life without perceivable performance degradation.
A conventional LED luminaire heatsink should not be covered by insulation materials. Unobstructed airflow is required for adequate cooling of the device in order not to exceed the LED maximum Junction Temperature (Tj).
Switch Lighting products, on the other hand, are designed with smart heatsinking to the front face (the side visible in the living area), which permits the back of the device to be covered with insulation without exceeding the LED maximum Junction Temperature. Switch Lighting luminaires can be fully covered with insulation materials, as they are IC-F rated, ensuring uncompromised performance and longevity.
Insulation without thermal breaks over the luminaire significantly improves the heating Energy Efficiency of your home or office.
Yes – Switch Lighting LED luminaires have been designed and engineered by our team of engineers to allow our products to be IC-F rated, meaning they can be completely covered by insulation.
Switch Lighting LED luminaries feature unique heat dissipation designs that ensure the maximum Junction Temperature of the LED is not exceeded.
Switch Lighting luminaires can be fully covered with insulation materials, as they are IC-F rated, ensuring uncompromised performance and longevity.
Our Ultra-Low Glare fixtures feature a transparent lens, which results in sharper and more defined beam pattern. These are particularly effective at providing focused illumination for task-oriented spaces such as kitchen countertops and workstations. Additionally, these fixtures perform well under soffits, generating attractive beam patterns that offer a point of difference to other options.
In contrast, the Prismatic lens produces a gentle beam pattern across a wider area. This makes our luminaires with prismatic lenses particularly suitable for creating inviting and attractive living spaces in lounges, hallways, and common areas.
Lux is a unit that quantifies the amount of lumens per square meter reaching a surface. This metric helps indicate the appropriate lighting intensity for various environments. Below is a guideline of lux recommendations:
150-200 lux – General areas
300-500 lux – Kitchen, Study and Reading areas
800-1000 lux – Workshop and Hobby areas, fine work
Fabrication and processing
300-750 lux – Tool shops, welding
300 lux – Large item processing or assembly
500-1000 lux – Small item processing or assembly
500-2000 lux – Inspection and testing
500 lux – Small retail outlets
500-750 lux – Showrooms
1000 lux – Large format: DIY, homewares
Lumen is a unit of measurement that quantifies the amount of visible light emitted by a light source. The greater the number of lumens, the more light the source emits, meaning it appears brighter to the human eye.
The beam angle, expressed in degrees, indicates the extent to which light spreads from its source. It is defined as the angle at which the lux level decreases to 50% of the maximum brightness at the centre of the beam.
This measurement helps determine the distribution and coverage of light in a given space.
Colour temperature refers to the degree of warmth or coolness of a light's hue, quantified using the Kelvin scale (K).
A 2700K temperature yields a warm, inviting glow, such as that produced by a 100-Watt incandescent light bulb. In contrast, a colour temperature of 4000K creates a cooler, blueish-white light commonly preferred for commercial applications.
Absolutely, Switch Lighting offers a comprehensive lighting design service.
At Switch Lighting, we are committed delivering the finest lighting solutions to our clients. In our unique position as a lighting manufacturer, we have in-depth knowledge on which products to utilise and in what quantity. Our team focus on beautifully illuminating spaces to create the desired ambiance, rather than focusing merely on a set number of fixtures.
Get in touch with us now to request your obligation-free lighting design consultation.
The expected lifetime of a Switch Lighting luminaire varies depending on usage, quality, and maintenance, but it generally ranges from 10,000 to 60,000 hours – depending on the product.
Considering the number of hours, a luminaire is lit daily, the following values demonstrate the expected time taken to reach 60,000 hours:
24 hours per day - approx. 6.8 years
18 hours per day - approx. 9 years
12 hours per day - approx. 14 years
8 hours per day - approx. 20 years
5 hours per day - approx. 33 years
Product lifetime = total hours ÷ hours per day ÷ total number of days in the year
The light source of an LED luminaire does not fail abruptly like it does in an incandescent lamp. Instead, over an extended period, the LEDs undergo a gradual decline in their lumen output, also known as lumen depreciation.
This long-term decline can be measured and tested, but to the standard observer, the resulting decrease in brightness is undetectable.
Switch Lighting LED luminaires are true ‘Fit and Forget’ devices. In most installations they will last decades before requiring replacement.
Compared to incandescent lights, LED luminaires reduce power consumption by well over 80%. Whilst in New Zealand 85% of our electricity is generated from renewable sources, the installation of power saving LED Lighting will assist the country to reduce the country's remaining reliance on fossil fuels.
- Savings through energy efficiency
- Plus: Fit and Forget installations
- Equals: Lowest cost of ownership over lifetime
The driver of an LED luminaire ensures the LED(s) are supplied with the correct current/voltage to operate them within their rated/safe power range.
Switch Lighting offers a diverse range of our own drivers, from compact units integrated into the luminaire to larger, stand-alone devices designed to power our down-lights. A selection of our drivers incorporate the functionality required for simple dimming, sunset dimming or colour/brightness tuning.
Picture a space where you have the ability to seamlessly transition from bright white illumination to warm, inviting mood lighting. Sunset Dimming is an ideal choice for rooms where establishing a calming atmosphere is key.
As you gradually lower the brightness, the light's hue mimics that of the sun setting, and the glow becomes increasingly warm and gentle. This facilitates the occupants to follow their natural circadian rhythm paving the way for a restful sleep.
Sunset Dimming can be specified for the ZELA, D-LIGHTZ and E-LIGHTZ collections of down-lights.
The Colour Rendering Index (CRI) is a numerical scale, ranging from 0 to 100, that gauges a light source's ability to accurately reveal an object's colours compared to a natural light source, such as sunlight.
Higher CRI values indicate better colour rendering, allowing the human eye to perceive colours more accurately and vividly. Today a quality LED luminaire should be rated at a minimum of 90 CRI.
Not necessarily, the Watt rating of a luminaire solely relates to its power consumption.
The power consumption (in Watts) does not relate to the brightness or Lumen output of the luminaire.
A quality luminaire should be specified with a number of attributes such as:
- Voltage range (Volt)
- Power consumption (Watt)
- Brightness (Lumens)
- Colour Rendering index (CRI)
- Dimmable or non-dimmable
- Colour hue (degrees Kelvin)
Efficacy refers to the assessment of a lighting device's efficiency in terms of its performance.
It is calculated as the ratio of Lumens emitted per Watt of power used, which is expressed as Lumens per Watt. A greater efficacy value signifies a more energy-efficient lighting product, as it produces more light output whilst converting less of the input energy to heat.
The dimming of a luminaire refers to the functionality of decreasing its light output or brightness. The dimming feature allows users to control the amount of light emitted, pursue energy saving, or using Switch Lighting luminaires which incorporate Sunset Dimming to adjust the ambience to personal preferences.
Tunable White technology refers to the ability to adjust or change the colour of emitted light from an LED luminaire. It enables customisation of the lighting environment by changing the colour temperature or hue, providing personalised lighting experiences for different surroundings and preferences.
The term L70 refers to a metric used for evaluating the performance and lifespan of LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights. It indicates the point at which the LED's light output has decreased to 70% of its initial output. In other words, when an LED unit reaches L70, it means it has lost 30% of its brightness since its installation. This measure is important because it helps to assess the longevity and degradation of an LED light over time.
LED flicker is a rapid, continuous variation in the intensity or brightness of light emitted by an LED (Light Emitting Diode). This fluctuation can occur due to several factors such as power supply instability, current fluctuations, or limitations in LED driver technology.
This flicker can be noticeable or unnoticeable to the human eye, depending on the frequency at which it occurs. A high flicker rate can lead to eye strain, headache, or discomfort for some people and affect performance in tasks that require visual concentration. LED Flicker can be an extremely debilitating health hazard particularly for people with a high degree of photosensitivity.
Switch Lighting LED luminaires only utilise drivers that minimise flicker to well below what is considered safe even for highly photosensitive people by International Standards.
IP stands for "Ingress Protection." It is an industry standard used to define the level of protection that a device has against solid particles (such as dust) and liquids (such as water). IP ratings consist of two digits, where the first digit represents the level of protection against solid objects and the second digit indicates the level of protection against liquids.
When specifying, ensure you choose the appropriate minimum rating of the luminaire for your application.
Below is a list of commonly used IP ratings:
No protection against contact or ingress of objects and liquids
Protected against solid objects larger than 12.5mm, but not against liquids
Protected against solid objects larger than 2.5mm, but not against liquids
Protected against solid objects larger than 1mm, but not against liquids
Limited protection against dust ingress and protected against water spray from any direction
Limited protection against dust ingress and protected against low-pressure water jets from any direction
Dust-tight and protected against water jets from any direction
Dust-tight and protected against strong streams of water or powerful water jets from any direction
Dust-tight and protected against temporary immersion in water (up to 1m for 30 minutes
Dust-tight and protected against continuous immersion in water (depth and duration as specified by the manufacturer)