What are LED Luminaires?

LEDs and LED luminaires have been hailed as the future of lighting as they use very little energy and can have a long operating life.  Unlike some forms of lighting, they are instantly bright when energised which can be an important feature in some applications.

Early LEDs were limited by high prices and relatively low light output, however the technology has developed at such a rapid pace in recent years that many filament lamps and fluorescent lamps are now able to be replaced by a LED lamp of one sort or another. Due to innovative LED technology, completely new, unusual luminaire designs can be provided, with great flexibility in terms of shape and size. In addition, LED luminaires stand out for their exceptional efficiency.

LED bulbs differ from traditional fluorescent lamps in the way they produce light. LEDs produce light using a semiconductor that emits light energy when an electrical current is passed through it, compared to a fluorescent lamp in which an electric current in the gas excites mercury vapour. This then produces short-wave ultraviolet light that then causes a phosphor coating on the inside of the lamp to glow. A fluorescent lamp converts electrical energy into useful light much more efficiently than incandescent lamps – however it is now possible for LEDs to outperform them both. While watt measurements are familiar to many and have been featured extensively for decades, watts are a measurement of energy use, not brightness. As a result, reliance on watt measurements alone make it difficult to compare traditional fluorescents lamps to modern LED modules, which, in many cases are now producing the same amount of light at increasing lower wattages to their fluorescent counterparts.

What is a Lumen?

The technical definition of lumen is as follows; A lumen is the standard measurement for a unit of luminous flux, it is a measure of the perceived power of light.

In simple terms, Lumens (lm) are a measure of the amount of light (which is visible to the human eye) from a lamp or light source. The higher the lumen rating the “brighter” the lamp will appear. For this reason, more emphasis is now being placed on the number of lumens produced by an LED luminaire or module.

It should also be taken into consideration that the light emitted from LEDs is very directional (illumination exactly where you need it) and typically, the output is at 120°.  A compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) output is 360° and will commonly rely on a back reflector to distribute the light to where it needs to be, which in turn unfortunately results in some loss of light in the fixture or other unnecessary places.

Typically, this can mean that a 15 Watt LED source producing around 1900lm can appear as bright at the working surface as a 25/30 Watt CFL. Light level at the working surface is measured in Lux. It is the Lux level, therefore, rather than the lumen output, which is the most reliable comparison between the different light sources.

What is the impact on the environment?

LEDs contain no mercury which is a very toxic substance to health and the environment. The lower energy consumption of LEDs also decreases CO2 emissions, sulphur oxide, and high-level nuclear waste which can only be good for current and future generations.

LED luminaire advantages:

  • Design flexibility
  • Long operating life
  • Robustness
  • Low energy consumption with high luminous efficacy
  • Low maintenance costs


Ringtail has been designing, manufacturing and supplying professional emergency and amenity lighting equipment for 20 years. Committed to quality, innovation and cutting edge technology, all of Ringtail’s lighting exceeds industry standards.

Made in the UK, Ringtail’s products come with a minimum 3-year warranty and many with a 5-year warranty. Customers choose its LED lighting products due to their reliability and service orientated approach. Ringtail’s LED emergency lighting can help to lower carbon emissions and save energy, helping customers to reduce their carbon footprint.

Contact us today to make an enquiry.