The Anatomy of the LED

By falyn_eaden

When considering the use of LED lighting there are four main things that you need to know in order to make an informed decision. They are the following:

  • Color (CCT)
  • Lumens (Not Watts)
  • Bases
  • Drivers

Color or Correlated Color Temperature is measured in Kelvins. Temperature, in this case, is not referencing the actual temperature of the bulb but instead the color that is being produced. Therefore, the lower the number, the warmer it looks and vice-versa. 

Lumens: It is very important to know that lumens represent the amount of light that is given off. Traditional incandescent bulbs are measured in watts which represent the amount of energy consumed. This has caused a lot of confusion because LEDs are measured in lumens.  Below is a comparison chart to further breakdown the difference. 

Bases: Bases are the LED Bulb’s first point of contact and are responsible for receiving power from the source. They are also important because they keep the bulb connected to the power source.  Here is a list of the most common bases for LED bulbs.

e-12 Candelabra BaseE-12 Candelabra Base – Typically found in chandeliers, wall scones, bath bars.

E-17 Intermediate BaseIntermediate E-17 – Typically found in commercial exit signs. Sometimes found in ceiling fans and appliances.

E-26 Medium baseE-26 – Medium base. Also known as a standard household base. Typically found around the home in fixtures such as lamps.  

E-39 Mogul BaseMogul E-39 – Mainly commercial use.

GU10 BaseGU10 – Typically found in bath bars, ceiling fans, and track lighting with a twist and lock base.

GU5.3 BaseGU5.3 – Has two pins and can be found in track lighting, bath bars and some ceiling fans.

 

Drivers: Pairing the appropriate driver with its respective bulb is very important. A failure to do so could cause Underdriving or Overdriving.

  • Underdriving – This is when the driver is not administering enough power to the respective bulb. This can cause the lights to appear dimmer or not come on at all.
  • Overdriving – This is when the driver is administering too much power to the respective bulb. The light produced will be brighter but will significantly shorten the life of the bulb. In addition, the more power administered the hotter the driver gets and can cause the circuit to burn out. 

Now that you have more knowledge regarding LED lighting, it’s time to get moving. Leave your question below in the comments if you are still confused. Considering a purchase? Visit our website at homelectrical.com where we have the most competitive prices on LED bulbs and more.  No matter the project, we have the solution.