linear light - ecowat lighting
linear light - ecowat lighting

What is LED Linear Light? their Application, Fixtures and Maintenance

Linear lights are one of the most popular and widely used lights in modern architecture and lighting. The high variety of linear lights in their construction, installation, luminous flux, and light quality has made them important as recessed, surface mounted, and pendant linear lights for walls, and ceiling lighting in residential, office, and commercial spaces.

LED linear lights have multiple usages varying from exterior and facade, narrow under-cabinet light lines, from widths up to 70 meters to 30 cm, and from continuous lines to a variety of shapes such as square, rectangular and L-shaped or angles. As mentioned, these are for offices, galleries, stores, modern houses, etc., all of the variations of the LED linear light sales market are based on the concept of space architecture, which has a significant impact on the price of the linear light and its accessories, and is fully introduced in this article.

New LED linear lights with new technology, including modular linear lights that have the ability to control all the components of the light, light efficiency and providing sufficient light, quality of color appearance, and how to customize it based on the elements used in architecture and the interior design of the space have become much more advanced, and in this way, you can have quality linear light in various shapes, including continuous lines, squares, rectangles, or any other geometric shape. This feature is the winning card of lighting for architects and interior designers because linear lights, in addition to providing proper lighting, are also used decoratively and double the visual beauty of the space.

In the following, all the details and complete introduction of linear lights, their installation, quality of light, color, design, and construction method, and lighting with them have been discussed for you to choose the best linear light for your desired space and customize it based on your project needs.

The History of Linear Lights

Throughout history, the construction industry and other related businesses have made great progress and have developed at a high speed. The developments related to lighting and lighting industries were progressing at a very low speed until 50 years ago. Of course, this development gained significant speed after the widespread use of LED technology in the early 2000s, which also includes linear lights.

Until the early 1950s, there was practically no such thing as a linear lamp. In this period, linear lights were used as a replacement for linear shutter panels that were used in most office spaces at that time. The old fluorescent lamps are also among the ancestors of today’s linear lamps. After the advancement of technology and the widespread use of computers, a new problem arose for consumers of lighting devices, and this problem was nothing but the glare on the monitor screen. Employees and consumers who used computers for their work, while working under the light of old linear lights, had the problem of glare and work disruption.

In the following years with the development of linear lamps, an attempt was made to solve this problem, for example, the first generation of T5 linear lamps was unveiled. In these lights, the problem of glare was solved to some extent, but all these lights still used the same 1950s technology and fluorescent lighting.

Between 2010 and 2011, the advancement of LED technology created a revolution in the field of lighting, and various types of linear lights such as LED strips emerged quickly. Finally, by identifying and solving the problems related to LED filaments, modular linear lights with much more light, low glare, and in different types of one-way and two-way, with a small and large width, RGBW, Dali, and other types of phenomena were introduced.

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    What is a modular linear light?

    linear light engine - ecowat lighting

    In modular linear lights, each part of the light source can be replaced separately, so there is no need to replace the entire light source for lamp maintenance and repair.

    Why is a modular linear light better than an integrated linear light or LED string?

    Due to the fact that in modular linear lights, by burning a chip, the desired part can be easily replaced without the need to replace the entire light source, the maintenance cost of these lights is much lower than integrated linear lights. In addition, the process of installing and maintaining these lights is also easy, and there is no need to install or replace a single light line. As a result, the lifetime of the linear lamp is increased and it provides better light.

    Types of linear lights based on the performance system

    The difference between the Zhaga standards light engines and other linear light modules

    The best linear lights in terms of quality are Zhaga standard linear lights which is a global physical standard that monitors the dimensions of linear light engines. Modules with Zhaga standard are produced in dimensions with 7 cm coefficients and work by constant current driver.

    In the general category of LED drivers, the lights operate either with a constant voltage or constant current driver. If a constant voltage driver is used in the linear light, it is necessary to use electrical resistance to keep it constant. As a result, with the use of resistance, part of the current is converted into heat which enters the components of the lamp that reduces its lifespan. In addition, due to the presence of these resistors, the light at the beginning and end of the linear lamp may differ and the lamp may lose light along the optical line. All kinds of LED strings and strips are in this category.

    In linear lights with a constant current driver and module, there is no need to use resistance anymore. Therefore, there will be no extra heat or light loss in them. In addition, by using Zhaga’s standard constant current modules, as this is an international standard and is known all over the world, you can easily get the required light engine from anywhere.

    Types of linear lights based on application

    In general, any lamp in which the light source shines in a line and not round or square is called a linear lamp or line lamp. According to this definition, even old fluorescent lamps are considered linear lights. But here we only mention LED linear lights with more advanced technology, including modular linear lights. The way to install a linear light is in the form of a built-in (recessed linear light) , surface mounted and pendant, each of which will be described separately. The use of linear lights in different spaces, including offices, commercial complexes such as stores, or even residential spaces, differs depending on the type of their installation.

    Recessed linear light

    Recessed linear lights are considered to be among the most minimal and beautiful lighting devices. In these lights, the entire body of the lamp is placed inside the wall or ceiling, and only the diffuser or cover is visible on the light source to provide sufficient illumination. Recessed linear lights are divided into two groups, trim and trimless, and can be made in all kinds of lines and geometric shapes.

    trimless recessed linear lights - ecowat lighting

    Recessed linear light (trim)

    In recessed trim linear lights, around the light diffuser, there are edges about 1 cm wide on each side. These edges make it easy to install the light and if there are errors of 1 cm when making a cut or groove on the ceiling to install the light, even with the edge, it will be covered. Built-in linear lights are adjusted from the inside by a means of a butterfly-shaped fastener placed behind the light body, and by rotating the fastener around the lamp, the body is fixed in the ceiling.

    linear light - ecowat lighting

    Recessed trimless linear light

    As mentioned earlier, the use of recessed linear lights increases the beauty of the space. Now imagine that your linear light inside the ceiling does not have any edges. In other words, there is no trace of the lamp body, and only the light source can be seen integrated with the roof’s structure. This is one of the advantages and beauties of the built-in linear light without edge or trim-less. In the trim-less linear light, all the additions around the lamp are removed and an extremely beautiful and minimal appearance is created in the lighting of the space. The light of a linear lamp without an edge is still the same as other linear lights, and the only difference is the appearance of the lamp and the way they are installed.

    A recessed linear light without an edge is usually used as a decorative light (a recessed trimless linear light with a width of 4 cm) or a general light (a built-in trimless linear lamp with a width of 6 cm & 9 cm).

    The installation of this light is done before the completion of the Knauf or other ceiling structures. In fact, in the trim-less linear light, the edges of the lamp are not removed, but moved to a higher altitude than the light source, so that it is placed behind the lampshade and cannot be seen. After placing the lamp along with its edges behind the plaster, the small gap between the lamp and the ceiling is puttied and then by painting the surface of the ceiling, this gap is completely removed and the lamp is completely integrated and seen with the roof’s structure.

    How to install a trimless recessed linear light

    The edgeless linear light is different from other linear lights in terms of installation. As a result, they look more beautiful than other linear lights. The trim less linear light, however, in terms of the appearance of the body profile, is not much different from other built-in linear lights.

    The installation of linear light without edge is done before the completion of the Knauf structure. In order to do this, first, the lamp profile is connected to the Knauf metal grid from above. Then, after placing the Knauf panels, the edges are connected to the surface, and finally, with putty and paint, all the grooves and specific points are gone and only the light source is visible.

    trimless recessed linear lights - ecowat lighting

    Suspended linear light

    suspended linear lights - ecowat lighting

    Suspended (pendant or hanging) linear lights, which are among the most popular and beautiful lights in the market, are produced like other surface linear lights regarding their structural design. These lights are hung from the ceiling by means of two types of hangers, i.e. cable hangers or telescopic hangers, in order to provide both sufficient lighting and visual beauty in spaces where the ceiling height is high or where a decorative light is needed. To use the hanging cable, the lamp is established by means of a current wire placed parallel to the hanging cable. But in the second case, using a rigid pendant  that is thicker than the cable, the current wire passes through the cable and there is no need for a separate wire.

    LED pendant lights are divided into two categories:

    A. One-side suspended linear light;

    in these lights, the light source is placed at the bottom of the lamp and the light shines from the side of the lamp towards the ground.

    B. Double-side suspended linear light;

    in double-sided pendant linear lights, two rows of light engines are placed at the top and bottom of the light. Thus, these lights have the ability to illuminate the ceiling (up light) and the ground (down light) separately. This possibility makes it possible to turn on each of the lights that shine upwards or downwards separately. By illuminating the space above the lamp, these lights are usually installed on ceilings that have the light color or the ceiling element gets a beautiful effect with the light.