LED bulbs save you money.
A standard single incandescent bulb will set you back roughly $32 if used daily for 5 hours over 2 years. An LED bulb used for the same length of time will cost you just $12 (and the vast majority of that is for the bulb itself).
The advantages to LEDs don’t stop there though. They’re incredibly energy efficient, better for the environment, last far longer than standard bulbs, and light up instantaneously.
Clearly, there are considerable benefits to lighting your home with LED bulbs.
But have you been down to the local store recently? There are masses of them available! It can be tough to know which is right for your home. Which do you choose?
Let us help!
Keep reading for 6 tips to help you decide which LED light bulbs are best for you.
What is an LED Bulb?
Let’s consider quickly what we mean by an LED bulb.
LED stands for a light emitting diode. But they’re essentially just a technologically more advanced bulb that is smaller and more durable than regular incandescent varieties. LEDs create light using a semiconductor, which is far more energy efficient and leads to a host of benefits.
6 Top Tips for Choosing the Best LED Light Bulbs
Now we know what they are, we can turn to how to choose the right bulb for your house. There’s a huge range of LED bulbs available for purchase. It can get confusing!
Check out the following 6 tips to help you decide which is best for you.
1. Select the Right Shape for You
LEDs come in a large variety of different shapes and sizes.
A standard lightbulb is one of the most common. This is your general purpose lightbulb, which does a good job wherever they’re placed. Their curved shape helps to send light in all directions around the room.
You’ll find all manner of other varieties too. Can bulbs have a flattened top and are useful for down lighting. Floodlight bulbs also have a flat top. However, they’re best for strong, narrow beams of light.
Then there are vintage, candle, tube and track light bulbs to choose from, among others! Your first port of call should be to think about the style of bulb that’s right for your home.
2. Shop for Lumens Instead of Watts
LEDs use a different metric to inform you of their brightness.
In the past, we’d look for a bulb’s wattage to figure out how bright it is. That is still the case for standard incandescent bulbs. However, watts really only speaks to consumption of power. LEDs refer to something called lumens instead, which refer to the actual brightness of the light.
Why the change? Well, the additional energy efficiency of LED bulbs makes the older measurement systems obsolete. It can get confusing to the first-time LED buyer though. The packaging may tell you the equivalent wattage too.
Roughly speaking, a 40-watt incandescent bulb should be replaced with a 450 lumen LED bulb. Go 800 lumens for a 60-watt bulb; 1,100 for a 75-watt replacement, and 1,600 lumens for a 100-watt bulb.
3. Select the Color Temperature
You can find LED bulbs in all manner of colors too.
But the color temperature is slightly different. You know how some light appears warm, while others are cooler in nature? This is what we mean by color temperature. Essentially, it refers to the level of warmth in the light.
It’s measured in Kelvins (K). Cooler temperatures get higher ratings and vice versa. You may also see reference to ‘soft light’. Softer light would be warmer in nature, and receive lower kelvin scores (2500K, for example). Crisper light will come from higher Kelvin scores (5000-6000K).
4. Consider the Room
The right LED bulb will depend on where it’s going to be fitted.
You’ll want to create the mood you’re after and what the room’s function is. Laundry rooms, for example, may require a bright, white, cooler light. A living room may better suit a softer light with a lower Kelvin rating.
Think about the angle of the beams too. Different LEDs have different beam angles. This relates to how the light is emitted and spreads out from the bulb. Down-lighting, which has a narrow beam, will be well-suited for hallways, for example.
5. Be Wary of Dimmers
Dimmer switches have traditionally been a problem for LED bulbs.
These days the problem isn’t as bad. Most LED bulbs can now be dimmed like any other. However, you’ll find some that might struggle. It can be worth doing your research prior to purchase to ensure you find some that work for you.
Here’s a handy guide from CNET on some of the best quality LED bulbs for dimmer switches. That’ll help you find the right one for you, or give you a better idea of what to look out for.
6. Consider the Savings
Many people are put off LED bulbs by the initial cost. They can be significantly more expensive than traditional bulbs.
However, they’re immensely more energy efficient. That means you make your money back over time in energy savings. They last longer too thanks to their added durability. Some will last as long as 50,000 hours!
That makes LEDs a good investment overall. You save in the long run and experience better quality of light in the process.
Time to Get Lit
There you have it: how to choose the right LED light bulbs for your home.
LEDs have risen from the dark to surpass traditional incandescent bulbs in terms of quality and cost savings. That’s because of all the benefits LEDs provide. But the wide array of options can make it difficult to know which one is right for your home.
Hopefully, the information in this article has made it easier for you to decide!
Remember, first, focus on the shape and style you desire, before considering the lumen count that’ll work best. Next, think about the color temperature, and the quality of light you’d like in your home. Think about the particular rooms you’re shopping for, and be wary of dimmers. Finally, rest assured that the initial expenditure will be paid back in kind as you continue to utilize your LED bulbs.