After going through, what you’d think would be a simple exercise of replacing some light fittings with a Body Corporate client of ours, I thought it might be handy to share this with you.
The scenario was to replace over 100 circular fluorescent lights throughout the passageways of a large residential building complex. So the first thing we needed to determine was the size of the existing light fitting base, to avoid having to patch and paint anything afterward.
We proposed a LED fitting that was half the wattage of the 32-watt existing fitting, which would consume half the power, reducing the running costs significantly. The client asked why we were proposing less wattage, won’t that behalf as bright?
Now it’s important to understand that you can’t compare wattage in light fittings when it comes to light output, also referred to as lumen output. (lm)
The lumen output is the brightness and the other thing to consider is kelvins meaning the colour temperature. We often don’t mention the colour temperature, rather simplifying it to either cool white (4000k), warm white (3000k), or daylight (6000k)
Let’s take a 32 watt fluorescent for example in 3000k (warm white). It will emit approximately 1600 lumens(lm) and if it were cool white 2435lm.
A 16 watt LED like the fitting we proposed will range from 1000 to 2000 lm, depending on the colour temperature chosen. That is another good feature of the fitting we proposed. This fitting has an integrated three-position switch, which allows you to choose the colour temperature you want (warm or cool white, or daylight)
So yes the 16 watts LED may not achieve quite as much light output as the 32 watts, but it is not half as bright as you may have thought, as LED technology is more efficient.