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Lutron LED Frequently Asked Questions

Lutron LED Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of LEDs?

There are many benefits of LEDs including:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Long lifetime (~ 50,000 hours)
  • Immediate light output
  • Durability
  • Application diversity
  • High lumen output

How efficient are LEDs?

Currently, the light output of an LED averages about 45 to 50 lumens per watt (lm/W), but can reach as high as 100 lm/W and more. An incandescent typically produces 12-15 lm/W, and CFLs can produce at least 50 lm/W.

What is the lifetime of LEDs?

The lifetime of an LED can span from 30,000 hours to 50,000 hours. The typical incandescent bulb lasts about 1,000 hours, while a CFL can last about 10,000 hours, and a linear fluorescent can last more than 30,000 hours.

How do LEDs fail?

There are a few failure modes for LEDs, but the most common results in a gradual decrease in the light output. As an LED ages, the amount of light that it produces will slowly decrease. The lifetime of an LED is based on the length of time it can operate at or above 70% of its lumen output.

What color temperatures exist for LEDs?

Color temperature is how cool or warm the light source appears. There are a variety of color temperatures that exist for LED illumination, the most common range from 2700K (warm white) to 5000K (cool white). For most interior lighting applications, warm white (2700K to 3000K) is appropriate, and in some cases neutral white (3500K to 4000K).

Can I dim LEDs?

There are a variety of LED products available. Some are designed to be dimmed, yet others cannot be dimmed. See the manufactures recommendations to determine the dimming capability, or see our compatibility matrix to find out what fixtures Lutron has tested.

What happens to the color temperature when you dim LEDs?

Most LEDs do not change color when they are dimmed, but some have multiple colors of LEDs that do provide a change in color when dimmed.

Can I use an ELV transformer/MLV transformer?

Due to the variety of LED products, see the manufacturers website to determine the necessary components of your LED system.

What do I need to use LEDs?

The basic components of an LED system are the control and luminaire. (insert Luminaire image)The luminaire typically consists of a driver/power supply, and a LED light source. This may differ based on the manufacturer and application.

Do LEDs generate heat?

LEDs do not generate as much heat as an incandescent, but they still generate some heat. In order to ensure a long life, LEDs must be cooled. Many manufactures provide a large heat sink to reduce the temperature of the LEDs to ensure the rated life expectancy.

Will LEDs work on my existing dimmer/Do I need to change my dimmer?

When installing a LED fixture to replace an existing light it is usually necessary to also replace the existing lighting control. See chart to determine if there is a Lutron compatible control for your fixture.

Do LEDs make audible noise?

LED light sources do not make any audible noise, but the drivers and power supplies for the LED light source may create a hum or buzz. This may occur from using an improper control device.

What if I have a colored LED?

There are a variety of colors that exist for LEDs (green, red, blue, orange, white, etc…). The color does not change the overall control of the LED.

What is the difference between measured light and perceived light?

Measured light is the amount of light as shown on a light meter, whereas perceived light is the amount of light that your eye interprets due to dilation. Twenty percent measured light equals forty-seven percent perceived light.
Measured Light vs. Perceived Light

FAQs - LED Controls

What types of controls are available?

Lutron offers products to control LEDs either through the powerline or dedicated low voltage connections. These controls come with a variety of features and aesthetics. Start with selecting either a fixture, control family, or a performance level and go to the compatibility matrix to find controls and fixture, which work together.

Do LEDs require extra wiring?

Some LEDs are designed to replace or install into existing sockets. In these cases extra wiring in the wallbox may be needed if the dimmer requires a neutral connection.

Lutron's Hi-lume LED driver requires an additional wire going to the fixture to carry the control signal. This wiring may be done using conventional line voltage wiring such as 14/3 romex.

LEDs using low voltage control will need additional wiring, which is often Class 2. Routing this wire has different requirements over conventional line voltage. See application note 213 Combining Low-Voltage and Line-Voltage Wiring Devices in a Multi-Gang Box.

How do I switch LED lamps?

There are no issues with switching LED lamps with most standard mechanical toggle switches. If the LED lamps are being switched with mechanical toggle switches with a nightlight or electronic switches, then the lamp must be qualified to work with these types of switches either by the LED lamp manufacturer or by Lutron. The issue is that there is a small amount of off-state leakage current that may cause the load to stay on at a low level even in the off-state.

If I have an LED load that needs DMX control, what can I use?

Lutron offers a limited number of control methods for controlling DMX driven LED drivers. The LUT-DMX allows for Grafik Eye and Homeworks products to control these drivers.

See the installation instructions for these products for more detail.

If I have an LED load that needs 0-10V control, what can I use?

These LED loads require a low voltage 0-10V control signal to provide the dimming control. Specific Lutron products are available that can drive this type of load. The following dedicated Wallbox controls are available:

Wallbox Nova® NovaT*® NFTV NTFTV

In addition the GRX-TVI can be used with some Wallbox fluorescent dimmers, a GrafikEye, or Homeworks products to control these drivers. The TVM module also allows for Grafik Eye and Homeworks products to control these drivers.

If I have an LED load that needs RGB control for color mixing, what can I use?

Typical LED loads that offer color mixing capability require multiple control inputs. If the input is DMX, then there is a DMX channel dedicated to each of the three primary colors (Red, Blue and Green). If the input is 0-10V, then there must be three 0-10V controls to drive each of the three colors.

What is a "standard" or "conventional" dimmer?

A “standard” or “conventional” dimmer is a general term intended to refer to the most widely available types of dimmer. These dimmers use a triac to control the light using what is called forward (or leading-edge) phase control and do not require a neutral wire. However, there can still be significant performance variation between different types of “standard” or “conventional” dimmers.

Can I mix high voltage and low voltage controls?

No. High voltage and low voltage controls are intended to operate under two different conditions. Mixing these can result in damage to the controls.

Should I mix fixtures from different companies on one control?

No. Lutron has not tested all of the possible combinations and therefore cannot recommend mixing fixtures from different companies on the same control. Doing so may cause an interaction between the fixtures and the control that could result in issues such as flicker, acoustic noise, and uneven light levels.

What kind of dimming range can I expect?

Dimming range will depend on both the fixture and the control. Many LED fixtures are not capable of being dimmed below 10% measured light level, regardless of the control used. Please see the Lutron LED Compatibility Matrix for specific information regarding the dimming range of a fixture and control combination.

What does "compatible" mean? Lutron Matrix vs.. Manufacturer's Spec. Sheet

Unfortunately “compatible” is a generic term used by many manufacturers, and it has no standard meaning. Lutron has performed extensive testing with each fixture and control combination to ensure that the solution will provide reliable, smooth, and continuous dimming before recommending it in the LED Compatibility Matrix. Lutron cannot make any recommendations based on what other manufacturer’s print on their instruction and/or specification sheets.

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