What is an LED wraparound light
An LED wraparound light is a flush mount linear fixture that is wrapped with a smooth or prismatic cover to obscure direct view of the light source. This type of fixtures is designed to bring wide spread, high illuminance ambient illumination to larger rooms. LED wrap fixtures deliver the great benefits of LED lighting such as high energy efficiency, long lifespan and high frequency switching capabilities while maintaining the familiar look of traditional fluorescent wraps. These fixtures find applications in offices, utility rooms, hallways, stairwells, parking garages, basements and laundry rooms.
Available in 2-, 4- and 8-foot lengths, LED wrap fixtures come as either lamp-based systems or integrated LED systems. Lamp-based LED wraparounds are similar to traditional fluorescent wraps except for that the light source is retrofit LED tubes. These fixtures are designed to accept T8 LED tubes (type B, ballast bypass) or T5 LED tubes. Integrated LED wraparounds directly attach linear LED strips onto the luminaire housing. The strips of LEDs are driven by a constant current LED driver that is incorporated in the luminaire. Integrated design of LED luminaires is the trend since LEDs require adequate surface area and an effective thermal path to dissipate heat generated in the junction. Direct thermal interfacing of light source with the luminaire housing significantly improves thermal management.
Lamp-based vs. integrated
The performance of lamp-based LED wraparounds is derived from the accompanying LED tube lights which are usually compromised in thermal management due to inadequate engineering. The lighting market is flooded with cheap glass/plastic LED tubes which barely have an efficient heat sink. The enclosed design of wrap fixtures also prohibits convective heat transfer to the outside ambient air. As a result, these LED tube lights have poor lumen maintenance and thus a shortened useful life of less than 15,000 hours. LED tubes often use a bare-bones LED driver which fails to provide effective line and load regulation, resulting in premature failure as well as light flickering (due the presence of excessively large ripples in the output). Integrated LED wraps can be effectively designed to deliver high efficacy, flicker-free lighting over a long lifespan (e.g. 50,000 hours) which translates to a very high return on investment. The integrated approach allows for a low-profile fixture design which maximizes headroom in rooms with low ceilings.
Light distribution characteristics
LED wraparound lights are mostly utilitarian. Glare control is essential for this type of ambient light fixtures which illuminate a large radius area below. LEDs are high intensity light sources. Direct-lit LED luminaires use different light diffusion mechanisms to soften bright light and distribute luminous flux from LEDs uniformly to all directions thus does not create an image of the light source. Wraparound lights use either acrylic opal diffusers or prismatic diffusers to reduce glare and provide uniform illumination. These optical lenses also work to protect the light source from dirt and debris.
Dimming is often required as a part of the control strategy to maximize energy savings and create a flexible space. LED wraparounds often use dimmable drivers that allow output adjustment from standard 0-10V control systems. A controls compatible driver can operate with occupancy sensors to control luminaires based on the human presence.