If you’ve just discovered the world of LED lighting, you know that there’s also a world of choices. Making the right decision in regards to your lighting project can be overwhelming. One of the most common choices consumers have when buying LED lighting is whether to purchase fixtures with integrated LED arrays or fixtures with medium sockets. Read on to find out what each means, what the differences are, and why you might choose one style of LED lighting over another.
Pros and Cons of Medium Sockets
Medium socket fixtures don’t have a driver — they have empty sockets for a screw-in lamp much like traditional forms of lighting. Medium sockets are available in different styles and are inexpensive to purchase. Many customers are used to screwing in lamps and are thus more comfortable with medium socket commercial and outdoor fixtures.
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Medium sockets tend to be ideal for people who want design flexibility. LED lamps are available in multiple Kelvins, wattages, and beam spreads at all different price points from both in-store and online retailers. Medium socket fixtures are also easier to replace and maintain. For example, a hotel chain with 50 bollard lights surrounding the building may want to purchase medium socket bollard lights because if one of them fails, lamps are cheap and easy to replace without the help of an electrician.
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There are some downsides to medium socket fixtures. They generally don’t last as long as most integrated LED fixtures — usually maxing out at an L70 rated life of 50,000 hours. Also, medium socket fixtures are not available in higher wattages like integrated LED fixtures are. This makes them more ideal in bollard lights, wall packs, and other small light fixtures.
Pros and Cons of Integrated LED Arrays
Fixtures with integrated LED arrays are complete luminaire assemblies that include a driver that powers LED chips, or diodes. The number of LED chips in a luminaire can vary and depend on form factor and wattage.
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Integrated LED fixtures are great for people who require longevity as well as lumen output and high wattage. These luminaires can last over 500,000 hours without any need for maintenance, making them perfect for applications that will be in use for many hours a week.
These luminaires are also amazing for those who require high lumen output and wattage. Sports lighters, large area lights, and other forms of high powered lighting are usually made with integrated LED arrays due to the sheer power they put out.
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Integrated LED fixtures do not offer the same level of design flexibility that medium socket fixtures do, which can be a downside for some people. Whatever beam spread, Kelvin, and wattage that you order will be the one that you’re stuck with throughout the entire life of the fixture. Moreover, these luminaires must be installed and replaced by electricians as there is no easy screw in option if the driver fails.
The Bottom Line
Medium socket fixtures and integrated LED array luminaires are both great lighting choices as they are both energy-efficient and long-lasting with a wide variety of design options. If you are unsure whether to purchase a medium socket or integrated LED array fixture, contact us and we will be happy to guide you towards a lighting solution that best fits your needs.
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