Choosing LED Bulbs

Here are a few things to consider when choosing LED light bulbs:

LEDs are otherwise known as the ‘Light Emitting Diodes'. LEDs main advantage over many other light bulbs is there efficiency. However, this can be slightly misleading as you have to look at the application, the number of hours you are using this and the amount of lighting you require. What we are looking for is the amount of Lumens per watt and this will determine your consumption and cost. In conventional incandescent bulbs, the light-production process involves generating a lot of heat (through a filament inside the light bulb that must be warmed). This is completely wasted energy, unless you're using the lamp as a heater, because a huge portion of the available electricity isn't going toward producing visible light. LEDs generate very little heat, relatively speaking. A much higher percentage of the electrical power is going directly to generating light, which cuts down on the electricity demands considerably, thereby saving money.

LEDs were expensive to use for most lighting applications because they are built around advanced semiconductor material. The price of semiconductor devices has plummeted over the past few years therefore making LEDs a more cost-effective lighting option for a wide range of situations. Whilst they may be more expensive than incandescent and compact fluorescent lights up front, their lower cost in the long run can make them a better buy. In the future, they will play an even bigger role in the world of technology as they are evolving at a fast pace and the price will reduce.

LED 2-pin Spot Bulb LED GLS Bulb LED Candle Bulb LED GU10 Spot Bulb

Colour Temperature

Early LEDs were mostly a very much higher colour temperature (i.e. a bluish light) than the typical 2700K colour temperature of a warm white incandescent lamp. This has led many people to think that LEDs gave a “cold” light. LED technology has however advanced a great deal in the last couple of years and some types of LED are available in a range of colour temperatures from warm white (2700 or 3000K) up to daylight (6000K and beyond). LEDs with a higher colour temperature do however tend to be slightly more efficient than those with a lower colour temperature. To replace standard incandescent or halogen lamps, a colour temperature of around 2700K to 3000K is preferred. To ensure that you are comparing like with like it is recommended that you always check the colour temperature.

View our Colour Temperature and Colour Rendering Index Guide

Colour rendering

The colour rendering of LEDs varies quite markedly between brands. For some applications this is not particularly important but for ambient lighting it is important to check the quality of light emitted. The LEDs that we offer for ambient lighting all have good colour rendering, comparable to that of a good quality fluorescent tube.

View our Colour Temperature and Colour Rendering Index Guide

Heat output

LEDs give off relatively little heat but do run reasonably warm and often incorporate a heat sink to dissipate any excess heat and maintain the LEDs at optimum operating temperature. Compact lamps such as miniature spot lights can thus still get reasonably warm whereas larger bulbs and candles certainly are cool enough to touch when operating.

Rated Life

The one area where LEDs really score highly is in their rated operating life, which typically ranges from 20,000 to 50,000 hours. This is 20 to 50 times longer than a typical incandescent lamp so LEDs are ideal for use in areas where maintenance is difficult or long life is important.

Conclusion

LED’s last longer and are more efficient in terms of energy saving. The pay back depends on the application and usage of the light bulb as the initial costs will be in most circumstances be more than conventional CFL’s or incandescent lamps. There are many types of LED and again sizes may vary depending on the manufacturer. At the Lamp Company we offer all major brands and recommendations based on your requirements.

Watch our video guide to Choosing a LED bulb to replace a GU10 Halogen Spot

If you have any questions about LED’s then please contact us

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