How to Light

How to Light: How do I find a trustworthy manufacturer?


The arrival of the LED has brought with it a whole slew of new companies and individuals with little or no history in the lighting industry. It’s also brought a lot of uncertainty, the lighting conventions that we grew up with have been mostly abandoned and have been replaced with . . . very little.

There are no performance standards for LED product and that has left the specifier open to all kinds of deception. So who do we trust?

Generally speaking, a company offering a good product and service will come with information. Websites will be rich with details about product ranges:

Physical data:        Dimensions
                                       Fire ratings
                                       IP ratings

Electrical data:      Dimmability
                                       Power consumption
                                       LED driver performance

Lighting data:        Light source details
                                       Luminous flux
                                       Colour temperature
                                       Colour rendering (CRI  //  TM30)
                                       Macadam ellipises (for LED)
                                       Beam angles
                                       Photometric performance (polar curves  //  downloadable IES / LDT files)
                                       Life term to L70 – L80 – L90 (according to the manufacturer)

All of this data should be openly available on the company’s website. If you’re looking at architectural product and a website does not have this kind of information, be very aware.

A good lighting company will want to help and support you in your product selection and that should include providing supporting photometric calculations of the design spaces that you’re working on.

A good document to keep on the desktop is ‘A Guide to the Specification of LED Lighting Products’. This was published in the UK by the Lighting Industry Liaison Group in 2012. It can be downloaded from the CIBSE website.

Finally: always remember that some people will lie to you. 

This question was answered by Bill Plageman – vice president of marketing and product management at Amerlux.