If you have not switched to LED bulbs, now is the time.
The reasons for this are convincing: they last much longer than incandescent bulbs, offer interesting functions and can save money on electricity bills. In addition, many incandescent bulbs – such as the– are being phased out, so you'll eventually need to make the switch.
Buying the right LED is very different from buying light bulbs. But before you go shopping, you need to know a few things.
Lumens, not Watts
Forget what you know about light bulbs ̵
When you buy light bulbs, you're probably used to looking for watts, an indication of how bright the light bulb is. However, the brightness of the LEDs is set slightly differently.
Contrary to popular belief, wattage is not an indication of brightness but a measure of how much energy the light bulb consumes. For incandescent lamps, there is an accepted correlation between the drawn wattage and the brightness. For LEDs, however, wattage is not a good indicator of how bright the light bulb is. (The point is, after all, they consume less energy.)
A comparable incandescent LED bulb, like a 60W incandescent, consumes only 8 to 12 watts.
But do not bother – There is no consistent way to turn bulb watt into LED watt. Instead, another form of measurement should be used: Lumen .
The lumen (lm) is the actual measure of the brightness that a bulb provides, and is the number you should look for LEDs. For illustration, here is a diagram that shows the Watt-Lumen conversion for bulbs and LEDs.
As you can see in the table above, an incandescent lamp can draw up to five times as much watts with the same number of lumens. Get an idea of the brightness (in lumens) you need before you go to the store and throw away your affinity for watts.
Right Color LED Selection
You can always rely on incandescent lamps that produce a warm, yellowish hue. However, LEDs are available in many colors.
As the Philips Hueproves, LED lamps can boast an impressive palette of purple to red, a spectrum of white and yellow. At home, however, you are probably looking for something that resembles incandescent-like light.
The common colors for LEDs are "warm white" or "soft white" and "bright white".
Warm white and soft white create a yellow hue that is close to incandescent bulbs, while incandescent light bulbs produce brighter light that resembles daylight and what you see in retail. is similar.
If you want to work technically, the light color (color temperature) is measured in Kelvin. The lower the number, the warmer (yellow) the light. Your typical light bulb is between 2,700 and 3,500K. If you choose this color, look for this selection when you buy LED bulbs.
You Pay More for an LED Lamp
LED bulbs are like hybrid cars: cheaper to use but expensive in advance.
When you switch to LED bulbs, you should not expect to save money. Think of it as an investment instead. Fortunately, the competition has increased and the LED bulbs have become lower (like this Philips 5-dollar LED), but you should still expect to pay much more than a light bulb.
After all, the LED bulbs are paying off, and in the meantime, you can enjoy less heat generation, longer lamp life, and even the option to control them through your smartphone
Watch for non-dimmable LEDs
Due to their wiring, LEDs are not always compatible with traditional dimmer switches. In some cases, the switch must be replaced. Otherwise, you pay a little more for a compatible LED.
Most dimmers that were probably designed for incandescent lamps work by blocking the power consumption of the light bulb. The less power is consumed, the weaker the light becomes. However, with your newly acquired knowledge of LED Lingo, you know that there is no direct correlation between LED brightness and power consumption.
This guide explains why some LEDs hum, flickr, or buzz when tied to a dimmer.
If you want your LED to be dimmable, you need to do two things: Find LED lamps that are compatible with these LEDs You can use conventional dimmers or replace your current dimmer switch with an LED-compatible dimmer.
If you choose LEDs, it is helpful to know what type of dimmer switch you have. However, if you do not know (or would rather not bother) LED bulbs that are compatible with traditional incandescent dimmers. To make your job easier, we've tested some to find out which LED bulbs work best with dimmers .
Not all lights should use LEDs.
Knowing where an LED can be mounted will ensure that the lamp does not burn before its time.
You probably know that LED bulbs are used Run dramatically cooler than their glowing cousins, but that does not mean they do not generate heat. LED lamps become hot, but the heat is dissipated by a heat sink in the base of the lamp. From there, the heat is released into the air and the LED lamp stays cool, which keeps its promise of a very long life.
And therein lies the problem: The lamp needs a way to dissipate the heat. When an LED lamp is housed in a closed enclosure, the heat has no way to leave it and condemn it to a slow and painful death.
Think about where you want to place your LED bulbs. If you have full or semi-closed headlamps that need to be lit, look for LEDs that are approved for recessed or enclosed spaces.
Editor's note: This article was originally published in 2013 and has been updated