LEDs coming of age

LED Halogen comparison

One of these is LED

I just installed a new cooker hood to experiment with recirculation options. When researching I noticed that some of the more expensive options included ‘Eco-LED lights’ as a key feature. I opted for a model with halogens and hoped that I could modify the fittings to accept a GU10 LED.

I need not have worried, since I last looked into G4 (capsule bulb) replacements the market has exploded and there are a wide range to chose from. But are they any good?

Well at about £8 each I thought I’d risk it and ordered a couple of Aurora lamps. First impressions are excellent and I can’t really see any significant difference in light output with the LEDs compared with the halogens but the power has come down from 40W to 4.4W. Checking data sheets suggests 140 Lumens per lamp for the LEDs (in Warm white) compared with around 250 for a 20W halogen but the LED is unidirectional so I suspect the luminaire is more efficient. The light quality seems fine and quite warm. The photo shows the LED on the right and halogen on the left, certainly not cold or harsh to my eye. If they last as long as is claimed (30,000 hours against about 2,000 for halogens) then the economics is a no-brainer. Sally Godber at Warm Low Energy Building Practice commented via Twitter that some cheap LEDs go blue, I’ll have to wait and see.

Another unexpected benefit is that you don’t have to worry about touching the glass and this really makes installation in a cooker hood and other hard to reach fixed fittings a lot easier. Now to see if they really do last.

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