When LED light bulbs first came on the scene as a replacement for the very inefficient incandescent bulbs and the unpopular CFLs, there were a few disadvantages: LEDs were very expensive and most of them looked weird, with odd shapes that didn’t look like we envisioned a light bulb should look. They also didn’t always fit into lamps correctly.
These problems have been overcome: LEDs are much less expensive, come in shapes that mimic “traditional” bulbs and can fit into most fixtures. The retail price of LEDs has dropped about 90% since the early days.
In addition, LEDs:
- Are very energy efficient, using 80-90% less electricity than incandescents
- Have a much longer life than other types of bulbs, lasting for many years
- Are sturdy, as they are made of solid material with no filament, tube or bulb to break
- Turn on instantly, with no warm-up period
- Can be extremely focused for reading or performing a task
- Work well in cold areas, such as outdoor applications
- Contain no mercury or other hazardous substances
Make the switch
Because we have depended on incandescent bulbs for so long, we are used to choosing bulbs based on the wattage, or how much electricity a bulb uses.
It can be confusing to switch to LEDs for several reasons:
- LED lighting is based on lumens, or the light’s actual brightness, rather than watts, the amount of energy used. The effectiveness of an LED is usually expressed in its lumen-to-watt ratio, or the number of lumens produced for each watt consumed. It can be confusing to choose a bulb based on lumens. To see a comparison between bulb types, comparing lumens and watts, read Know Your LED Options, by clicking HERE (this will redirect you to another web page) or click on the green button, below.
- LEDs are rated on Kelvin temperature scale (K), or the type of light given off. Find a description of Kelvin HERE or click on the green button, below.
Match Kelvins to your lighting needs
EarthLED suggests following these guidelines on both lumens and color for these rooms:
- Bedrooms: Suggested brightness is 1,500- 4,000 lumens, with a warm color temperature of 2700-3000K. That is because using cool, bluer tones can affect your circadian rhythm.
- Living room: Suggested brightness is 1,500-3,000 lumens and a color temperature of 2200-3000. Again, avoid cool, blue lighting lamps that help us produce serotonin and give us energy. It’s also suggested that adding lamps for specific purposes, such as reading or to avoid glare on the TV is helpful.
- Dining room: Suggested brightness is 3,000- 6,000 lumens and color temperature between 2200 and 3000K. Avoid overly bright or too-dim fixtures, and consider LED bulbs for chandelier fixtures.
- Kitchen: Suggested brightness is 4,000- 8,000 lumens with a color temperature of 2700-5000K. Brighter blue bulbs over a counter can help wake us up in the morning, while a warmer light over the dining table lends ambiance.
- Bathroom: Suggested brightness is 4,000- 8,000 lumens, with a color temperature of 3000 to 5000K.