What’s SMD, COB, DOB? Whats the difference?

SMD stands for Surface mounted diode, COB stands for Chip on Board, and DOB stands for Driver on Board. DOB is a technology that doesn’t require you to have a separate power supply. The rectification and stepping down of the voltage is done by circuits that are printed on the chip. DOB is getting more popularity as the world looks for cheaper and cheaper solutions for lighting. Flicker is an inherent problem of DOB technology. We do not sell any products with this technology in it.

SMD is a technology where a lot of small chips are installed on a PCB. A separate power wire is run into each SMD to power it up. SMD are relatively brighter as a chip, but requires a lot more surface area to fit more chips. Therefore, the luminance density is nowhere near a COB. In SMD setup, each chips has individual connection, hence there are potentially more chances of failure of individual chips in Luminaires. A driver is required to power up an SMD luminaire.

A COB chip is very dense chip, made out many chips directly glued onto an aluminium or silica substrate. The substrate itself has a huge role in heat dissipation. COB chips only require connection at two points, so there is less chance of failure. A much better luminance density makes the light more attractive and usually gives a more attractive light. A driver is required to power up a COB light.

What is Anodised Aluminium. Why is it good?

Anodising is a process, in which Aluminium is coated with an oxide, that is made out of the base metal. Because the coating is made out of the main base metal, it’s a very hard finished layer, resistant to scratches and rusting. Anodised aluminium is much easier to recyle, and the process of forming Aluminium oxide is not bad for environment. Other cheaper methods of protecting aluminium surface are painting and powder coating. Anodising is a far superior method of protecting Aluminium surfaces. 

What usually determines the life of chip? Is it the brand?

Having spoken to industry experts and many engineers, the heat dissipation is the single biggest factor in determining the life span of the Chip. The brand has very little or no role in determining the life of the chip. 

What is primary Aluminium?

Primary Aluminium is made out of Bauxite. In simpler words, its non recycled aluminium. Its 10 times more costly to make primary aluminium compared to secondary aluminium, because of the energy required in the process.Why is it important?The thermal conductivity of primary Aluminium is much higher than secondary (recycled ) aluminium. Heat sinks made out of primary aluminium will perform much better than secondary aluminium and will give a long life to the chip. The heat sinks of our street lights and high bay lights are made out of 6063 grade primary aluminium, with a thermal conductivity of 200 W/m.k In simple words, its very good in taking the heat away from the chip very quickly.

What is Triac Dimmable?

Triac dimmable is a dimming method where you don’t have to run an extra wire back from the driver to the dimmer switch. Thus its one of the simplest method of dimming. You can place a dimmer on the active wire and then run its straight to you TRIAC dimmable LED driver in the ceiling. Most of our drivers are Triac dimmable.

What is Flicker?

Flicker, also known as frequency flicker, is the switching on and off of led’s light source fifty times a second, (50 Hz). It happens so fast that its not visible to human eye. You can detect flicker if you are looking at a light at close distance through a video device like your phone. This can usually be removed by using flicker free drivers. If you are able to see flicker in any luminaire without looking through a video device, you have been sold a really bad product and you need to return it to the supplier. Remember frequency flicker is totally different to flashing. Flicker free design is also know to extend the life of the luminaire. 

What IP rating should I use in my bathroom?

It's recommended to use IP44.

What does it mean when a light says transformer and driver required? Like the IP65 lights on your website.

Our garden lights need a transformer if it’s a white only light. It requires a Transformed and an RGBW controller if its an RGBW light. Usually one Transformer and one RGBW controller can run many lights. Please look at the wattage of the transformer and controller to determine how many lights it can run. We are always here to answer your questions if you need help.

What does it mean Diameter of pole required.

We have 4 street lights and two garden lights that require a pole to be mounted on. These lights do not come with a Pole. Your electrician will be able to help you source one from your local metal shop. If a light says pole required, it means it cannot be installed without a pole.

What’s the difference between Constant Voltage (CV) and Constant Current (CC) strip?

Constant Voltage (CV) strips were designed for shorter runs, because voltage drops over longer distances, especially when voltage is stepped down to 12 or 24 Volt. So traditionally CV strips are not supposed to be run in over 5 meter lengths, without using amplifiers in the middle. Constant Current (CC) Strips are designed for longer runs. The good thing with these strips is, you can run the power to the other end of the strip to rule out the effect of any possible voltage drop. Yes, you can power CC strips from both ends.

What’s required to operate a strip? Is it a very complicated wiring. Do I need an electrician to do it?

You require a power supply and a CV controller to operate a strip. The power supply, as obvious from its name, supplies the right voltage and current, and the controller does the changing of the RGBW features. The wiring is extremely simple. Because you are working on a low voltage set up, you do not require an electrician to do it. The end of a strip has the wires attached to it, so you don’t really need soldering, unless you are joining a few strips together. Please remember to buy a Constant voltage power supply if you are buying a constant voltage strip, and a constant current power supply if you are buying constant current strip. If you are buying an RGB, RGBW, or 2 CCT strips, remember to buy a controller with it. Its not possible to do features like fading, dimming, flashing of colours without a controller.  We are more than happy to give you very simple to understand circuit diagrams.

What’s PF?

The answer to this question is not simple, and required a lot of explaning. We would advise you to do some research of your own. In simple words, PF is the ability of a power supply to use electricity efficiently. The closer the number is to 1, the better.

What’s Ra?

Ra, also loosely called CRI (colour rendering index) is again, a very detailed topic. We encourage our customers to do their own research to understand the subject better. In simple words, a luminaire’s ability to show/reveal colours,is compared to sunlight and shown as a ratio. The way the sun reveals a certain colour is 1, and is the benchmark. The luminaires' ability to reveal the same colour is compared to this benchmark. In most cases, a higher CRI is considered better. In some applications, a high CRI is not as desireable as high lumens. Please note that its very difficult to achieve a very high CRI and high brightness at the same time.

Which one is more important, watts or Lumens?

Watts is the power consumption of a light. Luminance of luminaire is its quantitative ability to create brightness. The best luminaire would be the one that can produce the most lumens out of the least watt. So when choosing your luminaires, its adviseable to consider the luminance of a luminaire. Luminance efficacy a measure usually given in lumens / watt.  The higher this number, the more efficient a light will be.

What’s UGR?

Unified Glare rating is an indication of the glare rating of a luminaire. Generally every area will require a different maximum UGR rating. Offices usually need a UGR "less than 19" . Our flat panels have a UGR rating less than 19, specifically designed to suit office environment. Our DHT downlights and SHC surface mount downlights have a UGR rating of "less than 17". Following is an expression of UGR ratings                                                                              UGR 28: unbearable
UGR 25: uncomfortable
UGR 22: a bit uncomfortable
UGR 19: feeling between comfortable and uncomfortable
UGR 16: acceptable
UGR 13: can still feel the glare
UGR 10: glare free

Why do the X3, X15 and X20 COB lights look incomplete? What can I do with them?

These three COB lights are modules that need a ring from our rings range to complete them. These modules are a great product that gives our customers a big range of surface mounts to choose from. Please choose the IP44 rated rings if you are planning to use it in high moisture areas. Please do not forget to buy one ring for each one of these X modules. The price of the light engine is separate and each ring has a separate price.