Now that you’ve finally decided to replace all the light bulbs in your [city] home with LEDs, where do you start? Below are 8 elements to look for in any LED light bulb that’s perfect for general lighting at home.
1. Outstanding Lifespan
For the most part, lighting manufacturers that claim LED life spans of more than 20,000 hours are usually exaggerating things. You can expect most LEDs from reliable manufacturers to last for at least 15,000 hours, or a little over 5 years if you use them for 8 hours every day. In any case, that’s a lot longer than incandescent light bulbs, halogen lamps, or compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).
2. Low Wattage, High Lumens
The good news is that the lumens-to-wattage ratio of LED light bulbs from different manufacturers is usually the same, so that’s one less factor to worry about.
LEDs may be priced higher than CFLs and halogens, but prices are dropping fast, and the cost of buying LEDS can easily be recovered thanks to savings in replacements and electricity consumption.
3. Outstanding Durability
The solid-state technology in LEDs means have less moving and breakable part, which in turn means they’re more durable.
For example, LEDs do not have the fragile filament found in an incandescent light bulb, which means they’re far less likely to burn out or stop working after being dropped. The mostly aluminum construction of LEDs also means they hold up better against bumps and other forms of impact during shipping.
4. Excellent Thermal Management
The claim that LEDs don’t get hot at all isn’t 100% true. An LED bulb is cool to the touch because it comes with a heat sink, which helps dissipate heat effectively. In addition, unlike CFLs and incandescent bulbs that need to heat up to create light, LEDs are more efficient at converting their energy source directly to light. This superior thermal management also helps extend the life spans of LEDs.
5. High Color Rendering Index (CRI)
CRI refers to a light source’s quality, specifically, its ability to illuminate objects and their colors accurately. For general home lighting, choose LEDs with a CRI of at least 80. It’ll sound like a lot of technical mumbo jumbo, but all you have to remember is this: the higher the CRI, the easier it is to see the true colors of objects accurately.
6. Instant On
Unlike incandescent light bulbs and CFLs, which require at least a minute to generate their full illumination, LEDs are “instant on.” This means they produce their full lighting output the second they’re switched on.
7. Dimming Ability
One of the biggest differentiators that should draw CFL users to LEDs is the ability of the latter to dim. This means you can control the intensity of light generated by an LED bulb with a dimming controller, a feature previously associated with incandescent bulbs and halogens. On the other hand, the process by which CFLs create light makes them incompatible with dimming controllers.
Because a dimmer allows you to have fine control over an LED’s brightness, this means you get to use less electricity and extend the LED’s lifespan.
8. Multiple Colors
In their early years, LED light bulbs were criticized for generating a bluish-white light, but thankfully, that’s all changed today. LEDs now come in a wide variety of colors and color temperatures, paving way for a near limitless variety of lighting applications.