Up until recently, light fixtures and light sources were two different things – you bought a light fitting, and you bought the light globe to go into the fitting. Makes sense, given that the light globe had a much shorter life span than the light fitting.
The introduction of LED technology, with it’s longer lifespan, has meant that lighting manufacturers can start to reinvent how they design light fixtures. One of these reinventions is what is referred to as “integrated LED”. What is integrated LED? It simply means that the light source, the LED, is integrated into the light fixture. The light source is part of the fixture, and not separate to the fixture itself.
There is an obvious down side to not being able to replace a globe in a light fixture. When the LED does fail, in most instances, the fixture itself will need to be replaced. There are many fittings that will allow your electrician to replace or “repair” the LED light source, however, it will usually be a costly exercise, and in many instances, more costly than replacing the whole fixture.
It’s not all bad news, however, as integrated LEDs typically last for many years, often a decade or more. For many homes, this will be about the time you will be looking to upgrade or revamp your living spaces, and may be looking for new lighting designs and technology to compliment this.
What are the Pros and Cons of Integrated LED Lighting?
• Longer life span than fluorescent or incandescent globes
• Longer life span than screw-in LED globes
• Allow more control over the light output and appearance. For instance, many integrated LED fixtures allow you to change colour temperature from warm to cool white, or even daylight; as well as allowing you to dim the light, all at the touch of a button.
• Provide a visually appealing spread of light
• Provide an energy efficient form of light
• Non-replaceable, of if replaceable, are so at a high cost
• Up-front cost is generally higher
• Installation can be more difficult and, therefore, more costly
The great thing is that, while up-front costs of the light fixture and installation may be more expensive, the cost savings in energy and typical globe replacement, will more often than not, cover your up-front outlay.