LED light bulbs- the things you really need to know.
Disclaimer: When referring to replaceable electronic light producers the following post contains excessive use of the term light bulb instead of using the technical term- lamp. Should you be affected by the term light bulb please turn away now.
Imagine the scene,
You're looking for a light bulb. Simple, you have it in your hand. It's been in the fitting for years, and you just want another of the same. You walk into the light bulb section of a shop and suddenly all you can see are rows and rows of light bulbs. None of them look like your light bulb. They're different shapes, different colours and not a single one looks anything remotely like the one in your hand. This was meant to be easy yet here you are, feeling more in the dark than the night this trusty old light bulb decided to give up it's primary function.
Don't worry, you're not being silly. It really can be complicated, especially if you're only now tentatively approaching LED lighting.
where exactly do we start?
The first question we will ask is do you need it to be dimmable? There is a difference, non-dimmable are cheaper to purchase but they cannot dim. Don't try it, they don't like it.
If you have an existing dimmer switch you will need to ensure it’s LED compatible. The dimmable light bulbs are slightly more expensive to purchase, simply because of the added technology needed to make them dim. It makes absolutely no difference if you want to put a dimmable light bulb in a standard on/off switch, we just think if we can save you a penny or two we will!
So that’s dimming, what else?
Our next step would be the colour of light you want. It seems complicated but it really can effect how you use your light and whether it fulfils it’s duty to the best of it’s little illuminated ability.
We would ideally need to know what the light bulb is for. Not to be nosy, if we know where your using the light bulb we can better advise what you may want to replace your little burnt out friend. The location of the light bulb can really make a huge difference. LED lighting comes in different colour temperatures or ‘Kelvin’ starting at 2000K the warmest colour and sliding up to 6000K the coldest colour.
Generally warmer colours are relaxing and comforting so a warm white at 2700K would be suited in an area that needs to be welcoming. On the other side of the spectrum cold colours are much starker and better for task lighting or places you want a bright clean effect, the bluer it appears on the scale the brighter white the light will be. Which is why daylight at 6000K is frequently recommended for anyone who struggles with poor eyesight or needs more clarity.
The colour temperature can also effect the brightness of the light. The higher the Kelvin the higher the Lumens.
‘What on earth are Lumens?’ I hear you cry!
Lumens are a measure of light and light efficiency, in it’s most simplified form just as with ‘Kelvin’ the higher the number the brighter the light. In our new world of low wattage lighting it can be very confusing so I shall not delve to far into how to measure efficiency. Let’s save that for another blog post.
You may have seen Lumens on your light bulb packaging, they’re the number with LM. There isn’t an exact science to equating traditional incandescent measures with LED however you can estimate with the below chart, give or take 10 lumens!
Is there anything else?
There are many many many more things we could discuss regarding LED lighting, we’ll save those for another post. Should you have any questions please send us a message or comment below and let us know!