Electrical Contracting News (ECN) October 2016 - Page 46

SPECIAL FEATURE WORK IT OUT Andy Douglas of Timeguard offers advice on making sure that the latest LED technology works for you. O nce the preserve of top end specifiers, LED lighting is now bread and butter business for all installers, but how did choosing LED lighting get so complicated? The revolution all started so easily: all you had to do was look at the ‘equivalent Wattage’ output, check the price and buy. Then we started to see different designs to choose from, so the cosmetics became important. Then the market started to see a few failures and realised that, despite the low power consumption, these devices still needed to be built with guaranteed quality. Then, as LED lighting extended its reach and was being offered for virtually any use, indoors and out, automatic on/ off timing became an issue. So then we could all see the importance of rating switches and drivers to withstand the repeated, surprisingly high, power surges that frequent switching implies. On top of that, people quite rightly started getting pickier about the quality of the light, the field of illumination and the ambience it created: so the design of the LED array, the lenses and the back plate reflectors all assumed greater importance. So was it that a simple choice became a lot more complicated? The short answer is, of course, to go with a trusted brand name but, even then to check the specification to make sure any integral PIR switches are actually rated for LED, and check the small print to see if they are good enough for at least a three year warranty, which should surely be the industry benchmark by now? 46 46-48 Lighting – Timeguard.indd 46 12/09/2016 12:39