Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is LED Lighting?
LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. The diode comes in the form of a computer chip on a circuit board. The properties of the diode cause it to generate light when an electric current passes through it. Depending on the chip and materials used, different colors in the color spectrum can be created. Prior to the technological revolution of the 90s and the rapid advancement of the microchip, the LED was used only in small-scale applications such as indicator lights.
The same advancements that spurred the computer to reach dizzying levels of efficiency have also done the same for the LED. Just as computers have become faster and cheaper, LED lights have become brighter, smaller, less expensive, and more sophisticated.
LEDs are solid state technology. That means there is no glass bulb, no pressurized gases, no mercury and no burning filament. With the traditional bulb, 90% of its energy is transmitted as heat while light is a mere by-product of electrifying the metal coil inside the bulb.
From the indicator light on your VCR to the light fixture above your head, LEDs have come a long way in becoming the go-to solution for building and home illumination.
Q: What’s the difference between UL listing and ETL listing?
UL and ETL are both what is called Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTL). NRTLs are in place to provide independent safety and quality certifications on products. Electrical appliances typically require their certification (especially 240V appliances). UL develops the testing standards and tests to them. ETL tests to UL standards. In order for an inspector to sign off on permitted installation for an EVSE, the National Electric Code requires the EVSE be NRTL listed (in the US that is ETL or UL).
LED Waves, Inc. does use both laboratories; the selection of which laboratory depends on which company provides the best value for their service that we can then in turn pass on to our customers.
Q: Are E26 and E27 light bulb bases interchangeable?
Yes. The E26 is the standard 120 Volt American base. The E27 is the European variant and is rated at 220 Volts. E26 is 26 mm and the E27 is 27 mm diameter. However, an E26 bulb can fit in E27 base and an E27 bulb can fit in E26 base without problem. The sockets / bulbs are interchangeable except for the voltage rating. Therefore, LED E26 bulbs that are universal line-voltage can be used in both E26 and E27 sockets.
Q: Why are LED lights so expensive?
Even considering the energy savings and replacement costs, LED lights come with a fair amount of sticker shock. Part of this is because they're so new; more research and development is being poured into this field than any other lighting technology. As our understanding of this technology increases prices will continue to fall. For example, early LEDs were mounted on a sapphire substrate. Today's LED chip designers are experimenting with various silicon substances to replace expensive sapphire while not compromising performance.
Still, it is unlikely that LED lights will ever break the price point of standard incandescent lights since more work goes into the components. Light-emitting diodes are not based simply on fire or a heated filament in a glass like older technology; each lamp is the product of soldering together a number of parts - a heat sink, driver, circuit board and LED chips engineered for specific lighting applications. Think of an LED light fixture as an appliance rather than a disposable object.
LED Waves happens to build products exclusively with high-quality, name brand LEDs. These chips reflect more years of research in the field, and the fact that companies like Cree and Nichia have lasted so long amid other fly-by-night LED operations speaks to the dependability of these finished products. If an LED bulb promises 5 years of useful life, shouldn't its chip manufacturer have been in business at least that long?
Q: What are IP ratings (i.e IP65, IP67, etc.?)
A two-digit number established by the International Electro Technical Commission, is used to provide an Ingress Protection rating to a piece of electronic equipment or to an enclosure for electronic equipment. The first digit indicates protection against ingress of solid objects. The second digit indicates protection against ingress of liquids. For more details on the protection level of each digit, please refer to this page.
Q: What are the advantages of using LEDs over traditional lighting?
The LED lights of today match or surpass the performance of all incumbent lighting technologies. LEDs operate on significantly less energy than incandescent lights, which are wildly inefficient. They also last longer (average 10 years of normal use) and are more durable because they are solid state, shock-proof, and can be housed safely in plastic inst
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