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
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
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
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
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
In our bedrooms, most of us want the
atmosphere to be relaxed, calm, and 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
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
LED buying guide
You’ve got more lighting options than ever
before, but that also means that the lighting aisle is a lot more complicated
than it used to be. We’re here to help.
It’s been more than 10 years since Congress
passed the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). In doing so,
they put the age of inefficient incandescent lighting on notice. The law
mandated strict new energy standards designed to kick-start a new era of
greener, longer-lasting, more cost-efficient light bulbs — and that meant
kicking outdated, inefficient bulbs to the curb
In other words, the age of the LED is here,
and you only need travel so far as your local lighting aisle to see the change.
With all of the new options out there (not to mention the disappearance of some
important old ones), finding the perfect bulb can seem pretty daunting. New
lights that promise to last 20 years and save you hundreds of dollars might
sound good in theory, but how do you know which one is the right one for you?
How do you know the bulb you’re buying is going to be bright enough? What about
color temperature? Color… rendering?
What kinds of bulbs are available?
We’ve all gotten to know incandescents
quite well over the past 135 years or so, but times are changing. These days,
you’ve got more options than ever before, and familiarizing yourself with them
is the first step toward finding the right bulb
Light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, are the new
rock stars of the bulb world. When an LED is switched on, electrons and
electron holes come together (and don’t worry, I’m not completely sure I fully
understand what a “hole” is in this context, either). At any rate,
the result of this process is a release of energy in the form of photons — or
light, to you and me.
For instance, a single 10-watt LED that
puts out 800 lumens of light (lumens are units of brightness for a light source
— more on that in just a bit) will add about $1.20 per year to your power bill
if used for 3 hours a day at an average energy rate of 11 cents per kilowatt
hour (kWh). Under those same parameters, a traditional 60-watt incandescent
bulb that puts out the same 800 lumens will cost about $7.20 per year. That’s
more than the cost of replacing it with a basic LED like the one described
above. Multiply that by the total number of bulbs in your home, and you’re
looking at the potential for some pretty significant long-term savings,
especially if you live in area with above-average energy rates.
FACT SHEET: A CONSUMER’S GUIDE TO BUYING
Light-emitting diode light bulbs and
lighting fixtures are known as LEDs. LEDs can have varied designs with a range
of looks for many different uses. From the outside, many look like
old-fashioned light bulbs and are available to replace a wide range of
inefficient halogen and incandescent lighting.
Quality LEDs are now in most cases the
‘best buy’ in terms of electricity costs to run, frequency of replacement and
overall lifetime costs.
Not all LEDs are the same
Unlike Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs),
LEDs are currently not regulated for energy efficiency – or characteristics
such as colour. This means you may experience greater variation in their
Light output (Lumens)
The best way to identify a suitable LED
lamp replacement for an existing lamp is to look for the amount of light the
lamp produces (measured in lumens or lm). Package information that says that
the light output was actually tested for this performance is a good sign of a
Unfortunately the information on the LED
packaging is not always accurate. Sometimes the information stated on the
package is about the light source within the bulb (the electronic LED chip),
not the light produced by the whole LED bulb. Light sources tested under
laboratory conditions will always have a higher light output than the LED bulb
used in normal conditions. If you have questions about the specification you
should ask the retailer or contact the manufacturer.