Does anyone here on this forum know of a lighting database? A website dedicated to cataloging lighting fixtures and lighting related equipment with the corresponding tech specs and info associated with it?
Information that should be part of a database is the power factor (pf) of a light. I am discovering that a lot of LED AC power supplies are not power factor corrected (pfc) making them much less efficient than tungsten lights that have unity power. With power factors as low as .45, LEDs can draw twice the current than a tungsten light of the same wattage. If you don’t take into account the extra current they will draw and the harmonic currents they will generate, you may find breakers tripping and portable generators running erratically.
(The Litepanel Sola 4 has a pf of .60 and Total Harmonic Distortion of 77.7%)
The manufacturers of LED Light fixtures generally do not give power factor specifications for their products. One would think that the less expensive LED lights would not be pfc, while the more expensive ones would, but that proved not to be the case in recent testing I did of fixtures. Over half of the fixtures that I tested at random (from the inventories of Boston area rental and lighting sales companies) were not pfc. With power factors ranging from .45 to .63, these fixtures generated considerable harmonic distortion (THD ranged from 75-85%.)
(The pf of the Litepanel Astra drops to .54 when dimmed to 50%)
Even those that were pfc generated harmonic currents when dimmed. For instance, the pfc of the new Litepanel Astra 1x1 above dropped from .99 to .54 when dimmed 50% (THD increased to 83.2%.) To see which LED lights are power factor corrected or not, use this link to see some of the results of my tests.
Guy Holt, Gaffer
ScreenLight & Grip
Lighting Rental & Sales in Boston