Energy Efficiency

LED lightbulbs are efficient and great for the environment. Learn how to choose the right one for you!

Choosing an LED Light Bulb: A Guide to Green LED Lighting

As more companies produce energy efficient LED light bulbs to replace the old, inefficient incandescent bulbs, the multitude of choices can be bewildering to consumers. However, once you break down what it is you want from a bulb, the choice is much easier.

The reasons for getting an LED bulb have become obvious to everyone. Companies now manufacture LED bulbs that can last for more than 20 years, saving consumers hundreds of dollars over the life span of the bulb. And because many different companies are trying to get into the LED light business, pricing is becoming more competitive.

LED lights are good in the big picture, as well. They use an estimated 75% to 85% less energy than incandescent bulbs. Most 100W and 75W bulbs have been phased out already, with the 60W and 40W soon to follow after them.

After more than a century of incandescent bulbs, the world is moving on. Buying LED lights for the home need not be a confusing process. Some factors to consider are below.

Choosing an LED Bulb: The Quality of Light

This is the big issue for many consumers, particularly older ones who don’t think they are getting the same amount of light from an LED as they do the older incandescent bulb. However, this is no longer an issue as companies are now producing even brighter LED bulbs.

Learn how to choose an LED bulbPart of the issue is thinking about light in terms of wattage. Many companies now measure in terms of lumens, such as the 1,600 lumens bulb that is basically the equal of a 100W bulb. These omnidirectional bulbs have reached a level of brightness that consumers became used to with the old incandescent bulbs – although the price for these bulbs is higher than the 60W and 40W equivalent. However, even at those prices the bulbs are expected to save consumers money over the life of the bulb.

LED Lighting: Color of Light

Another issue used to be that LED lights give off a white light that is different from the warmer, yellow glow of an incandescent bulb. This is no longer an issue.

LED lights are offered with a color rendering index (CRI), which varies from bright white to warmer hues. Some companies now offer the ability to change the color of light bulbs, some of which can be controlled by a smartphone.

LED Bulbs: Function of the Light

The chief advantage of an LED bulb is how long it lasts. That makes them perfect for hard-to-reach areas, like porch lights or store rooms.

While in the early days LED lights did not come in a shape that fit into decorative lamps, there are now such a variety of shapes that finding one that works with your current décor should not be a problem.

LED lights are known for doing an excellent job of focusing light in one direction, so they are good for reading lights or overhead lights in places like the kitchen.

LED Lights Save Money: The Price of LED Bulbs

A simple Internet search will turn up information on the current prices for LED lights. Generally speaking, the following is typically the cost range.

  • 40W equivalent bulbs: $7 to $15.
  • 60W equivalent bulbs: $10 to $15.
  • 100W equivalent bulbs. $15-$30 (and even higher for certain brands).

Clearly the prices are higher than what older Americans are used to paying for light bulbs, but always bear in mind that these bulbs will last longer than traditional bulbs.

Find LED Bulbs on Now

Shop By Room for LED Bulbs

Consumer Reports has also broken down the types of bulbs available by room of the house.

The bathroom is the most tricky to buy for, and most still might prefer incandescent globe lights, which are not part of the phase out. There is, however, an EcoSmart bulb that can be used in wet areas. There is also an IKEA bulb, the Ledare, which is OK for bathroom but should be used overhead as it casts most of its light out of the end of the bulb.

In the bedroom, Consumer Reports recommends bulbs in the 2700 to 2900 Kelvin range, as they supply more warm lighting. For a reading lamp, a higher Kelvin number will supply a cooler light that is better to read by.

The family room is where you’ll want to make use of the 60W replacement bulbs that have, in the past, frequently been the standard bulb in these areas. The same can be said for most hallway lights, but just be sure to find out if the LED is safe for use in an enclosed lighting fixture, as some are not.

With the rapid expansion of bulbs now available, finding an LED bulb for every room of your home has never been easier.

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