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3 Most Important Things To Consider When Buying LED Lights And Bulbs - 04th April 2014

3 Most Important Things to Consider When Buying LED Lights and Bulbs

As your incandescent bulbs burn out, it is a good time to consider switching to the LED light bulbs. By now, you must have probably known that the LEDs have an impressive lifespan and are quite cost effective. You perhaps know that they are a costly investment, which can run 5 times more expensive than the incandescent.

Irrespective of the cost, now is the right time to switch to the LED bulbs. These light bulbs have made important advances since the last few years. More than ever, there are also a number of LED varieties and selecting an LED is completely different from picking up an incandescent. Before heading to the store, find what you should know about selecting the right energy saving bulbs.

Lumens and not watts

While shopping for bulbs, you may be accustomed to looking for watts, a sign of how bright the bulb is. However, LEDs brightness is determined bit differently. Contrary to the common belief, a wattage is not a sign of brightness; it is a measurement of how much energy a bulb draws. For incandescent bulbs, there is a correlation between watts drawn and brightness, but for the LEDs, the watts are not a great predictor of how bright the bulb is.  For instance, an LED light bulb, which is 8-12 watts has the same brightness like that of 60 watt incandescent bulb.
 
However, don’t bother about doing this math. There is no uniform way of converting incandescent watts to the LED watts; rather a different form of measurement is used, lumens (lm). Lumen is the real measurement of brightness provided by a bulb and is the number you must look for while shopping for the LEDs.

Color

Incandescent bulbs provide a warm and yellowish hue. But LED lights and bulbs are capable of displaying a wide range of colors, from red to purple, to a spectrum of yellows and whites. However, for your home, you probably might be looking for a light similar to which incandescent produces.

The colors, which are available for the LEDs include soft white, bright white and warm white. Soft white and warm white produces a yellow hue, similar to the incandescent, while the bulbs that are labeled as bright white produces a whiter light, closer to the daylight and same to what we see in the retail shops.

Dimmable LED

Most of the dimmers that were probably designed to work with the incandescent bulbs, work by cutting off the electricity amount, sent to the bulb. The less electricity drawn, the dimmer the light. However, with your newly gained knowledge about LED lumens, you already know there is no correlation between the energy drawn and the LED brightness. If you want your LED to be dimmable, you should do either of these following things:

  • Find an LED bulb, which is compatible with the traditional dimmners
  • Replace the current dimmings switch  with an LED-compatible dimmer

So, when you are shopping for the LEDs, it is important for you to know what kind of dimming switch you have in your home. If you have no idea about it, just search for the LED lights and bulbs that are compatible with standard incandescent dimmers.

You can find a lot more information on LED bulbs and other energy saving devices by staying connected to our Good Steps blog.

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