Types Of LED Lights To Buy
If you’ve been shopping for light bulbs recently, you may have noticed that LED lights have almost totally dominated the market. Sure, you might see shelves stocked with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), and even the odd incandescent bulb here and there. But, by and large, the market seems to have been taken over by all types of LED lights.
Why LED Lights are Better Than Other Bulbs
One of the main reasons to go for LED lights instead of traditional bulbs is their energy efficiency. All other factors being equal, LED lights consume much less electricity than other lighting options.
Another reason is their longevity. LED bulbs last remarkably long, sometimes as much as 20 years or more.
LED lights also measure up to other bulbs in terms of light quality. Given their other advantages, LED bulbs are feasible options for anyone looking for high-quality lighting solutions that are long-lasting and cost-effective to use.
What Types of LED Lights Should You Buy?
Choosing lights is often a personal decision. Shopping for LED lights, in particular, can be challenging because there are so many different types available. When making your selection, it would be helpful to keep a few things in mind:
Most LED light packages provide a surprising wealth of information. Turn the box around and check the label marked “Lighting Facts”, either on the side or back panel. This will likely tell you everything you need to know about brightness and light appearance. If you are unable to test the bulb beforehand, this should give you a good idea of what to expect from your purchase.
Lumens Over Watts
Most people are accustomed to gauging a bulb’s brightness by its wattage. But with LED lights, it is much more accurate to check the lumen count. This information can usually be found across the “brightness” specification on the Lighting Facts label.
The wattage rating is still useful for helping you determine the relative brightness of a bulb. But the lumens will tell you if the LED light you are purchasing is a suitable replacement for an incandescent bulb of specific wattage. For instance, you will know that a 1,600 lumen bulb provides comparable illumination to a 100-watt incandescent bulb.
Light appearance is generally described as “warm” or “cool”. These refer to color temperature, as measured by Kelvins (K). For warm and relaxing lighting such as for lamps or living rooms, most people prefer LED lights measuring 2,700 to 3,000 K to approximate the warmth of a traditional incandescent bulb. For task-oriented applications such as in workshops and laundries, a bulb with a 5,000 K rating would be more suitable for producing a cool, bluish effect similar to natural light.
One of the drawbacks of LED lights is they need an open enclosure to allow heat to dissipate. This ensures that they last as long as the manufacturer intended. If they are installed in an enclosed fixture, the frequent heat buildup will damage the bulb’s internal electronics, eventually causing premature failure.
If you plan on purchasing an LED bulb for a closed enclosure, check the packaging to ensure that it is suitable for that application. Such bulbs have more efficient designs and components that are better able to withstand constant heat exposure.
Not all LED bulbs will work with your dimmer. Many older dimmers are designed for compatibility only with incandescent bulbs and won’t work at all with LEDs. Check the website of your LED bulb manufacturer to see if they have a list of compatible dimmers. This will save you the time, money, and trouble of purchasing bulbs that won’t work with your dimmer.
LED Light Usage
As versatile as LED bulbs are, they aren’t always suitable replacements for incandescent bulbs. In an oven, for example, the intense heat generated will cause the bulb’s electronics to give out much more quickly than a standard incandescent appliance bulb.
There are LED appliance bulbs made for refrigerators and freezers. But they are usually unavailable locally and will have to be ordered online. Besides, using an LED bulb for a fridge or freezer won’t really be a cost-effective solution, as they tend to be left on only for a few seconds.
LED lights come in such a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and designs that you could easily outfit your entire home with them. Now is as good a time as any to explore the wonderful and illuminating world of LED lighting, so weigh all the above factors carefully and take your pick!