LED Buying 101: 4 Simple Factors to Make Shopping Easy

When shifting your Scottsdale home’s lighting system to a light-emitting diode (LED) setup, it can be difficult to choose what LEDs to get. Aside from the large brands like Philips, GE, and CREE, you have several smaller brands that offer LED lighting solutions that are just as reliable as their big-name counterparts.

So, how do you make a smart purchase decision when getting LED light bulbs? Below are 4 qualities of a “good” LED worth buying.

Materials and Quality

High-quality LEDs are made of strong, high-grade materials. Be sure to check the LED’s construction, starting with the material used on the base of the bulb. Is it made of cheap plastic? Does it feel cheap and flimsy? High-quality LEDs still use plastic, but it is the kind of plastic that has very little flex (or bendability), if at all, even when you apply force.

Next, check the bulb’s envelope, or glass bulb. Flex to see if it bends under pressure. Once again, if it feels cheap or too plastic-ky, consider something else.

Low Heat Emissions

High-quality LEDs have excellent heat dispersion features. In fact, your standard LED bulb will have a heat sink—think of it as a small radiator—to dissipate heat efficiently. This allows the LED to stay cool to the touch, even when used for long hours.

The best way to determine a bulb’s heat-dissipating abilities is to test it before buying. Ask a technician at the hardware store to test the bulb and leave it on for a few minutes. Lightly touch the LED to check its temperature. The cooler the bulb, the better the likelihood of it lasting longer.

Check for Lumens, not Watts

Many people get confused when looking for the brightness of an LED light bulb. Since many consumers are used to checking an ordinary light bulb’s wattage rating to determine its brightness, they end up scratching their heads when seeing how LEDs only need 10 watts, 8 watts, and even 5 watts of electricity. And they’re still bright! For example, a 15-watt LED is bright enough to replace a 100-watt incandescent bulb.

So, what gives? The problem is that wattage is not actually a measure of brightness, but rather of electricity needed to power a device. What you should check for is the LED’s lumens rating. A lumen is the measure of the total amount of visible light generated by a light source, telling you exactly how bright it is. The higher the lumens rating, the brighter the LED bulb.


Although LEDs are more expensive compared to ordinary incandescent bulbs, halogen lamps, and CFLs, you still end up saving money from the lower electricity consumption of your LED bulbs.

And keep in mind that you don’t have to spend a lot of money for quality LEDs. Over the years, many small LED brands offer high-quality LED lighting solutions at reasonable prices. And as the process of manufacturing LEDs becomes more efficient and more LED companies enter the industry, LED bulbs will only get cheaper.

These four factors should give you a general idea of what to look for when buying LEDs for your Scottsdale home. If the cost of LEDs is too prohibitive, consider buying a few bulbs and testing them in one room of your home first. This lets you see for yourself what makes LED light bulbs special.