Why LED Luminaires Need to Be in a Purpose Designed Housing


17 April 2015

We all know LED lighting is the future but that not all LED lights are equal.

When it comes to designing an LED luminaire there are two schools of thought:

1)     Designing a New luminaire from the ground up
2)     Designing an LED module to fit inside an existing housing

When replacing a traditional bulb based illuminator with LED technology, there may be a temptation to consider a retrofit solution, however there are many reasons why this is not a good idea.

In general, lamp housings are designed around the device producing the illumination and there are huge differences in the principles of LED and incandescent technology.  A traditional filament bulb emits light over a large radiating face in all directions, producing a huge amount of heat, whereas a LED device produces structured light from a small point source with a very different thermal footprint.

When designing LED illuminators, the device itself is the heart of the product and the housing is designed specifically around the thermal requirements of the LED. The most significant component of the housing that influences the thermal characteristics is the extrusion, which is designed to offer the most efficient thermal path between the device and atmosphere.  As an example Raytec’s SPARTAN range of Ex LED illuminators use CoolExtrude™ technology for the best possible thermal performance.

SPARTAN CoolExtrude™ Thermal Management System

The internal mechanics of an incandescent housing will have been designed to retain the bulb in the optimum position, allowing light to be collected, focused or reflected. None of which are required when using LEDs and all of which would position a retro-fit LED in the wrong location inside the housing from a thermal perspective.

Another disadvantage of using existing housings is, there may be a lens incorporated into the front window to structure the light from the bulb. This will have a negative effect on the structured light output of the LED.

So when choosing an LED luminaire, choose the one designed with a purpose built LED housing. A better housing means higher light output and longer life.

Require more information? Please call us at +44 (0) 1670 520055 or email us at sales@raytecled.com.

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