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Comparison between cheap 10W all in one (built-in driver) Led Downlights vs 13W Downlights with separate driver (our lights)

Posted by Leonie Ferrer on 14th Dec 2016

Thanks to an increasing focus on saving energy in conjunction with stricter and tighter energy regulations, people the world over are switching to light emitting diodes for residential, commercial, and industrial use. More commonly known as LEDs, individuals spanning numerous professional sectors and industries are turning their attention to these lights – in favour of older, more traditional lights – largely due to their extended life spans, as well as their associated energy saving benefits. In spite of all this, however, few LED light users actually realise that these cost effective and innovative light sources utilise a highly sophisticated LED driver in order toefficiently operate them. These devices – also known as LED power supplies – serve a similar function to the transformers found in low voltage bulbs or the ballasts of fluorescent lamps. In effect, LED drivers ultimately provide light emitting diodes with the proper amount of power in order to consistently function and perform at their optimal level.It’s clear now that every light source emitted by LEDs requires the use of a competent and properly assigned driver.

However, the question remains: should you purchase an LED downlight with an integrated driver and three year warranty or do you choose an LED downlightthat requires the use of an external driver – one you need to purchase separately?Yet with so many LED lights out there on the market today, it can be incredibly difficult to pick the one best suited to your needs – especially when it comes time to choose from all the different downlight options available to you. When it comes to comparing between a cheaper and lesser powered 10W all in one LED downlight – that is, one with a built in driver– and a more expensive yet higher powered 13W LED downlight – typically an our light with its very own separate driver and five year warranty – there are a whole host of factors to consider before settling on a purchase.

Firstly, one of the most important factors to consider comes down to the production of heat: there exist numerous issues related to heat with a built in driver. Thanks to the close proximityof the internal driver to the light emitting diodes themselves,the rapid build up of significant degrees of heat can lead to these less expensive set of LED lights – free of any adequate ventilation – to fail much earlier than their more expensive counterparts. In addition and of particular note: this heat issue in question also caps the power and light strength put out by the cheaper all in one LED downlight. The built in driver’s maximum power output is limited to 10W as opposed to a high quality 13W LED downlight paired with its very own discrete driver.

The maximum life span of a light emitting diode is typically ten years: however, despite lasting over this decade, LED lights will inevitably lose the amount of light outputted as they age – this results in lesser light strength. However, the heart of the LED light – the driver itself – might not last that long. In fact, they often fail earlier than the light itself. When that is the case, an all in one 10W LED requires a full light replacement, whereas a 13W LED downlight only needs to have its driver replaced, in contrast with a total unit change.The highly visible results can be of marked importance: if an all in one 10W LED light requires replacing after only two years, the newly replaced light will appear brighter, causing significant ocular dissonance across the entiretyof the room it’s in, making the rest of the lights look bad.