How do you know LED lights are good quality?

The main purpose of our blogs is to answer frequently asked questions about LED lights. We have found that quite a few people have been burnt by past purchases of LED lighting products, so this little blog will try to address some reasons why.

Aggressive advertising of LED lights on the web has utilized various techniques to talk up the quality of their LED lights. Many of these sellers are difficult to contact or have no accountability.

Lets start by talking about the most used technique of talking up ‘LED chip brands’.

Cree XRE, Cree XPG, cree, cree cree! It’s all over the net. Don’t get me wrong, Cree is an excellent range of LED chips. So is Bridgelux, Epistar, Sharp and Osram. All of these chips are good quality with a varying range of light output capabilities. Different light outcomes can be achieved by using different raw materials, mixed in different ways. All of the above mentioned brands have several versions and generations of LED chips. Just about all LED lights made today have one of the above mentioned LED chips inside it.

Forget parrot advertising and lets talk about what truly affects quality of LED lights!

‘It is the way the light bulb or light fitting is constructed around the LED chip that determines quality and longevity’.

Most LED manufacturers are actually ‘fabricators’ who bring together materials to make up a finished LED lighting product. Their engineers come up with a design and choose the most appropriate materials to bring together to make a certain bulb or fitting to suit a particular application. They will consider how much light they want to achieve, how to achieve effective air flow to keep the LED chips and pc-boards cool, what sacrifices to make to achieve compactness or dimming capabilities and so on.

4 factors affecting this are:

  • The quality control used to ensure good solder points inside the luminaire – wires are connected between pc boards and the LED chips and also the pins or bulb base. Good quality control when connecting different components together is an important factor.
  • Heat dissipation designs of the bulb or light fitting housings – The thickness and type of material used in conjunction with air flow design, greatly affects longevity and performance of LED lights.
  • The voltage and power factor ranges – Not all LED lights are suitable for the Australian market. We operate on different voltages than other parts of the world. If you try and run a bulb made for the American market, it is made for 120v. The most common voltage internationally is 230v. We operate on 240v. If you purchased an LED bulb and it didn’t last, chances are it wasn’t rated for the Australian power supply.
  • A good combination of the above factors – Not all components are designed to work together. Some fabricators may sacrifice one of the above to achieve a certain price point.

In summary. LED chip brands and models have little bearing on the overall quality of LED lights. Instead, they are designed to fulfill a particular lighting outcome. Quality is determined by the manufacturer (fabricators) quality control and the way they bring the different components together to form the finished product. Always buy from a reputable Australian supplier to ensure the LED lights are made for our power supply.