Frequently Asked Questions
Here we've compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions we receive from customers. If you don't see what you are looking for, please send us a message and we'll get back to you with an answer.
Are LED or compact fluorescent lights more efficient?
A. All of our LED lights are more than twice as efficient as a Compact fluorescent. Focused LEDs seem even more efficient because the light does not spread out.....this is why a measly 3 watt track light (MR16) will give enough light to read by or to work at a kitchen counter. Our LEDs are almost 9 times more efficient than an incandescent light.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of LED’s and compact fluorescent light bulbs?
A. Both compact fluorescent lights and LED’s have a longer life and much better efficiency than incandescent or halogen lights. LED lights are more expensive than compact fluorescent lights for the same lumens, but LED lights will last at least 5 times longer. All fluorescent lights are slow to start and slow to give full brightness in the cold and if it is too cold, they will not start at all. and might die trying to start. If you want a light for generally lighting an area (not focused) a compact fluorescent light or a bulbed LED is the best choice. LED lights start immediately in the cold and are immediately at full brightness. The efficiency of an LED light increases in the cold so they are the best choice for outdoor lights in cold areas. The LED light has no limit to ON OFF cycles so it is the best choice in bathrooms or pantries, where the light may be turned on and off many times a day.
What is the difference in lifetime between LEDs and compact fluorescents?
A. LEDs have an average lifespan at least 5 times and up to 10 times the life of compact fluorescents.
Why use LED lights when compact fluorescent lights are much less expensive?
A. The life of an LED light will be at least 5 times and can be up to 10 times that of a compact fluorescent light. Since you would have to buy at least 5 compact fluorescents over the lifetime of one LED light the LED is actually about the same cost for a time period. If you are on the grid Led lights are actually less expensive than compact fluorescent lights because the electricity cost will be less than half for the same amount of light. If you are off the grid and on a solar system, you can size your solar system smaller.
Why use 12 or 24 volt DC lamps when I have an inverter that allows me to operate 120 volt AC lamps?
A. In most cases, you will be lucky to get 50% efficiency from your inverter if only operating a few lights. For example most pure sign wave inverters use 15 to 20 watts to just run the inverter. Imagine if you are sitting around on a long winter evening and you have turned on a couple of 5 or 7 watt LEDs for general lighting plus 3 or 4 LED track lights at 3 watts each. Your inverter would be using about 40 watts to supply about 20 watts of lighting. If you are building a new house or cabin, it is best to run separate 12 or 24 volt lighting circuits so your inverter can be in sleep mode when all you have on is lights. In most cases normal house wire can be used for these circuits because the LED lights use so few amps.
Why are 12 or 24 volt DC CFLs more expensive than 120 volt AC CFLs?
A. There is an inverter in each 12 or 24 volt DC CFL which is matched to that CFL so the efficiency is very high but the inverter makes the cost more that a 120 volt AC CFL.
Does the power consumed by the lights change with temperature?
A. LED lights draw a little less power when cold, compact fluorescent lights change very little.
Which colour lamp is best for tasks and reading and which colour is best for dining or just relaxing?
A. The daylight or soft daylight colour is best for tasks and reading or where you want to be able to see true colours. The soft white (warm white) is preferable where a soft warm light is needed, such as dining or general relaxing. The soft white lamps are similar in colour to an incandescent light.
Does the colour of the LED affect the efficiency of the light?
A. The whiter coloured LEDs have more lumens per watt than the warmer coloured LEDs.
What is colour temperature? (You can read our Blog Post on this topic here.)
A. The kelvin unit is the basis of all temperature measurement. Starting with 0 Kelvin (minus 273.16° C) as the absolute zero temperature, theoretically the coldest possible temperature in the universe. Technically, color temperature refers to the temperature to which one would have to heat a theoretical "black body" to produce light of the same visual color.
Some typical color temperatures are:
1500 K - Candlelight
2680 K - 40W Incandescent Lamp
3000 K - 200W Incandescent Lamp
3200 K - Sunrise/Sunset
3400 K – Tungsten Lamp
3400 K – 1 hour before dusk
5000 K – Xenon Lamp/light arc
5500 K – Electronic photo flash
7000 K – Sunny Daylight
How do our light colour designations compare to kelvin temperatures?
2700 K - Soft White or Warm White Compact Fluorescent
3000 - 3500 K - Soft White or Warm White LED
4500 - 5500 K - Soft Daylight or Pure White LED
6400 K - Daylight Compact Fluorescent
6500 - 7000 K - Daylight LED
How can I be sure the LED light will not have a blue colour?
We have made every effort to use only high quality LEDs without a blue tint.
Our LED lights have a lifetime of at least 30,000 hours, often 50,000 hours and up to 80,000 hours. A big advantage of LED lights is that they will start at full brightness even in the cold. The life and efficiency of LED lights increases in cold temperatures so our LED lights are ideal for pantries, porches, wood sheds, garages and shops. The life is not affected by the number of On Off cycles making LED lights well suited to high intermittent use areas such as bathrooms, entrance ways, and pantries. LED is an acronym for Light Emitting Diode, this is a solid state device and so any orientation is acceptable. Polarity does matter for our LED
Some of our LED lights use large 1 watt LED's. Our LED lights use only high quality LED's and will keep 90% of their brightness even after 50,000 hours of use.. Beware of less expensive LED lights, most 1 watt LED's will become dim with only 1000 to 2000 hours of use. Although our lights are assembled in China the actual LEDs come from USA, Japan, or Taiwan.
The voltage range on our 120V AC and 220VAC LED lights is plus or minus 10%.
Polarity does matter with any of our new LED Bulbs and the pin on the bottom of the bulb must be wired positive.
Only use 12V AC LED lights for track lights if the mains supply is 120V AC and transformed to 12V AC (i.e. if the house or boat is connected to the grid or an inverter and the power is run thru a transformer before going to the LED lights). However the 12V DC LED and 24 VDC LED lights can be used for track lighting if your system is a 12 or 24 volt battery system.
Compact Fluorescent Light Information:
When used with a battery system our compact fluorescent lights have a lifetime of up to 8000 hours and 8000 - 10,000 On/Off cycles. Our CFLs do not flicker when they start, any orientation is acceptable and wrong polarity will not harm the light. However they will not operate unless the center pin is positive. Our CFLs have been tested and found to comply with Canada's as well as the USA's radio frequency interference standards. If the temperature is below normal room temperature compact fluorescent lights may be slow to start and take a few minutes to come to full brightness. If the light does not start within one minute it may die trying. The lights may not start below minus 10 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit). The battery voltage range for a 12V DC system should be between 10.5V and 14.5V DC and between 22V and 29V DC for a 24VDC system.
Fluorescent lights work by exciting mercury which gives off ultra violet light. This ultra violet light is changed to a colour that is visible to the human eye by the phosphors coating the tubes. Different phosphors are what make the light give the soft white colour or the daylight colour. Because all fluorescent lights contain mercury, they must be disposed of properly. Consult the recycling department of your city hall, regional district or county.
Our lights are warranted against manufacturing defects. If you have a light that does not work or died soon after you received it, email us. We will ask you a few questions about how it was installed and about the system where it was installed. If we determine that it is a bonafide failure we will replace the lamp. We have sold these lamps for over 8 years, so we know the failure rate is very low for our compact fluorescent lamps and LEDs. We do not accept responsibility for shipping accidents. We package the lamps very well and we have only had one shipping breakage in many years.
The length of a warranty depends on the manufacturer of the light. The warranty for our LED lights vary from 2 to 5 years.
Please contact us before returning any items to confirm that a return is necessary, and that we will accept the return. All returns from the USA must be shipped by US Postal Service. If shipped by any other means, it may be returned to the sender.
When returning products with the US Postal Service, please do not include insurance over $20, as we will be subject to a brokerage fee otherwise, which we will pass on to you. Please also be specific about what is being returned. Do not describe the contents of the package as 'light bulbs', but rather 'LED light bulbs' or 'Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs'. This makes a difference when a parcel is being cleared through customs. Also include the HS Code for either LED Lights (8541.40.00.10) or Compact Fluorescent Lights (8539.31.00.90).
If the customer is not satisfied with the product, the goods can be returned in new condition within 14 days of the receipt for a full refund in the form of an in-store credit for the cost of the goods. The product must be properly packaged so as to not be damaged in transit. We also allow partial refunds (in-store credit) if only certain items are to be returned. The customer is responsible for shipping costs.