Choosing the Best LED Light Bulb
There is a huge range of lighting available for domestic homes these days. As incandescent lamps have given way to halogen bulbs and then compact fluorescent lights, CFLs and now with the transition to LEDs, there is a huge amount to understand. The choice is not as easy as it was a few years ago.
Many light bulbs and lighting is now LED based, but these lights are more expensive, so the first question is whether it is worth buying LED lights, or whether some of the other technologies offer better value.
LED lights vs other types – choice of technology
LED lights and light bulbs are now being widely sold and prices are coming down. However they are still more expensive than other types.
Another advantage of LEDs is that they can tolerate being turned on and off far better than CFLs. One example os that of wanting to use a low energy bulb on lights that are triggered by a motion sensor, PIR for external lighting. In windy weather PIRs are triggered very easily and can be always turning on and off. CFLs may only last a very short while, but LEDs can last very much longer.
LED light output – selecting the right output
In the days of incandescent lights, the various lights were rated by the power they consumed and not the actual light output. Now, with a variety of different types of lighting on the market, it is sometimes difficult to compare them and understand what lamp is required in any position.
Tips for Choosing LED Bulbs for Your Home
LED (light emitting diode) lights use less energy, last longer, come in many different colors, and are now available in a variety of bulbs that can fit into the sockets already around your house. If you’ve been attracted by LED lighting before but haven’t switched yet, now’s the time. Here’s what you need to know about buying LEDs for your home.
LED Bulbs for Home: Learn Your Lumens
Because LED light bulbs don’t use much electricity (they use a small electrical charge to produce energy along the visible spectrum, thanks to highly specific, reactive compounds), you can’t really use watts to judge their brightness. Instead, look at lumens, a more direct measure of brightness. Around 800 lumens is equivalent to a 60-watt incandescent bulb, while 1600 lumens is about as bright as a 100-watt incandescent bulb.
Understand Color Temperature
Manufactures use the Kelvin temperature scale to show the general shade of the “white” bulb—colors tend to fall between 2,700 and 6,500 Kelvin. A low Kelvin score means that bulbs are “warmer” and more yellow, like natural light, while a higher number means that light is “colder” and bluer. Pick the shade that fits the bulb’s purpose.
LED Bulbs for Home: Watch for CRI
CRI stands for Color Rendering Index, a more direct way that manufacturers describe color accuracy for lights, with 100 being a perfect accuracy score. Not all manufacturers use CRI (many brands wouldn’t score well), but those that do tend to have high CRI scores in the 80s or 90s, a sign of quality LED lighting
LED Bulbs for Home: Make Sure Bulb Replacements Match Your Old Sockets
LED bulbs are made to fit into traditional sockets. However, remember to look at the sockets you want to switch to LED. Note their position and depth, and keep that in mind when shopping for LED replacement bulbs. Old or corroded sockets should be replaced
Light Bulb Guide: How to Choose LED Bulbs
Shopped for light bulbs lately? If you have, you may have noticed that most bulbs sold now are LED (light emitting diode) bulbs. Old-fashioned incandescents have all but vanished from store shelves, and the popularity of CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulbs is on the wane. That’s because, although they’re more energy efficient than incandescents, CFLs just can’t compete with the energy efficiency and light quality of LED bulbs. And, while you’re lucky to get two to five years of life from a CFL bulb, LED bulbs can last 20 years or more. But trying to figure out which LED bulbs to buy can lead to a lot of head scratching. Here’s what you need to know before you shop.
Read the Label
Most of the information you need to pick the right LED light bulb is right there on the packaging, but you won’t find it on the front. Look for the Lighting Facts label on the back or side of the packaging, and pay particular attention to two terms: ‘Brightness’ and ‘Light Appearance.’
Brightness: Forget Watts — Think Lumens
Gone are the days when the wattage on a light bulb package tells you how bright it is. When shopping for an LED bulb, look for the number of lumens directly across from ‘Brightness’ on the Lighting Facts label. Wattage equivalents, usually on the front of the package, are only meant to get you in the ballpark. If you’re replacing a 100-watt incandescent bulb, you’ll want an LED that produces about 1,600 lumens. A replacement for a 40-watt incandescent bulb should produce about 450 lumens.
Light Appearance: Choose Warm or Cool to Suit Your Use
‘Light Appearance’ on the Lighting Facts label refers to color temperature, which is measured as Kelvin (K). For table lamps or living room light fixtures, choose a bulb of about 2,700 to 3,000 K to get a warm light similar to the light from older incandescent light bulbs. For task lighting in places like workshops and laundry rooms, pick a bulb of about 5,000 K for cooler, bluish light that looks more like natural daylight.
Enclosed Fixtures Need Special Bulbs
Some LED light bulbs can last for decades, but only if the heat they generate has a way to dissipate. If it can’t, heat will damage the electronics inside the bulb and it will fail prematurely. If you need to buy a bulb for a fully enclosed fixture, read the packaging carefully to make sure it’s approved for that use. Bulbs made for enclosed fixtures have a more efficient thermal design and are manufactured using components that will withstand higher temperatures.
How to Choose the Best LED Light Bulb for Any Room in Your Home
Every room in your home is different.
You likely have heard that sunlight gives us energy, but did you know that light bulbs work in a similar way? Bulbs that emit blue light waves produce serotonin, which makes us focused, awake, and alert. Bulbs that don’t emit blue light waves allow for our brain to produce melatonin, which makes us relaxed, drowsy, and ready for a good nights sleep.
Lower temperature bulbs produce warm-whites, similar to a fire, while medium temperature bulbs produce neutral-whites, and higher temperature bulbs produce cool-whites or mimic daylight.
It is also a common misconception that the brightness of a light bulb is measured in Watts. Watts actually measure energy usage, while Lumens measure brightness.
LED Lighting for Bedroom Use
peaceful. Avoiding blue light waves in the bedroom will keep your circadian rhythm from confusing the light in your bedroom with the natural light outside. This allows your brain to produce the melatonin needed for a comfortable sleep. Are you a nighttime reader? If you have a bedside reading lamp or plan on buying one, soft blue or neutral tones are better for reading specific fixtures, since the cool-white color creates a high contrast with the page
LED Lighting for Home Office Use
When lighting a home office, we want to make sure that the lights are maximizing our ability to be productive in the space provided. Putting cool-white lights in the office that mimic daylight will increase serotonin production keeping you focused, alert, and energized. Make sure to choose a place that won’t create unwanted glares on your computer screen. You may also want to consider LED Desk Lamps which offer great task lighting and the ability to switch color temperature on demand.
things to consider before buying LED bulbs
If you haven’t switched to LED bulbs, now is the time.
The reasons why are compelling — they last much longer than incandescent bulbs, provide interesting features and can save you money on your electricity bill. Besides, many incandescent bulbs — like the 100-watt incandescent — are being phased out, so eventually you’ll need to make the switch anyway.
Forget what you know about incandescents — your watts are no good here.
When shopping for bulbs, you’re probably accustomed to looking for watts, an indication of how bright the bulb will be. The brightness of LEDs, however, is determined a little differently.
Contrary to common belief, wattage isn’t an indication of brightness, but a measurement of how much energy the bulb draws. For incandescents, there is an accepted correlation between the watts drawn and the brightness, but for LEDs, watts aren’t a great predictor of how bright the bulb will be. (The point, after all, is that they draw less energy.)
You can always count on incandescents providing a warm, yellowish hue. But LEDs come in a wide range of colors.
As shown off by the Philips Hue, LED bulbs are capable of displaying an impressive color range, from purple to red, to a spectrum of whites and yellows. For the home, however, you’re likely looking for something similar to the light that incandescents produce.
LED bulbs are like hybrid cars: cheaper to operate but pricey upfront.
When switching to LED bulbs, don’t expect to save buckets of cash. Instead, think of it as an investment. Luckily, competition has increased and LED bulbs have come down in price (like this $5 LED from Philips), but you should still expect to pay much more than an incandescent.