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What to consider before buying LED bulbs
Mar 14, 2018

What to consider before buying led bulbs

Since your incandescent bulbs burn out often, it's a good time to consider switching to led bulbs.

LED has an impressive lifespan(can be more than 20 years),and is very cost-effective.

Now it's the right time to replace your incandescents with LED bulbs. These little things have made a significant advances over the last few years. And finally let us enjoy the warm light that incandescents have comforted us for decades.

Because there are so many LED varieties,choosing an LED bulb is entirely different from picking up incandescent.

Before you go to a store, you must find out what you need to know about choosing the right LED bulbs.

  1. Lumens, not watts

Forget what you know about incandescents-the watts are no good here.

When shopping for bulbs, you are probably used to looking for the watts,because that determined the brightness of the incandescents.

But as to an LED bulbs, 4 watts LED can equal to an 40 watts incandescent. Because wattage is not an indication of brightness, which is different from our common belief.

The lumen is the real measurements of brightness provided by a light bulb, and is the important thing you should pay attention to when shoping for LED bulbs.

Here below is a chart that shows the watt-lumen conversion for incandescent and LEDs.


2. Choosing the right color temperature

An incandescent can always providing you a warm, yellowish hue,but an led bulb have a wide range of color temperature, from 2000K to 6000K.

So choosing the right color temperature is very important.

LED bulbs are capable od 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.

The popular colors available for LEDs are "warm white" or "soft white," and "bright white."

Warm white and soft white will produce a yellow hue, close to incandescents, while bulbs labeled as bright white will produce a whiter light, closer to daylight and similar to what you see in retail stores.

If you want to get technical, light color (color temperature) is measured in kelvins. The lower the number, the warmer (yellower) the light. So, your typical incandescent is somewhere between 2,700 and 3,500K. If that's the color you're going for, look for this range while shopping for LED bulbs.

3.  You'll pay more for an LED bulb

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.

Eventually, the LED bulbs will pay off, and in the meantime, you'll enjoy less heat production, longer bulb life, and even the option of controlling them with your smartphone.

Bottom line: unless you're replacing many incandescent bulbs in a large house, you won't see significant savings in your electricity bill.

For a detailed breakdown of the cost-effectiveness of LED bulbs, check out this useful post.

4. Watch out for non-dimmable LEDs

Because of their circuitry, LEDs are not always compatible with traditional dimming switches. In some cases, the switch must be replaced. Other times, you'll pay a little more for a compatible LED.

Most dimmers, which were likely designed to work with incandescents, work by cutting off the amount of electricity sent to the bulb. The less electricity drawn, the dimmer the light. But with your newly acquired knowledge of LED lingo, you know that there is no direct correlation between LED brightness and energy drawn.

This guide explains why some LEDs will hum, flickr, or buzz when tied to a dimmer.

If you'd like your LED to be dimmable, you need to do one of two things: find LED bulbs compatible with traditional dimmers, or replace your current dimming switch with a leading-edge (LED-compatible) dimmer.

When shopping for LEDs, it helps to know what kind of dimming switch you have, but if you don't know (or would rather not go through the trouble), simply search for LED bulbs compatible with standard incandescent dimmers. To make things easier for you, we tested a slew of them to find out which LED bulbs work best with dimmers.

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