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FAQ

You have questions?  We have answers to your most frequently asked questions.

 

How Do I Place An Order?

It's easy to place a secure order at Sternlite.  You may either, browse the website and put things into your shopping cart.  You may call us and we can walk you through the process or we'll take your order over the phone.

 

Payment and Shipping

All payments are secure and encrypted.  So your personal information will not end up in the wrong hands. All packages are shipped via UPS.

 

Returns & Refunds

We take pride in selling you the lighting and display products you need and nothing more.  If you're unhappy with a product we sold you, you may return it for a full refund within 30 days of receipt.  

 

What’s an LED?

LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. Essentially, LEDs are printed circuit boards (PCB) that generate light. They’ve progressed from the old “power” button on your stereo to be far, far brighter enabling their use as display lights.

 

Why are LEDs better than other lights?

Here are some approximate efficiencies of lights. Incandescent is around 10 lumens (measure of brightness) per watt.  Halogen is about 14.  Metal Halide about 40.  Fluorescent 70.  LEDs are at least 70.  Much of what Sternlite offers is around 100 lumens per watt. (Note that there are some MH and fluorescents that are more efficient than the number provided here. But they won’t give you the sparkle your jewelry needs.)

 

How does the light from LEDs look different than other lights?

First, LEDs can be lower wattage and still generate plenty of light.  So you use less wattage and then create less heat as well.  Second, you can get a variety of colors.  Diamond white (with blue tints) down to warm white (yellow/orange). Whatever is best for you and your store. Third, LEDs create tremendous sparkle. That’s because there are multiple light sources (the individual LEDs) in each lamp, each hitting your jewelry from a different angle, creating the sparkle.  

 

Is the highest wattage the brightest?

Not always. For example, our 12 x 2W LED PAR 38 is not driven by 24W.  It is driven by 18W.  Any more than that would very much degrade the life of the LEDs.  We also carry an 18 x 1W fixture that is also driven by 18W, yet it is noticeably brighter because the 1W is a more efficient chip.  Note the important wattage number here is the power consumption, not the total number of watts in the LEDs.  Example, our 40W PAR 30 is actually 16 5W chips, but driven to only 40W.  There are also differrences in efficiency of chips, so the same wattage will generate more light from a more efficient chip.  

 

What are lumens?

It’s a measure of brightness. Rather than give you a boring engineering description, here are comparisons, which should be more useful to you. A Sylvania 50 PAR 20 is 550 lumens. A 50 PAR 30 is 660 lumens. A 75 PAR 30 is 1100 lumens. A 90 PAR 38 is 1300 lumens. A Philips 70 PAR 30 LN FL “942” is 3000 lumens.  

 

How are lumens measured?

Every run of Sternlite product is tested in an “integrating sphere.” The sphere is properly calibrated. The lamps are tested with the lenses on. The number is not luminous flux, design lumens, mean lumens or lumens are startup. The lumens are not exaggerated or inflated just to look good.  Note it's so that all things being equal, the higher Kelvin rating, the brighter the lamp.  

 

What is Kelvin?

A Kelvin is a color scale (again, for a technical definition, consult the web). The higher the “K,” the less color we see. In layman’s terms, halogen and incandescent are around 2800-3000K. Yellow, even orangey. That range of the spectrium is considered a warm color, good for colored gemstones, clothing, and skin tones. 4000K, the color of the common Metal Halide, is less orange/yellow.  It makes the halogen look very yellow. Yet the 4000K lamp still has color in it. Call it creamy, if you will.  5000K, a common “daylight” color in fluorescent lamps, has less color and looks white. But note that white itself is also a color, just like white paint. At 6000K, certainly, and maybe lower for some eyes, the light begins to acquire the blue tint in the color. This is because the other colors are dropping out. Higher colors are available upon request. And think of an aquarium bulb. Blue? Yes. That’s 10,000K.

 

Why do so many LED products look similar?

It’s true that a lot of factories in China use many of the same parts and the end product can look almost the same, while the inside can very greatly.  Factors: the brand of chips, the efficiency of those chips, the encapsulation to the boards, the driver, the heat dissipation, the workmanships, the price, and who – if anyone – stands behind the product.

 

What should I look for when I put up the lamps?

Color, brightness, coverage. Make sure you’re satsfied with all three. Do not judge LEDs by looking directly at them. They always look bright that way. What you’re really judging is how your merchandise appears. That’s where you look.

 

How can I extend the life of my LEDs?

If the LED has an external driver (like our showcase strips use), make sure the driver can dissipate the heat (e.g., never install it inside a case). The same would be true if you have a fluroescent ballast of 12V transformer.For LED lamps, never use them in a fixture that interferes with heat dissipation. While the LEDs don’t create much heat, they are sensitive to the heat that is created. They are circuit boards, after all, and like a computer or laptop or television must be allowed to “breathe” so heat can be dissipated.An example of a “bad” fixture is the old cannister-style track fixture that completely encloses the LED. Another might be putting a PAR 30 into a PAR 30 eyeball trim in recessed lighting.Lastly, take a computer “duster” (spray can) and (just like your computer) spray them to clean off any dust accumulation.

 

Do you stand behind your product?

Yes. Like any other electronic device, there will be failures in the field.  Sometimes the shock of shipping creates a problem.  If there is a problem on day one, we replace the item (which must be returned). If within the warranty period, it must be returned to our street address.  We’ll pay the shipping back to you. In screw-in lamps, typically the problem is the driver or one other part. Either way, we replace them and get you up and running quickly, normally turning the product around the same day.  If for some reason it cannot be repaired, we’ll replace it, as long as the lamp was used normally.

 

Are your LED products dimmable?

Typically, no. Only if marked dimmable.

 

What other lines do you offer?

In Metal Halide, we use ballasts from Unviersal Lighting. In 12V the transformer is from Lightech, the best in the business (three-year warranty). We do not deal in off-brands that save a few dollars but do not perform as well.

 

What products do you have that may not be listed in the website?

We have Ushio halogen showcase and MR16 lamps, Sylvania PARs, Philips Metal Halide.  We’re happy to get you special items, including fluorescent, residential, outdoor and, well, just about anything.  So, if you are looking for something and don't see it on our website, please call us and we'll let you know if we have it or how long it will take us to get it for you.