Why choose LED?
Metal halide is a common light source used in retail lighting and now LEDs are taking the stage as well. But what are the differences really?
Long life cycle and low maintenance
The strongest argument for using LED in a retail environment today is that it is a very sustainable light source due to its long life potential.
The life span of an LED module greatly exceeds that of a metal halid light source. This leads to reduced consumption of raw materials, less waste and less strain on the recycling system. The manufacturers of LEDs and their drivers claim 50,000 hours, defined as the LED operating at more than 70 % of its output. While this is not a formal standard, it is the level, or criteria, being used throughout the lighting industry. It means that the life span is three times longer than a metal halide light source
Improved LED efficiency
Well-established LED sources, commonplace in the market today, can deliver products with a system efficacy of more than 60 lumens per watt in a high quality warm white light. The efficacy of LED chips continues to increase dramatically. Furthermore the absence of infrared radiation means that the heat, which on spotlights with metal halide, will go forward in the direction of the light, instead will go backwards through the luminaire housing. This is often found to be positive in a retail environment, since products and people in the shop get less affected by the heat.
Control and dim
In the future, LEDs will give extraordinary opportunities for retailers in shop concept development due to the potential to control and dim the lighting. The same luminaire can project light with different colour temperatures because of the tuneable white technology. Metal halide is possible to dim but has some restraints. It is not possible to dim more than 50% and to be able to do it you need to invest in special equipment.
Furthermore, their directionality means greater optical efficiency than traditional sources when combined with optics such as lenses or reflectors. The required light effect can therefore be achieved with a lower source efficacy. LEDs with cooler white light are even more efficient and can be used when this light is deemed acceptable for the application. In addition, LED products are capable of extremely long lives when engineered correctly. In contrary of metal halide, the LED-light is free from UV-radiation, which is an advantage when lighting areas where you have sensitive products like meat and certain textiles.