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What does the power factor of a light source mean?
LED lighting has many advantages compared to conventional lighting. LED consumes less energy, has a longer lifetime and makes no use of any poisonous gasses. But there are LED lights that have disadvantages. If the power factor of a light source is low, it can cause pollution in the electronic wiring system. This can damage the power network and become a problem for all of us.
The power factor of a light source indicates how much blind current is generated. The power factor is calculated by dividing the apparent power with the actual power. The power factor of an incandescent light bulb is 1, the apparent power and actual power are even. But the power factor of LED can be 0.3, for example. The apparent power is higher than the actual power and the light source produces blind current. This blind current is sent back into the power network, causing pollution.
Light sources are not the only electronic devices that cause blind current. Any electronic device has a power factor and can cause net pollution. Because of that, we all should check the power factor when buying a new product.
For bigger fixtures of premium brands, the power factor of LED lights is between 0.9 and 1 most of the time. This yields very little blind current. But the light sources that use less than 25W, for example small fixtures, often cause more pollution. Many people are switching to LED, making the pollution only bigger. This blind current is not visible on your energy costs, a 3W light source really uses 3W.
We can prevent damaging the power network by looking at the power factor when buying a light source. We advise you to choose a power factor of at least 0.7 for smaller sources. On our page, you can find the power factor within the technical specifications of most products. If not named there, you can contact our customer support or check the website of the producer.