The Risk Of Buying Poor Quality Leds – The eBay Effect


In 2012, incandescent bulbs – the traditional form of lighting originally pioneered by either Joseph Swan (Geordie), Thomas Edison (American), or one of 22 others (allegedly) – were withdrawn from sale in the UK following the introduction of EU legislation. Although we are no longer members of the trading block, incandescent bulbs are unlikely to replace LED bulbs anytime soon on British shelves.

The withdrawal from sale of incandescent bulbs was not without controversy. At the time, they were significantly cheaper than their LED counterparts and their ability to render colour was second to none (creating that feeling of warm light in rooms illuminated by them).

However, their lifespan was very short and their energy efficiency was very poor (9 out of 10 units of electricity used by incandescent bulbs generated heat and not light).

In a world increasingly concerned with energy efficiency and carbon emissions reductions, it was time to replace them.

In this article on choosing the right LED lighting for your business, we’ll consider:

  • • The science behind LED lighting
  • • What makes a good LED light
  • • What makes a poor quality LED light
  • • How poor quality LED lighting can affect a home or a workplace

The Science Behind LED Lighting

The technology behind LED lighting is essentially identical to the technology used to provide the light to traffic signals, flashlights, Christmas lights, and digital clocks. LED stands for “light emitting diode”.

Within a diode are two electrodes – a cathode and an anode. Electricity flows in through the anode and then it flows out through the cathode. Anodes and cathodes are made from conductive material which allows the passage of electricity through them.

An LED is a specific type of diode designed to give out light when electricity flows through it. In producing the light, an LED is far more energy efficient than incandescent bulb.

What Makes A Good LED Light?

What stood in the way of its widespread adoption for many years (other than price) was that the casing used on a LED muted a lot of the potential light. Recent technological advances have made LED lighting much brighter – equivalent at least to a 60-watt incandescent light.

In addition, light was only transmitted within a narrow range meaning that the centre of a room would be reasonably well-lit but the rest of the room would seem quite dark in comparison. To overcome this problem, omni-directional LED lighting was created to much better spread light around a room or an office.

In comparison with a 60-watt incandescent bulb which may use over 500 kWh of power during the year, the average LED bulb will use around 12% of that figure.

And, although many manufacturers only offer a 3 year guarantee on their LED lighting, most are expected to provide 10-20 years of use as a minimum.

What Makes Poor Quality LED Lighting?

Part of the reason why it has taken so long for the British public and businesses to regard LED lighting highly is because there is a lot of bad LED lighting for sale, particularly on internet portals like eBay and Amazon Marketplace where counterfeit products are commonplace.

It’s easy to substitute many of the components needed to build a long-lasting, energy-efficient, and bright LED lighting panel or build. The LED is likely to fail faster and not be as bright if poor-quality materials are used in the construction. In some products, heat generated by the electricity may not be correctly distributed making failure of the driver more likely.

Poor-quality LEDs are more likely to fail in environments with too high or low a temperature. LED lighting also requires precise manufacturing conditions to produce the best products and thorough testing of batches prior to shipping to the customer.

If a sub-prime LED light doesn’t fail totally in its early days, you will likely notice that the amount of light produced by it will diminish quickly and stay at that level producing results that satisfy no-one.

How Does LED Lighting Affect A Workplace Or Home?

The right LED lighting (coupled with an intelligent control system) will deliver significant benefits to both businesses and homes. The wrong LED lighting – sub-standard LED lighting – is likely to annoy and frustrate your colleagues and impact negatively on your company’s productivity and the level of employee satisfaction.

In comparison to LED lighting, standard fluorescent lighting is more likely to give staff members headaches through eyestrain and glare. The right lighting in an office results in better employee performance particularly when coupled with Lux level control and intelligent LED lighting.

The light given off by modern LED panels is much closer to natural light – natural light in an office has been proven in multiple studies to improve staff vitality, mood, and energy. In retail stores, natural light can increase sales by 40% – this increase is likely to be less in LED-lit stores but, in many cases, you should expect to see a rise in revenues by providing a more comfortable shopping environment.

LED lighting has also been shown to reduce the number of spelling errors made by your staff and to improve their reading speed.

For More Information On LED Lighting For Your Business, Contact Airius

Airius manufacture and install LED lighting and control systems for businesses across the UK. We deliver energy cost savings of up to 75% and maintenance cost savings of up to 90% for our client. Our designers and engineers provide solutions which deliver the right amount of light where needed but with an eye on cost control and predictability. Our focus on heat-dissipation technology stops lighting units and luminaires from overheating and from internal circuitry damage.

Please get in touch with us by calling 01202 554 200 or simply send an email to and we’ll be in touch with further information.

Based in Dorset, Airius provides destratification fans, LED lighting systems, and electrical engineering services. We work with public sector organisations and businesses to improve their physical environments and to reduce energy expenditure. Our client roster includes British Airways, Harrods, Mercedes, Siemens, Morrisons and Waitrose.