Are all LED Light Panel Lights the same?

The answer to the above question is a definite NO! LED panels consist of many components, and it is the quality of these components that directly affects the performance, lifespan, and of course the price of the LED light panel.

Many LED suppliers make baseless and sometimes false claims about their LED panels. Most suppliers don’t even know what brand of LED chip is being used within the panels they are supplying!

We have decided that you, the customer, should be given a full explanation about how LED light panels are constructed and what effect that construction has on the performance and reliability of these products. This will also help you understand why you will see so many different price variations.

So if you’re looking for commercial LED lighting and think LED panels might be right for you, we have decided to explain each component that is used in the construction of an LED panel light to help you know what to look out for.

Exploded View of a Typical LED Panel

Aluminium Frame

The frame forms part of the structural backbone of the whole LED system, including the LED chips, and must not be too lightweight or poorly constructed that it twists and bends easily.

The frame also provides the vital function of cooling the LED chips – it acts as a heatsink. A well-constructed frame will ensure that the LED chips are cooled properly in order to prolong their life and minimise lumen depreciation (LM80/LM79).


The diffusion plate is designed to ensure that the light coming out of the LED panel is distributed as evenly as possible and to minimise glare.

This diffusion plate is usually made from polystyrene, which is flammable. To minimise the risk to our customers in the event of a building fire, the diffusers in our panels are tested by an Independent UK laboratory to BS 2782-0:2004 Annex B (Method 508A) to ensure that they reach Tp(b) as a minimum requirement.

Light Guide Plate

The Light Guide Plate (LGP) is a key component of the LED panel. This is what distributes the light emitted from the LED chips across then down and out of the LED panel.

The LGP is an area that allows manufacturers and suppliers to cut corners because it is an area that unless you dismantle the LED panel you will never actually get to inspect.

Cheaply produced LGP’s will not only fail to distribute light evenly across the front of the panel, but in time they may also exhibit another major problem – a ‘yellowy tinge’ developing unevenly across the LED Panel.

We have been made aware of a number of incidents where LED panels have been supplied in the UK and have started to show signs of the LGP yellowing in under 12 months!

You will be relieved to know that our LED panel store uses only high quality Japanese LGP’s which do not suffer from this problem.

Reflective Paper

You would think this ‘simple’ component of the LED panel system would be difficult to get wrong! It is, but many manufacturers will even try to save a few pence here.

The reflective paper should be of high-quality, highly reflectivity paper that will not degrade within the design life of the panel and must be held in close contact with the back of the LGP.

Improper fixing of this reflective paper or just simply having poor quality paper results in uneven distribution of the light from the LGP onto the diffusion plate. This will result in ‘wave light patterns’ across the LED panel.

Back Plate

The final part of the LED panel construction is the back plate.

A well-fitted metal back plate acts as an additional heatsink to ensure the long and efficient life of the LED chips. The back plate helps to maintain the rigidity and durability of the panel.

Some manufacturers cut costs by using plastic for their back plates. But plastic is a poor conductor of heat and does not add much to the rigidity of the panel.

In addition, the back plate seals the back of the LED panel. Improper sealing causes light leakage, which will decrease the total lumen output and efficiency of the LED panel. This is because some of the light that you want to come out the front of the panel comes out of the back instead.

LED Chip Set

There are a great number of variations when it comes to LED chips and their quality.

Most suppliers don’t know the details of the manufacturer and encapsulator of the LED chips used in their panels. We do! The chips in our LED panels are produced by a Stock Market Listed Corporation of which we have over four years’ experience.

All LED chips will lose light output over a period of time. This can be tested, and the results are known as the LM-80. Many LED panels are sold utilising LED chips that have not been tested in this way. The reason they have not been tested is because they are cheap and thus of poor quality, and the light from them will quickly decrease over time. All of the LED panels that we sell use LM-80 certified chips.

LED lighting is meant to be efficient, but some are more efficient than others. Cheap LED panels that are being sold in the UK today have a chip lumen efficiency of between 70 and 80 lumens per watt. Our LED Panels have a much higher efficiency of 100 lumens per watt.

What this means in simple terms is that a cheap LED panel running at 54-watt will have a total output of around 4050 Lumens. Our 40W LED Panel will have a total output of around 4000 Lumens.

This is a saving of 14 watts for just one LED panel. This may not seem much, but it not only represents an additional 35% saving in electricity costs, but also has the substantial additional benefit of requiring 35% fewer panels to be installed!

Some manufacturers have been ‘over clocking’ the chips. Over clocking gives a higher lumen output by running the chip at a higher current than is recommended. Over time this will result in very rapid light decay from even LM-80 certified chips. Our LED chips are run at below the maximum allowed current, thus ensuring low light decay, and a longer lifespan.


The Printed Circuit Board (PCB) holds the LED chips in place and conducts the electrical current to them. It is also the first stage in conducting that horrible, destructive heat away from them.

Manufacturers of cheap, poor-quality LED panels will use a fibre PCB which does not conduct the heat away very well. Manufacturers and suppliers of high-quality LED panels always use an aluminium PCB which has excellent heat conducting properties. This means that heat is rapidly removed from the LED chip and into the aluminium frame, ensuring that the LEDs are kept cool and will continue to offer a high light output throughout the life of the panel.

The LED Driver

The LED Driver is arguably the most important part of the LED panel system, as the panel will not even light up if the driver fails.

Some LED panel manufacturers use drivers that they have designed and built in order to save money. Others will use cheap drivers manufactured by an obscure company that specialises only in the design and manufacture of LED drivers. None of these are ideal as the design and manufacture of a high-quality LED driver is not a task that can be accomplished by many companies. The best solution is to only use high quality LED drivers from well-known and respected LED driver manufacturers.

We only use 5-year warranty LED Drivers from LIFUD and AGT, who are among the best-known driver manufacturers in the world. (LIFUD and AGT offer 5 year warranty and 3 year warranty drivers, but since replacing the driver not only means buying a new driver, but also may involve the services of an electrician, we don’t take any chances, so we always supply our panels with a 5 year warranty driver).

So, if you’re keen to get hold of great, high-quality LED panels from LED Save, take a look through our full range today. Trade customers can also sign up and take advantage of wholesale prices and be sure to get in touch with our team if you have any questions or need any guidance.