Frequently Asked Questions
The best resource we could possibly have is our customers. Throughout the years LED Lights Canada has fielded thousands of phone calls and e-mails. All from our customers and potential buyers who inquire about the products we sell and how to install them. We have listed the most common questions we receive in this section as a reference for you.
This is a living document and is changing all the time. As questions repeat a few times we add them to the list of FAQs. To help you sort through the new world of LED lighting we have listed these questions in two categories, LED Replacement Bulbs and Low Voltage LEDs.
If you have anything you feel should be added to this list please let us know and your question and answer can become part of this resource. We don’t always have all the answers but we do know where to go to find them.
If you would like to ask your question to one of our LED Lighting specialists, call or email us!
FAQ’s – LED Replacement Bulbs
There are always a lot of questions about LED replacement bulbs and how they work. We have compiled a list of the questions we get asked most often and hope you find this useful in helping to make the decision to convert to LED bulbs.
Q: How do I convert my existing fixture to an LED fixture?
A: It is as easy as changing the bulb. If you are using a halogen, CFL or incandescent bulbs in your existing recessed lights (pot lights) or track lights or lamps you can just change the bulb to an LED equivalent. LED 120V AC bulbs are available with a standard E26 screw type base or a GU10 or a MR16 base. A PAR20, PAR30 and PAR38 LED bulb is the same dimensional size as its traditional style counterpart. A LED GU10 may be slightly longer than the halogen it is replacing. This is never an issue with a recessed pot light but may cause a concern if you have a track light with a ring that fits over the face of the bulb to hold it in. Many are adjustable but some are not.
Q: Is it true that there is no heat with an LED bulb?
A: This is a common misconception about LED lights. It is true that an LED bulb runs significantly cooler than a halogen or an incandescent bulb. An LED bulb projects very little heat forward. If the bulb was lit for 24 hours you could touch the face of the bulb and it would just be warm. You will not be standing under an LED light and feel the heat on your head. Some but NOT all LED bulbs are approved for use in a totally enclosed fixture. This is a feature you should look for when you are buying bulbs that will be enclosed.
Q: Why are LED replacements more expensive than other types of bulbs?
A: There is a lot of solid state technology inside the bulb. All LED chips are low voltage so an AC style replacement bulb has a driver built into the bulb, to convert AC to DC. In addition, if the bulb is dimmable there are additional circuits to make the bulbs dimmable. The good news is that is installed in a pot light or track light with enough ventilation to keep the bulb at normal temperatures the LED replacement bulbs will last many times longer than all the other types of bulb. This means you will not be replacing bulbs as often so over the life of the bulb the cost is actually not much more than what you are paying now.
Q: Are there limitations to LED replacement bulbs?
A: In our opinion, there are limitations to all products. The key is finding the proper replacement bulb to fit the application. Early on LED replacements were best suited for spotlighting or downlighting. As the technology matured two very important things happened. First the lights today can produce more light than they could just a few years ago. The other significant change was in the light spread.
As the angle increased LEDs were able to provide acceptable light in more applications. A good example would be our pot light inserts which have a 120 degree light spread eliminating “circles” on your floor. The most popular bulb sold is our A19, 60W replacement bulb. Producing 800+ lumens with a 360 degree light spread makes this bulb a true replacement for a 60-watt incandescent bulb.
In Canada, we have another hurdle to face. Line voltage 120V AC replacement LED bulbs must have the proper legal electrical certifications. Please be cautious and remember that just because it is available in the US does not mean it is approved for use in our country. Line voltage products in Canada must carry either CSA, cETL or cUL certification. Just CE certification is not accepted for use in Canada for line voltage products. Caution should also be used when buying directly from China. If the price seems too good to pass up there is usually a reason.
Q: How can a company claim to be selling a 60W replacement bulb that produces less than 800 lumens?
A: In Canada, we currently lack any kind of required specifications in order to make a claim about light output. Hopefully, this will change in time. We can tell you that to be a true replacement for a 60W bulb an LED must produce 800 lumens. A replacement for a 100W bulb must produce 1600 lumens, This number is set by the US Energy Star program and serves as a reliable guideline.
Q: Is there a warm-up period for the LED bulb to reach its full brightness?
A: No! Unlike CFL bulbs, LED bulbs to turn on at full power without any warm up.
Q: Do LED bulbs have to go to the ECO Centre for disposal as CFL bulbs do?
A: NO…LED bulbs are made of fully recyclable materials and are non-toxic to people and to the environment. They do not contain any mercury.
FAQ’s – Low Voltage LEDs
Q: Where do I position the strip light under the cabinet for maximum light?
A: The ideal location is 3-4 inches back from the front of the cabinet box without the doors. This will cast the 120 degree light to the front edge of the counter top after the light rail is installed. Our SMD task lights are sent with 2 sets of mounting clips. One set for straight down lighting and the other for turning the fixture 30 degrees. This will allow you to adjust the amount of light you require in your work area.
Q: What kind of wire do I use?
A: You want to feed the lights with 18 gauge low voltage wire. All of our single colour under cabinet lights and puck lights require 18/2. If you are installing our CCT SMD under cabinet lights or CCT pucks they will require 18/3. All RGB colour changing lights require 18/4. We have made a recommendation to our contractors and electricians that they run a 5 leg, 18 gauge thermostat wire whenever low voltage wiring is required. By doing this you will always have the option to use any of the LED low voltage lights we sell. The cost difference is minimal and the labour to install the same.
Q: What is the best way to splice the low voltage wire when there are no connectors on the ends?
A: A crimp connector works well and is also readily available in the same stores as the wire. If you would like to purchase a small quantity from us we have packaged them in bags of 12 connectors.
Q: Can low voltage wire be buried behind tile?
A: Yes. A quick and easy way to run the wire is to cut a small groove in the drywall and push the wire in flush with the wall. One coat of drywall tape and mud will seal it all up. We use a cut off jig saw blade that cuts the groove but will not puncture the vapor barrier. A good way to think of it is that you can run this wire anyplace you would run speaker wire.
Q: Why didn’t some of the lights turn on?
A: Most likely there is a crossed wire at the first light that did not light. With a low voltage connection you have to keep the + and – consistent from the LED driver (power supply) to the last light connection. + and – are marked on the end of the strip task lights. Polarity is very important with LED low voltage lights
Q: What size hole is needed for the LLC07 low voltage recessed cabinet lights?
A: Drill an 1 3/4 inch hole and the spring-loaded light will snap right in. The optional trim ring adds a very nice finishing touch. You should drill the hole from the inside of the cabinet to assure a clean-cut. Be sure you hold the drill straight so the light does not bind when inserted into the hole. Use of the trim ring is optional.
Q: Can I use the same LED driver for 2 lighting circuits?
A: No, each lighting circuit needs its own driver if you want to switch them separately.
Q: How do I know what size driver to use?
A: Just add up the watts of the lights you will be using. You can find the wattage of our low voltage lights listed in the technical spec section of the product page.. The total watts for all the lights on the circuit should not exceed 85% of the total watts of the driver. Our LED constant voltage drivers are stocked in 10W, 25W, 30W, 40W, 60W, 75W and 132W.. All of the drivers we sell are constant voltage units. Larger sizes are available by request. If you have any questions about this please give us a call at 1.800.677.2698
Q: Can my lights be dimmed?
A: Almost all of our low voltage lights can be dimmed. You have 2 options to dim them. You can add a 12V dimmer to the low voltage output of the driver and dim them from the 12V side. There are several styles of 12V dimmers to choose from.
The other option is to dim the lights from the AC line voltage side using a dimmable magnetic transformer designed for dimming LED Lights. We stock these in 20, 40, 60 and 100W sizes. You would replace your wall switch with a magnetic low voltage dimmer for this driver to work. The dimmers are sold in some box stores or at electrical supply houses. There is a dimmer compatibility list for your reference and available as a PDF download listing all the makes and model numbers approved for use with these drivers. Use of a dimmer not on this list will void the warranty of the driver.
Q: You mention in the product description that the SMD Task lights can be trimmed to size to accommodate any size cabinet. How do I do that and where do I cut?
A: The SMD strips can be cut at every set of 3 lights allowing you to trim the size by about 1.50″ per cut. Please refer to the cut sheet you received with the lights to be sure the light is in the proper orientation so you cut them in the right place. There is a small black dot every 3 LEDs which indicate the cut lines. A basic mitre box and hacksaw is all you need to trim the lights. If you send your required measurements we will be glad to pre cut them for you and finish the cut ends.. Lights will be shipped with a copy of your plan showing where the cut lights should be installed. There is no additional charge for this service.
Q: How do I turn the lights on and off?
A: There are several options for turning the lights on and off. You could switch the line voltage side of the LED driver which will turn the driver on and off. The other option is to use one of our dimming options and turn the lights on and off on the 12V side on the driver. More information is available on the Dimming Solutions page. We also sell dimmable LED transformers that will dim any of out lights using a low voltage magnetic wall dimmer that will dim your low voltage lights from the live voltage side. Please contact us for any additional information you may require.
Q: Will you assist with the layout of lighting for my new kitchen renovation?
A: We would be glad to design a layout that would work for your project. We ask that you e-mail or fax (780.461.1979) a copy of your kitchen plan so we can determine what you will need. If you send us your plan we will custom cut your lights to perfectly fit your cabinets at no additional charge.
As LED lighting moves into the mainstream and awareness rises the calls and questions we receive everyday provide a good base for our news articles. We want everyone who is considering the transition to LED lighting technology to understand the proper use and benefits of LEDs.