LED Installation Issues
I have noted an article described as an advertorial in the 2016 July – August NECA NEWS (page 13) regarding LED Power Supplies which I believe is a very important article for commercial electricians in Sydney to understand and take important care in choosing LED lighting fixtures & associated controls.
In particular, it is very important for the LED fixtures & controls to have been approved by the Australian Standards to ensure that imported products are suitable for installation within Australia. Otherwise, various products suitable for other countries may cause early expensive failures of the light fixtures and the controls connected to the LED circuits.
Apart from providing electrical installations, Caslec also provides electrical maintenance services and recently a Caslec service technician was required to attend a large new LED lighting installation installed by another contractor who was having technical issues. Commercial electricians from Caslec in Sydney observed that the LED lighting installation & the general installation equipment and distribution switchboards were of a high standard, however, there were issues with circuit breakers tripping and several failed contactors at the lighting distribution switchboard.
Various tests were performed & it was concluded that the electronic drivers were permitting considerable inrush currents as can be seen within this particular graphic image, over a page. One 60 Watt LED light fixture was producing an inrush current of 39 Amps. This may only be for a minimal period however when there are a number of light fixtures connected to the circuit, as in this case, the inrush current is considerable, particularly at the maximum level of the switching cycle. One of the commercial electricians from Caslec created a graph that clearly displays the level of start current that is drawn by a single light fixture during start up. As an example, 10 light fixtures on one circuit will certainly strain any normal lighting circuit including the controls, even during a minimal section of a single cycle.
The light fixture drivers external to the light fixtures were not approved for Australian installations resulting in costly replacements, even though the LED fixture itself is certainly of high quality. LED’s are the new lighting technology that is being embraced by almost everyone in Australia but they are not simple incandescent globes or fluorescent lamps. LED’s emit light but are grouped with other electronic components & devices, including additional controls that are associated with these devices.