LED Panel Guide
There is undoubtedly many benefits associated with swapping your old fluorescent ceiling lights with retrofit LED panels, we have detailed a few benefits below, however the purpose of this guide is to help you to not only select the best LED panels for your space, but also to assist you in understanding other considerations such as; size, position, mounting, energy consumption, quality and colour temperature.
Benefits associated with replacing LED Panels
- Reduced energy costs
- Reduced maintenance
- No more flicker - An improved and brighter working environment
Size and Positioning
If your project is a refit within the UK, then the existing ceiling, and most likely a 600 x 600 grid will predetermine the size of your LED panels. Therefore Panels have been created to a standard configuration of 1200 x 300, 1200 x 600, 600 x 600. Removing and replacing old fittings for new is easy and takes a matter of minutes. Integral LED panels have an integrated LED drive with a plug-and-socket connector for rapid installation.
It is important to note, that if you have a narrow ceiling void or want to suspend the panels; our MEGE or Verbatim LED panels have been designed to be installed in most common (24mm and 15mm) exposed ceiling grids.
However, if you do not have a suspended ceiling, you can fix our LED panels directly into a solid ceiling. You’ll need a MEGE's Surface Mounting kit is designed for 595x595mm,1195x295mm,1195x595mm LED panels where there is no suspended ceiling. It is made from high quality aluminum, and is designed to be secured directly to a solid ceiling.
Brightness and Light Distribution/Beam Angle
The beam angle of a lamp is the angle at which the light is distributed or emitted. Lamps such as Halogens (and some LEDs) come in a variety of angles from, 4 degree to 120 degrees. It sounds crazy, but beam angle is important when it comes to panel lights. Nowadays, even by reducing the current number of lights you could still increase the brightness within the room – here’s how: Because traditional fluorescent fittings lose up to 40% of the light within the light fitting itself, and because LED panels deliver a wider beam angle, you’ll be gaining more usable light whilst using less power. Your light levels will be even more improved by replacing existing panels one-for-one with no changes to the existing ceiling grid at all.
Brighter light – less power consumption
Look out for the energy efficiency grade on a product. This is where you will save money. For example, a traditional fluorescent 600 X 600 fitting (using 4 x T8 tubes) delivers around 3,200 lumens with an energy usage of around 88W will ballast losses. This can be replaced with a LED panel using less one-third of the power, at around 25W with a similar light output. All our MEGE and Verbatim Panels are Energy Efficiency Grade A+
Quality – Warranty
The quality of LED Panels can usually be judged by the length of the warranty period, offered by the manufacturer. The standard life expectancy of a new LED Panel is ten years and the standard warranty is five years. Look for fire retardant materials and don’t consider anything less.
Quality - Inefficient Heat Dissipation
One of the most telling aspects to a LED bulb when it comes to quality is how well the bulb dissipates heat. It’s a common misconception that LED bulbs don’t get warm, they do, though they don’t get nearly as hot as incandescent bulbs, but since power goes into the LED’s, they do produce heat and this must be drawn away from the bulb. They don’t radiate this heat away in the same way as an incandescent bulb – instead, the heat needs to be drawn away from the LED by a heat sink, normally located in the bottom of the bulb. The heat sink absorbs the heat produced and then dissipates into the surrounding environment.
If the heat sink doesn’t fulfill its job correctly, the LED will overheat and most likely burn out. So a badly designed heat sink will be detrimental to the lifespan of the LED bulb, and efficient thermal management is really important to ensure that the LED bulbs last as promised.
Quality – because not all panels are the same
Look for energy efficient models, using the latest technology, MEGE's high performance Edge Lit LED ceiling panels combine architectural form and versatility to make it an excellent choice for new construction or retrofit applications. The 120LM/W series panels are offered in a variety of color temperatures and wattages for flexibility in all types of applications.
Lumens and Wattage Explained
Lumens are a measure of the total light output. The higher the lumens, the higher the light output. Lumens divided by power (Watts) gives a measure of the efficiency of an LED panel. The higher the lumens per watt, the more efficient an LED panel is. For example, an LED panel with a 3600 lumen output and a power rating of 45 Watts would have an 80 lumens-per-watt rating (80 lm/W). In comparison, Integral LED panels have a lumens-per-watt rating of 100-140 lm/W, up to a massive 75% efficiency improvement.
The IP Code, International Protection Marking, IEC standard 60529, sometimes interpreted as Ingress Protection Marking, classifies and rates the degree of protection provided against intrusion, dust, accidental contact, and water by mechanical casings and electrical enclosures. Ideally, your panel lights should be an IP40 to IP44, which specifically indicates protection from the intrusion of water.
This is a matter of preference and depends on the use for the space. The colour temperature describes how the light from an LED panel will look and is denoted by a measurement known as Kelvin (K) Cool White – 4000 to 5000K is used for a for clean, modern, and is ideal for offices, schools, retail and commercial areas. It is the most popular choice for LED panels.
Dimming – Are you going to want to dim your LED Panels?
Unlikely? You should be aware that all our MEGE LED panels are delivered complete with a non-dimmable LED driver. If you require a dimming function you will need to replace the current driver with a suitable dimmable driver and controller.
In most installations you will have to consider emergency lighting for a number of panels. In the event of a power failure, the emergency LED panel will continue to provide some light in define areas such as escape routes for at least three hours. Local and national building regulations should be followed. Since LED panels use less power they are very suitable as emergency panels. Integral LED panels have ready to fit emergency versions available.
Consumer Safety Certifications
These are the marks that your chosen products should carry; they mean that you can sleep well at night. Simply put, the product that you have installed have met a number of rigorous tests and has product has met consumer safety, health or environmental requirements. Important signs to look out for within the UK market are CE and RoHS