Three things electricians need to know about LED lighting


As a qualified electrician, you’ll want to go above and beyond to deliver the best possible results for your clients. This not only includes installing and maintaining electrical equipment to the best of your ability, but providing quality recommendations to help their home come to life. Lighting is one such area where you can strive to do this, as lighting is a fundamental aspect of any home and can set the tone from top to bottom.

When it comes to lighting in the residential space, there is no denying that LED is becoming the light source of choice; whether it’s in the form of a new installation, replacing existing lamps or even replacing complete fittings. LED downlights may be a recent entrant in the lighting space, but known for outstanding efficiency, safety and performance, they are not a solution to be ignored when advising your client on how to create the perfectly lit home.

Here are three things the modern electrician needs to know about LED lighting.


  1. Colour temperature

Colour temperature gives an accurate definition of the colour of an LED light, which can be helpful to know when you want to create the right tone in a home. Colour temperature is measured in degrees kelvin and is a measure of the part of the colour spectrum that is found in light. Accounting for the amount of pure white, yellow, red and blue in the fitting, colour temperature is usually defined by how ‘warm’ or ‘cool’ the light looks. For example, a colour temperature of 2700-3000K is comparable to the current incandescent or fluorescent bulbs installed today, whereas 5500K is comparable to light outside on a sunny day.

Most LED lamps and fittings come in a variety of colour options, so when replacing existing fittings, your client may request like for like.  The new TPDL1C1 by Schneider Electric uses fusion technology and via a dip switch the installer can change the colour to 3000, 4000 or 6000K, depending on where in the home it will be installed.


  1. Dimming

With LED downlights tending to appear brighter than other lamp sources, dimming has become the norm. However, not all LED lights are dimmable. It depends on the quality and type of driver that is supplied with the fitting.

If your client is looking for LED’s with dimming features, ensure you provide them with a high quality fitting and match it with an LED enhanced dimmer, for example PDL600 or PDL Iconic dimmers.


  1. Installation & safety

No matter what it is you’re installing, safety should always be your number one priority. The onus is on you to assure customers that you’re not only performing your job in the safest possible manner, but that the products you’re installing comply with the best safety standards.

When installing LED downlights, particularly in an existing home, always ensure that the fitting is IC-F rated. The NZ Lighting council describes Type IC-F as “recessed luminaire where building insulation that can safely be exposed continuously to 90°C may abut or cover the luminaire”.  In line with the council’s standards, always ensure the symbol is permanently marked on the back of the fitting.

About Vanessa Willats

Vanessa Willats

Vanessa Willats is a product manager for Partner Eco for Schneider Electric New Zealand. She joined Schneider Electric in 1993 as a Customer Care Representative for Clipsal New Zealand and progressed into multiple roles including sales engineer, technical support and customer services manager before moving into her current role in 2006.

With varied experience across wiring devices, standalone electronics, lighting and integrated systems, Vanessa has been responsible for commercialising DALI controls and numerous wiring device ranges in the New Zealand market. She closely follows market changes in lighting control and automation technologies spaces and is excited at the future of smart home technology.

Vanessa is an active volunteer in her local community and in her spare time loves to enjoy the outdoors with her family – particularly fishing and glamping.

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