Everything You Need to Know About Using LED Bulbs

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Before you consider changing your LED bulbs at home, go through this article first. 

The reasons behind switching to LED bulbs is pretty coercive –they last much longer than incandescent bulbs, provides interesting features and can save you money with its lower electric consumption.  These benefits are pushing into the demise of incandescent bulbs, which are now being phased out so there’s no better time to make a switch, than now. 

The process of purchasing an LED bulb is far different from buying incandescent bulbs. Before rushing through the nearest hardware, here’s a couple of things you should know:

Lumens, Not Watts 

With incandescent bulbs, we are accustomed to classifying it according to watts which indicates the brightness that the bulb can radiate. However, for LED bulbs, the brightness discovery is determined a little bit differently.    

It is a common belief that watts is an indication of the bulb’s brightness but not quite on point, because it is primarily, the measurement of how much energy the bulb draws. For incandescent, there is an accepted correlation between the watts drawn and the brightness but for LED bulbs, watts cannot predict how bright the bulb will be. Unlike incandescent bulbs, LED bulbs draw less energy. 

There is no direct conversion of watts to LED watts, instead, a more exact measurement has to be used which is Lumen. 

The Lumen (lm) is the measurement of the bulb’s brightness and is the number you must look into when purchasing an LED bulb. For your reference, here’s a chart of a watt-lumen conversion for different bulb types. 

watt-lumen conversion for different bulb types
Photo by Dallas Builders

Choosing the Right LED Color

led bulb
Photo by Federico Bottos on Unsplash

LED bulbs display a notable color range, from purple to red up to a spectrum of whites and yellows.  If you are looking for the same brightness as the incandescent bulb’s, then choose among the popular white colors such as warm white, soft white and bright white. 

Warm and soft whites produce a yellow hue while a bright white radiates whiter color similar to retail stores. 

There is another measurement of how bright you want your light to go. Look into the color temperature measured in kelvins. The lower the number, the warmer or yellower. As a reference, a typical incandescent light bulb measures around 2,700 and 3,500K. 

Look for a non-dimmable LED Bulb 

Most light bulb dimmers are designed typically to work with incandescent bulbs but not really for LED bulbs. These dimmers work by cutting off the amount of electricity sent to the light bulb. 

There are two ways to make your LED dimmable. One, find LED bulbs that are compatible with your dimmers or two, replace your traditional dimmers with a LED-compatible dimmer. 

When you shop for LEDs, it is best to know first the dimming switch you have or simply search for LED bulbs compatible with your traditional light dim switch. 

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