In this article the team at Red Arrow Electrical Distribution tackle the three main challenges contractors face with LED installations: retrofitting, dimming and flicker.
Lighting technology has come a long way in the last decade. LEDs are fast replacing conventional lighting, providing higher quality light, better energy efficiency, reduced heat, zero UV emissions and less maintenance. But growing adoption of LED comes with its own set of challenges.
Outdated, underperforming lighting can become costly to replace and maintain, and many commercial customers are now choosing to upgrade to LED technology. Retrofitting LEDs in place of an existing lighting system can be a practical, less disruptive option than drilling new holes and fixings into a ceiling, as well as being between 50-75% cheaper than installing an entirely new system. Yet every space has a unique lighting requirement based on occupation and access to natural light. Finding LED solutions that fit these needs and existing optics and ceiling cut-outs can be a significant pain point for contractors.
We recommend that contractors source luminaires that are specifically designed to meet the demands of retrofit applications. These should deliver the right amount of light using existing wiring points, cover or use existing fixings and holes, emit a better quality of light, remain flexible for different types of installations, and utilise the benefits of control.
The Red Arrow Discus can be used in multiple retrofit applications. It features an ultra slim design and an adaptable surface mount that adjusts for semi recessing to an existing ceiling cut out diameter of 65-205mm. Covering unsightly holes, the Discus cuts down on the cost and time of a complete ceiling refurbishment, while maintaining a quality illumination throughout.
Automated commercial dimming
Commercial dimming can be complicated. When faced with complex control systems, low budgets or costly wireless controls, it’s a headache for even the most experienced contractor. But with many homes and businesses looking to lower energy costs and comply to Part L regulations, the demand for simple dimming is rapidly growing.
Simplicity is the key to successful LED dimming. Many contractors now favour 1-10V LED dimming solutions for larger commercial projects. A mature and well-established technology, 1-10V provides a reliable, eco-friendly, cost-effective and visually consistent dimming method, offering easy control via a simple two-wire system, no complex programming or commissioning, and more consistent dimming for high numbers of lamps routed on a single circuit
Red Arrow’s Compact UFO High Bay is fitted with a 1-10V driver as standard and on-board dip switches and is designed to fit directly to a luminaire, removing the need for control wiring or programming. With an optical sensor, this high bay allows the contractor and end user to simply set, fit and forget, while the luminaire automatically switches and dims when the space isn’t in use.
Installers cite flicker as their biggest challenge when installing LED, and the problem has caused so much uncertainty that many contractors have become resistant to installing the new technology. Unfortunately, poor quality, low cost LED luminaires have tarnished the reputation of good, well-designed LEDs. The good news is that visible flicker can be easily avoided.
Use a well-established, reputable and trusted manufacturer of LED luminaires who values quality control, adopts flicker-free drivers as standard, and practices full testing and PDI processes.
Offering a full lighting service, the team at Red Arrow Electrical Distribution are industry experts with 60+ years’ combined experience of supplying LEDS in the UK market. And, with a new manufacturing plant in China – managed by a team of highly-experienced supply chain and compliance specialists – the entire manufacturing process can be controlled, resulting in good quality, proven LED modules.
Find out more about Red Arrow’s full lighting range here.