How to Choose the Right LED Light Bulb
The market of light bulbs has gone through a drastic change over the last few years. The age old incandescent bulbs have been completely removed from the market, and they have been replaced by the energy-saving, more luminescent LED bulbs. These bulbs not only consume less energy and give out more light, but they come with a longer lifespan too. Because there is a large variety of LED bulbs in the market these days, choosing the right bulb comes as a trick to most. So, before you head out to the store, read this oneHOWTO article to find out how to choose the right LED light bulb.
Forget those watts and use lumens
Most people are still accustomed to buying bulbs by watts. In incandescent bulbs, the more watts the bulb consumes, the brighter it is. But as far as LED bulbs are concerned, their energy consumption is negligible, but you have to buy them by lumens. The more lumens the bulb has, the brighter it will be. For instance, an LED bulb with 2600 lumens is as bright as a 150 watts incandescent bulb, but it consumes only 25-28 watts of electricity.
Take a look at this chart to know how many lumens each number of watts is.
- 25w = 250 lumens (electricity consumption of 4w)
- 40w= 450 lumens (electricity consumption of 5w)
- 60w = 800 lumens (electricity consumption of 8w)
- 75w= 1100 lumens (electricity consumption of 13w)
- 100w = 1600 lumens (electricity consumption of 20w)
- 125w = 2000 lumens (electricity consumption of 23w)
- 150w= 2600 lumens (electricity consumption of 28w)
As you can see, the highest intensity LED light consumes as many watts as the lowest intensity regular light bulb.
Pay attention to the fitting
When it comes to buying LED bulbs, there is a huge range of fittings to choose from. If you select the bulb with a wrong fitting, it will not be compatible with your home fixtures, and your entire expense may go waste. So, when you head to the market to buy an LED bulb, it is better to take your old bulb with you, so that you can check the fitting. Basically, there are bayonet and screw fitting bulbs, but there can be some other options as well, such as the GU10, MR16 etc.
Select the right color
Incandescent bulbs are known to produce a yellowish color which is warm and bright. But when it comes to LEDs, you have a wide range of colors to choose from. LED bulbs may display a spectrum of yellows and whites, and even red to purple. For home use, you will prefer a bulb that produces light similar to the light produced by incandescent bulbs. You can select from soft or warm white, to bright white colors. Soft or warm white bulbs produce a yellowish hue, while bright ones produce whiter light much similar to daylight.
The hue color in LED lights is marked in Kelvins, the less kelvins it has the yellower and warmer the hue will be. Follow our advice to choose the right hue:
- Soft white (2200K): For standard room illumination, has a yellowish tinge.
- Shiny, cold white (4100K): For places where you need a clear light such as the kitchen or office.
- Daylight, blue (6500K): This is ideal for table lamps or similar, as it helps read more clearly. This is not recommended to illuminate a whole room or for decorative purposes.
Find the best shape
Unlike incandescent bulbs with only one shape, LED bulbs come in a number of shapes, including stick, spiral, traditional, spot, golf, globe, down light and candle. Different shapes have slight difference in the way they emit light, particularly in terms of angel and spread. For instance, a golf or globe shaped bulb gives 360˚ spread of light, while a spotlight shaped bulb emits a narrow beam. The shape that you choose depends in your personal choice, and the location where you are installing it. For instance, if you are installing it in your bedside lamp, a stick shape will probably protrude and won’t look nice.
Take a look at this chart to know which type of shape will work best for you:
- Table or foot lamps: Standard LED bulbs
- Pendant fixture: Standard, Globe, MR16 or Candle types
- Ceiling fixtures: Standard or candle types
- Ceiling fans: Standard or candle types
- Wall sconces: Standard, globe or candle types
- Recessed cans: MR16, Spot or flood types
- Accent lighting: MR16 or Spot types
Consider which room you will be installing it in
Different atmospheres are required in different rooms of your house. For instance, you need a calm and relaxing atmosphere in your bedroom, while a bright and lively ambiance in your living room, kitchen, dining room and bathroom. Accordingly, a soft and neutral tone is recommended for bedrooms, while bright warmer color temperatures for other places. You can use adjustable spotlights to highlight art pieces in your living room, and a bright light over your mirror in the bathroom, so that you don’t miss even a single spot while shaving.
The final word
Although LED bulbs are expensive, they are worth the money you will save while using them. On average, changing a normal light bulb to a LED version will mean you will be saving up to 90% on energy, meaning you can reduce your electricity bill 55 dollars on average. Moreover, it's a good way to save electricity at home to save the environment and prevent climate change.
Do not take them as an expense, but as an investment. If you are still susceptible about whether you should buy LED light bulbs or not, know that an incandescent bulb consumes 5 times more electricity than an LED bulb. So, start planning now and replace your old bulbs with LED lights to save money and have some more light in your house. However, you will need to change most of the lights in your home in order to notice the difference when it comes to your bill. Do not forget these tips to choose the right LED light bulbs.
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- Make sure that the LED light bulbs you buy are dimmable if you are buying them for a dimmer switch as not many versions of this type of light bulb offer this possibility.
- If you are living in enclosed housing, LED light bulbs may not be the best option, as the heat that comes from the LED light bulb will not have a place to release the heat and will therefore return to the bulb and make it malfunction much earlier than the amount of time it should live.