Skip to main content

The Problems With LED Lighting

February 14th, 2012 | 1 min. read

By Steve Sheinkopf

Like any new technology, there are issues with LED lights in general. Let's look again at the new LED undercabinet lighting display at Yale.

problems with led lighting

First, let's talk about the incredible potential of LED lighting:

  • Lamp Life: A LED light will last on average 40,000 hours compared to 750 hours of a comparable incandescent lightbulb.
  • Efficiency: A LED bulb is 5 to 6 times more efficient than incandescent (at least), so a 10 watt LED should be equivalent to at least a 60W light bulb.
  • Heat: An incandescent bulb with heat to 300°, whereas  LED does not emit heat. Rows of bulbs, especially in commercial applications, will add tremendous amounts of heat into the room.

Now the issues with LED lighting:

  • Dimming: LED does not work with standard dimmers. Dimmers are normally rated at 50 or greater watts and require at least half the stated load (say 25 watts in this case) to "read" or dim the actual lightbulb. Often times, LED will be far less than the required wattage. In order to solve this problem the bulb must have a dimmable LED "driver" or chip. You must also use electronic and not magnetic dimmers.
  • Color, Kelvin or quality of Light: Quality of light is determined by the Kelvin scale. 2500° is incandescent and yellowish in color. 5000° is actually the color of the sun, it is very hot white light, similar to early fluorescent lighting. Typically, people want between 2700° and 3200° Kelvin, which is whiter than incandescent yet far yellower than a fluorescent light bulb. A low-voltage bulb has been the designer bulb of choice for that reason. It accentuates colors and textures. For example, before we converted to LED lighting, our showroom was virtually all low-voltage.

Color quality is the main issue of LED in general. If we scroll up to the picture, three of those light sources are LED with published Kelvin ratings of 2700° and three different color renderings. It's like the mattress police. There are standards and labels with no agency overseeing the standards themselves.

How to Buy The Right LED:

  • CREE Chip: LED actually renders a bluish light and requires a semiconductor or chip to filter the blue light into more natural white lighting. The only semiconductor manufacturer producing white LEDs is CREE. Every other company seems to be inconsistent.
  • Look at the actual light: As you can tell from the picture above, it is very difficult to buy based on Kelvin rating. Some desirable and more consistent manufacturers are FutureLight and CSL Lighting.

Additional Resources:

Why Should You Trust Us?

It seems that every appliance review has nothing but glowing comments about almost every product, yet you read customer reviews and they are almost universally bad.

We are here to fill in the disconnect. We'll give you the best features, and the drawbacks as well, including reliability based on over 37,000 calls performed by our service team just last year. Our goal is to give you ALL the information so you know what's right for you.

Please consider subscribing or adding to the conversation in the comments below. We appreciate you stopping by.

Steve Sheinkopf

Steve Sheinkopf is the third-generation CEO of Yale Appliance and a lifelong Bostonian. He has over 38 years of experience in the appliance industry, and he is a trusted source of information for consumers on how to buy and repair appliances.

Steve has also been featured in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Consumer Reports, The Boston Globe, Bloomberg Radio, the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur, for his knowledge of how to buy appliances and appliance repair.

Steve is passionate about helping consumers find the best appliances for their needs, and he is always happy to answer questions and provide advice. He is a valuable resource for consumers who are looking for information on appliance buying, repair, and maintenance.

Despite being the worst goalie in history, Steve is a fan of the Bruins and college hockey, loves to read, and is a Peloton biker. The love of his life is his daughter, Sophie.

A Note About Pricing

Pricing on this blog is for reference only and may include time sensitive rebates. We make every attempt to provide accurate pricing at time of publishing. Please call the stores for most accurate price.