Tips and Tricks for Choosing a Quality LED Flood Light
The LED flood light is no exception: in electrical stores, on the pages of numerous online stores, you can find many varieties of these products, differing in features and technical and operational characteristics that affect the working conditions and the final cost of the device. To choose the right spotlight, it is important to understand all the varieties, to study the differences, advantages and disadvantages.
Types of spotlights by light source
- Depending on the light source used, floodlights are divided into four main types. They are halogen, sodium, LED and metal halide. More details about each species:
- In the first, a halogen lamp is used as a light source. In fact, we are talking about an improved incandescent lamp. The differences are related to the inner cavity of the flask, which is filled with an inert gas, which increases the glow and service life.
- Sodium floodlights are powered by a gas discharge lamp. Unlike the first type, the bulb does not contain inert gases, but sodium vapor emitting light.
- Metal halide from halogen are distinguished by the use of a gas-discharge lamp, higher brightness and complexity of the design, supplemented by an ignition unit. Special operating rules must be observed.
- LED flood lights operate on a matrix with LED diodes. Unlike the others, they are more compact and durable.
LED flood light device
Three main elements can be distinguished as part of this device – a case, a matrix with LEDs and a driver for current stabilization. In terms of the set of components, the device is no different from a conventional street-type LED lamp.
The LED matrix is hidden under a transparent protective cover with installed glass and reflectors. By unscrewing the fasteners, you can remove the cover and gain access to the LEDs.
Typically, the body of the lighting fixture is made of cast aluminum and other corrosion-resistant metals. The choice in favor of aluminum is due to its excellent heat dissipation properties. The matrix inside the case is fastened with additional screws, which can be from two to four pieces. For more reliable operation of the product, manufacturers of quality products eliminate the gap between the case and the matrix and add heat-conducting paste.
On the back of the spotlight there is a power supply cable. The presence of a rubber washer installed in the hole protects the device from moisture ingress. Some products come with swivel brackets to ensure good attachment to towers and poles. The ribbed version is even better as it maximizes heat dissipation.
Below the rear cover of the LED floodlight, a power supply is installed, which is used to transform the current of an industrial network with a voltage of 220 volts into direct current, suitable for the operation of the device.
Advantages and disadvantages
There are both positive and negative points in the operation of these devices. First, let’s list the advantages of LED spotlights:
- Minimum power consumption – 8-10 times lower than when using conventional incandescent lamps, and 3-4 times less than energy-saving products;
- Long service life – at least 10 years;
- The production uses environmentally friendly materials that do not pose a threat to humans and the environment.
As for the disadvantages, the following can be noted here:
- High cost – moreover, in the case of LED floodlights, the declared service life does not always correspond to reality, therefore, the devices for the most part do not pay for themselves (however, subject to technical standards and the presence of additional reinsurance, the product will work for at least 7-8 years);
- Continuous operation leads to the failure of the LEDs – the brightness gradually decreases, subsequently the components completely burn out;
- To increase durability, it is desirable to use additional cooling sources and a power supply, which again leads to financial expenses.
Classification of LED flood lights
When choosing a device, they are guided by various parameters that allow them to be classified. In terms of power, floodlights are different, and this parameter can vary between 10-1000 W. The situation is similar with the brightness, which can be 700 or more than 30,000 lumens.
IP protection class
Things are much more interesting with the degree of protection (Internal Protection). The IP XY mark indicates how well the device resists dust and moisture, where X and Y are numerical values. The higher they are, the better the protection.
Here are some examples:
- IP20 – such lighting devices can be used for indoor lighting systems, since they do not have protection against dust and moisture.
- IP21-22 – more advanced products that are used in unheated rooms (protected from condensation).
- IP23 – these devices are practically no different from the previous ones, except that installation outdoors is permissible.
- IP50 – the body of the floodlights is protected from dust ingress, which makes it possible to use them in industrial facilities. At the same time, there is no moisture protection.
- IP54 is an improved version of previous devices with additional protection against moisture. Operation in rooms with high humidity levels is permissible.
- IP67-68 – high level of insulation, which allows the devices to be used underwater.
The range of devices is expressed in color temperature and can range from 3500 to 6500 K. With increasing color temperature, the luminous efficiency increases, but the shade becomes paler and colder. As for the dependence of the luminous flux on power and temperature, the following can be cited as an example:
- 40 W floodlights with a color temperature of 6500 K are characterized by a flux of 4000 lm;
- When the temperature drops to 5000 K, this parameter will be equal to 3600 lm;
- 3500 K – 3000 lm, etc.
Searchlights with a temperature of 3700-4300 K emit warm, 4500-5500 K – neutral, 6000 K and above – cold white rays.
Cool colors are considered to be more effective in lighting large areas and have a blue tint. If you are going to illuminate the reading area or work area, then the color temperature should not exceed 5000 K.
When choosing LED floodlights, there are many factors and parameters to consider, as listed below. You should also pay attention to the material from which the case is made, the thickness of the radiator and the degree of protection.
Some units are manufactured in stainless steel with an aluminum alloy reflector. This is a good option if the led floodlight is used inside living rooms, but if it is necessary to use it outdoors, then such a structure is best avoided (corrosive processes will begin at the junction of two metals).
Never skimp on the heatsink – along with the driver, it is the most important component in prolonging the device’s longevity. The fact is that a bad heatsink is not able to provide normal heat removal from the matrix. When choosing between two identical LED spotlights, choose the fixture with the largest heatsink.
Also, we do not recommend saving money by buying floodlights without protection from dust and moisture. This is especially true for those cases when the device will be operated outside the building. Ideally, you should look for a case with at least IP54 protection.
A power supply that converts AC to DC has a lifetime. Such an electrical element consists of electrolytic capacitors, which dry out over time and lose capacity. An ordinary capacitor is designed for uninterrupted operation for 10,000 hours, for a good device, the parameter can increase to 30,000.
Pay attention to the tightness of the driver. If there is no sealant or compound on the board, then soon it will fail if it gets the slightest moisture.