Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions asked by our customers. If you can't find what you are looking for, please contact our customer service team on 0116 321 4120 or email support@wholesaleledlights.co.uk.

What is a LED?

LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, are a type of electronic light source. As a type of "solid-state" lighting, LEDs are fundamentally different from conventional light sources such as incandescent, fluorescent and gas-discharge lamps. They consume far less energy, last much longer and generate very little heat. Moreover, they contain no mercury or lead and, as they don't feature any fragile parts, such as glass tubes or filaments, they are highly durable.

The first commercial LEDs were first developed in the 1960s and were used as indicators in many electrical appliances, such as televisions and computers. Since the development of "high-brightness" blue LEDs in the 1990s it has become possible to produce LEDs with a clear, bright white light, making them suitable for general purpose lighting.

Some of the earliest LED Light Bulbs featured a cluster, or array, of LEDs which worked together to deliver the full light output of the bulb. Since the introduction of high-power LEDs, it has become possible to create LED Light Bulbs using fewer individual LEDs.

Now, LED Bulbs are available in some of the most common light fittings, including mains voltage GU10, B22, E27 and low-voltage (12V) MR16.

How much power do LEDs use?

LED Bulbs typically use 90% less power than an incandescent or halogen bulb of equivalent brightness. The reason LEDs are able to do this is because they are far more efficient at converting electricity, measured in watts, into light, measured in lumens. The efficiacy of a light source is evaluated by its lumen-to-watt ratio, usually shortened to Lm/W.

As such, a typical 4 watt LED bulb can easily achieve a light output comparable to a 50 watt halogen, sometimes higher.

How long do LEDs last?

As a type of solid-state lighting, LEDs are less susceptible to wear and tear than other types of lighting. This means they are less likely to fail outright. But, like all light sources, LEDs slowly fade over time. This loss of light is known as lumen depreciation and is influenced by a number of factors, including drive current and heat. Officially, light sources designed for general illumination are considered to be at the end of their useful life when light output falls below 70%.

To ensure longevity, most LED Bulbs are designed with thermal management systems, known as heat sinks. These remove heat from the LEDs, either through convection or conduction, and help to prolong the life expectancy of the bulb by slowing lumen depreciation. While the life expectancy quoted by manufacturers and retailers will vary considerably, a well-built LED Bulb with good thermal management should last at least 50,000 hours. Be wary of retailers that make exaggerated claims about the life expectancy of their products.

How Bright are LEDs?

Despite popular belief, the brightness of a bulb is not measured in watts. Watts are in fact a unit of electrical consumption and can't tell us anything about the amount or type of light emitted from a light source. In an incandescent bulb, the only way to increase light output is to increase wattage, which is one of the reasons we previously used watts as a measure of light output. However, LEDs are far more efficient and can produce more light without increasing wattage.

Actual light output is measured in lumens (Lm); the higher the number of lumens, the brighter the bulb. LED Bulbs are capable of delivering an equivalent number of lumens when compared with traditional light sources. To make things easier, most retailers quote an equivalent incandescent wattage, allowing customers to make their purchase based on the incandescent bulbs they are trying to replace. So, for example, a 4 watt LED Bulb, may have an equivalent incandescent wattage of 60 watts as it provides enough light to replace a 60 watt incandescent.

How can LEDs help me save money?

The lighting in a standard household can account for as much as 20% of the overall energy consumption. In a commercial premises this can account for a lot more. As such, there is a considerable amount of money to be saved by switching to a light source that uses a fraction of the energy. However, reducing energy consumption isn't the only way LED Lighting can save you money. As they last longer, they also reduce the amount spent on replacements, and, as they are more reliable, they require less maintenance.

Are LEDs Safe?

Yes. Unlike CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps), LEDs do not contain mercury. They also give off comparatively little heat, making them safer to handle after prolonged use. The absence of glass enclosures and fragile parts also reduces the likelihood of breakage, so you won't have to worry about broken shards of glass.

Will your LED Bulbs work in my existing fittings?

Yes. All our bulbs are designed to work with existing light fittings. However, if you are replacing the bulbs in recessed ceiling fittings, we do recommend you check the height of the bulb as some LED Bulbs are slightly longer. All measurements can be found on the respective product pages.

Are your LED Bulbs dimmable?

Some, but not all, of our LED Bulbs are dimmable. Make sure you are purchasing dimmable LED Bulbs. If you are changing to dimmable LED Bulbs you will also need to upgrade your dimmer switches. For more information, please see our dimmable FAQs page.

I'm using low-voltage MR16's. Do I need to change my transformers?

Sadly, there is no clear answer to this question. Some older transformers will work with LED Bulbs, while others will not. If your transformers are unsuitable you will notice flickering or reduced brightness in your bulbs. To be 100% sure that your MR16 LED Bulbs work, you should upgrade to an LED Driver. Unlike conventional drivers, LED Drivers have no minimum load so will work perfectly with individual and multiple LED Bulbs.

Do LEDs come on immediately or do they need to warm up?

Unlike CFLs, which usually take a few minutes to reach full brightness, LEDs reach full brightness instantaneously.

What is colour temperature?

The "feel" of a bulb can best be described by its colour temperature. Our bulbs come in two main colour temperatures; warm white and cool white. To learn more about colour temperature, please see our colour temperature guide.

What is a beam angle?

Measured in degrees, beam angles describe the angle at which a bulb emits its light. Bulbs with a narrow beam angle create a spotting effect and are suitable for highlighting particular features of a room. Bulbs with a wide beam angle create a flooding effect and are better for general ambience..

What is an SMD?

SMD stands for Surface Mounted Diode. These are a slightly different type of LED that can be mounted and soldered flat against a surface (hence the name). As SMDs don't include any optics, the light they produce is generally open, resulting in a wider beam angle. We currently sell a number of products that use SMD technology, including our best selling GU10 80 SMD bulb and our flexible LED Strip Lights.

Can LEDs be used in wet conditions?

Yes, as long as they have a suitable IP (Ingress Protection) Rating or are housed inside a suitable IP enclosure. To learn more about IP ratings and IP zonings, please see read our blog.

How do I dispose of LED Bulbs?

Disposing of LED Bulbs is relatively straight forward. They don't contain harmful chemicals like CFLs, but, as electronic products, they do need to be disposed of responsibly under the WEEE (Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment) regulations. For more information about WEEE, call 0116 321 4120 or email support@wholesaleledlights.co.uk.

Will the performance of my bulbs be effected by ambient temperature?

LEDs are quite sensitive to temperature extremes. Most LED Bulbs feature a special heat sink, which is designed to regulate the air flow to the LED components and keep them at a cool temperature. If you plan on using your bulbs in unusually cold or hot conditions, we cannot guarantee the best possible performance. For more information please call 0116 321 4120 or email support@wholesaleledlights.co.uk.

What are LED Strip Lights?

LED Strip Lights, sometimes called LED Tape or LED Ribbon, are long, flexible strips of LEDs with a self-adhesive backing that are commonly used as under cabinet lighting in the kitchen or to create subtle lighting effects. Being flexible, LED Strip Lights can be used on surfaces that aren't necessarily flat. They can also be cut to length.

What does RGB mean?

RGB stands for red, green, blue and refers to the three coloured diodes that go into making a single RGB LED. By mixing different amounts of red, green and blue light, these LEDs can be programmed to display various different coloured lights, including white. We currently offer a wide range of colour changing RGB products, including colour changing LED Strip Lights, colour changing GU10 spotlights and RGB LED Floodlights.

What guarantee do we offer with our bulbs?

All our come with a 28-day home trial (with the exception of any made-to-measure or special order items). If within 28 days of ordering you are not completely satisfied with your items, simply return them to us for a refund or exchange.

All products also come with a 2 year replacement warranty. For more information, please see our terms and conditions.

My bulb has stopped working. What do I do?

Wholesaleledlights.co.uk offers a comprehensive returns policy to all its customers. If your bulbs stop working for any reason, please contact us straight away by calling 0116 321 4120 or emailing support@wholesaleledlights.co.uk.

I have bought the wrong bulbs. What should I do?

If for any reason you find you have bought the wrong bulbs, you can do one of the following:

- If your bulbs have not yet been dispatched from our warehouse, you can cancel your order and you will be issued a full refund.

- If your bulbs have been dispatched, you should return them to us within 28 days. When we receive the bulbs, you will be issued a full refund on your bulbs, but we will not refund the initial postage cost or the cost of returning the bulbs to us.

These aren't the bulbs I ordered. How do I get the right ones?

If the bulbs you receive in the post aren't the ones you ordered, please contact us straight away. We will be happy to rectify the situation at your convenience. Typically, we ask that all customers return the incorrect bulbs before we dispatch the correct ones for insurance purposes. We will also reimburse any postage costs incurred.