Aftermarket LED lighting is useful in so many ways. But because they have so many different applications, it can be difficult to determine which LED will be the right one for what you need it for.
Shedding some light on the situation
In this guide, we will shed some light on some of the features you may stumble upon while shopping for aftermarket LED lighting – features you may or may not be aware of. This information is particularly useful considering that many lights may appear to be the same due to similar size and a similar housing – and yet they actually perform quite differently.
An LED’s beam pattern can vary widely – anywhere from below 10° to 90° – so when considering your desired beam pattern you should observe the following rule of thumb.
- 20° beam pattern or less: A very focused beam found in spotlights, ideal for seeing at a distance.
- 20° – 40° beam pattern: Lights with this type of beam pattern are generally combination lights and are intended for general use.
- 45° beam pattern or more: Lights with this type of beam pattern have a larger illumination field, which is useful if you need to illuminate a job or campsite for a time, and are referred to as floodlights.
As you can see, beam pattern, and thus performance of LED lighting can vary pretty drastically. Failing to know what a beam pattern is can result in you choosing the wrong light for the application you need it for – wasting time and money. A good option would be to settle on a combination flood/spotlight.
Lumens is essentially the measurement of how much light a bulb is generating. The higher the lumens, the brighter the light and vice versa.
The Ingress Protection (IP) Rating
An IP rating can be found on many electronic products, but unless you know what it actually means, it’s not really helping you to make a buying decision.
The IP, or Ingress Protection rating, is used to specify the environment protection of enclosures around electronic equipment. The IP rating is composed of two numbers. The first refers to the protection against solid objects (like dust) and the second against liquids. The larger the value of the digit, the greater the protection.
For the scale that measures protection against solid objects like dust, the highest rating that can be achieved is a “6” – meaning that the particular piece of equipment has total protection from dust ingress. The scale measuring an object’s protection against liquids however tops off at “9” – which indicates the unit is protected against close-range high pressure, high temperature spray downs. To put this information into some context, an item with an IP67 rating would be completely protected from dust ingress and protected against short duration immersions in water. To see the IP rating table in its entirety, click here.
First of all, colour temperature is not an indication of the amount of heat generated by your bulbs. It’s a reference to the warmth or coolness of the light output. For instance, a bulb with a colour temperature of 3000K (the K is a unit of measurement indicating Kelvin) would give off the yellow-y light that you might recognize as belonging to a conventional sealed incandescent bulbs. Something in the range of say 6000K would appear as a cool white light tinged in blue.
Other LED Lighting Guides and Product Reviews
- Top 11 Reasons You Need LED Lighting
- Product Review: RTX LED Light Bar
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