Why would you need quick tips on LED technology? When you look at the myriad of LED bulbs and fixtures and you’ll soon see the terminology and technology differs from traditional lighting. You’ll need to know the basics to buy appropriate products for your needs.
What may confuse you most is the vast array of LED bulb shapes. Each bulb offers a different angle and spread of light, but the LED bulbs you need generally look very much like the incandescent or halogen bulbs in your home now. For instance, table and floor lamps usually take an ice cream cone-shaped standard bulb. Chandeliers take a screw-in candle bulb and overheads might use a golf ball bulb.
Check the Fitting
Does the bulb screw in, plug in, or is it bayonet style which you push in and turn? You’ll need to know this to find a matching bulb. Also follow the tips on LED lighting below to find the correct brightness and colour.
Lumens, Not Watts
When you bought an incandescent bulb you knew that a higher wattage meant a brighter light. However, wattage really measures power consumption, not brightness. Lumens measure brightness. You can use the chart below to match the wattage of an incandescent to its LED counterpart. LEDs use less power and save money.
You’ll need about 400 lumens for a bedside lamp and between 1,500 and 3,000 lumens for a spacious living room.
Tips on LED Colour Temperature
Colour temperature? Yes, the Kelvin scale measures colour temperature and the tone of light a bulb emits. Light colour affects how a room “feels”.
LED technology offers shades of white and ever-changing colour in some LED fixtures. Warm white is soft, with a yellowish glow. Cool white has a bluish tinge. You choose the shade by your personal preference and the area that needs light.
Colour by Room Use
For the living room, dining room and bedroom – choose warm white light. If you want powerful task lighting in the kitchen and bathroom, choose cool white because it is clear and bright. If you want to vary the light, choose ever-changing LED lights with a controller.
Multiple or Single Bulb
Does your overhead fixture have a single bulb or several bulbs? If it has multiple bulbs choose LED replacements of about 400 lumens each. If the fixture has one bulb, choose a replacement of about 750 lumens.
Do You Want The Light to Dim?
Not all bulbs or fixtures dim. You should probably use a recommended LED dimmer too. LED lights do not dim the same way as incandescent either. You’ll need “warm dimming” if you want to emulate the glow of a dimmed incandescent.
Recessed Light Bulbs
If you want to replace your recessed bulb with LED, measure it. They come in various sizes to fit traditional fixtures. There’s nothing worse than not realizing this when you thought you were ready to buy.
GU10 LEDs are a direct replacement for most traditional halogen bulbs. They have the same base, so all you need to do is match the brightness.
LED tubes snap into fluorescent fixtures, but you’ll need to know the length. Standard sizes are 2 foot and 4 foot.
Now that you understand the basics, you can buy what suits you and your home. Remember to buy quality bulbs for energy efficiency and longevity. Check the hours of use rating, lumens, fitting and colour. You can view common household bulbs here to start you on your journey.