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The LED Advantage

Today’s LED marketplace can be confusing and difficult to navigate. To help you navigate the confusion, we’ve assembled a list of 10 questions to consider that will ensure your LED selection process enables you to pick the LED product that best addresses these four key areas of concern:

  • Sufficient illumination
  • Color inconsistencies between light fixtures
  • Correct color temperature of light to enhance your units
  • Product quality and LED life to avoid warranty issue

Question 1:
What is the fixture’s Lumen output with the lens installed?

AITCLightSphere-300x300ITC has a light sphere and publishes lumen output data taken with the fixture’s lens in place. This lumen measurement procedure is an important factor when considering the accuracy of a manufacturer’s lighting claims because raw lumens per chip will NOT give a true representation of the actual lumens until the fixture is assembled and installed with the lens in place.

Specifying overhead LED fixtures with a higher lumen output will result in fewer fixtures being required to illuminate a room to the same lighting level as lower lumen fixtures.

Question 2:
What binning/control process is followed?

ITC’s binning process conforms to ANSI ±175K at 3,000K using the Macadam Ellipse process resulting in a binning that is tighter than ±80K and undetectable to the human eye. Additionally, on our premium line of overhead LED fixtures, we mix the different bins of LEDs within each fixture. This approach results in an even, unnoticeable color difference between lights and from one production run to another. The Kelvin temperature of a typical halogen fixture is approximately 2,850K.

Question 3:
What LED Color Temperature and CRI are the LED Fixtures?

ITC offers multiple color options including fixtures that emit a warm white 3000K color temperature. This color temperature of light provides a warm, pleasing glow similar to that of a halogen.Additionally, the LEDs have a Color Rendering Index (CRI) of 85 to enhance the look of your fabrics and interior. The CRI is used to describe how accurately a color appears under a certain light in crispness and clarity. For example, a strawberry will appear a true and vibrant red under a higher CRI light. Conversely, the same strawberry will appear drab and washed out under a low CRI fixture.

KelvinChart-fix

Question 4:
What type of LED product testing is being performed?

During ITC’s design stage a 1,000 hour burn in test is conducted during which lumen output, color temperature, and amp draw are tested for variations. Once a stable light system is created and released, each production fixture undergoes a 4 hour burn in test. ITC backs its products with a 5 Year Limited Warranty.

Question 5:
What type of noise/interference testing is being performed?

ITC tests products for compliance with FCC part 18 for noise and interference. A simple test in an RV application is to pick-up a clear AM/FM radio station and turn on the LED to determine if any radio static is detected. Many LEDs are driven with PWM LED drivers that can cause emitted airborne interference depending on how close they are mounted to the stereo antenna. See our product catalog for a listing of compliant fixtures.

Question 6:
Who is the LED chip manufacturer? Have the LEDs been tested to demonstrate LM80 compliance?

ITC’s premium overhead LED lights use nichia LEDs that are packaged by Citizen. These LEDs are tested to demonstrate LM80 compliance. For more information on the LM80 testing process, please visit:
What Everyone Should Know About Lm80, Led Lifetime from Mark McClear

Question 7:
Are the LED light fixtures CSA Listed?

ITC fixtures are listed to applicable standards under CSA Certificate #2526919. RVIA requires that any electrical fixture of 4 or more watts be CSA listed. ITC lists all LED overhead light fixtures so customers have the assurance of a third-party listing and the confidence that the product meets designated performance and safety standards.

Question 8:
How is the fixture’s junction area thermally managed? Is the LED circuit board aluminum or fiberglass?

ITC’s premium overhead lights have a junction temperature that is kept substantially below the max LED temperature of 120°C. ITC uses aluminum circuit boards that heat sink to the light housing to ensure superior heat dissipation.

Question 9:
Do the lead wires from the fixtures fit your wire harnesses?

While the lower amperage draw on the LED fixture allows smaller gauge wire to be used, smaller gauge wire can not be crimped well, is prone to breakage, and is less compatible with commonly used connectors. ITC fixtures use 18 gauge wires to ensure that customer specified connectors can be easily attached. An advantage of an LED fixture is the reduced wire size running to the light. However, it is important to note that when using a G4 LED replacement rather than a complete LED fixture, caution could be taken when reducing the wire size due to the potential risk of an owner in the field putting a halogen bulb into the fixture.

Question 10:
Are the LEDs being driven using an LED driver or resistor? Are they polarity protected?

Some ITC fixtures use an LED driver which regulates the current thereby improving the stability of light output and LED life when different voltages are applied. This is a common practice to provide SKU flexibility with a wide input voltage range for the multiple markets that ITC serves. The new ITC Radiance LED lights are a resistive drive design for the RV market and have been set to operate at 13.6V (converter & alternator voltage). The benefits of resistive drive circuits include cost, ease of dimming, and the absence of radio noise interference. The drawback to resistive drive as compared to the PWM driver circuit is the fixture brightness level will fluctuate with the voltage. For example, the amount of light emitted at 12 volts will be slightly less than that emitted at 13.6 volts. This same light fluctuation occurs with halogen fixtures which have been used in the RV market for years. Also, the consumer is not likely to notice the amount of light change from 13.6V operation on converter to 12V operation on battery. Lastly, ITC fixtures are polarity protected so that the light is guarded from damage in the event of improper wiring. Alternatively, fixtures without polarity protection are susceptible to damage which can easily become a warranty headache.