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19th January 2016 Comments Off on The Simple LED buying guide Views: 2219 Help & Advice, How To Guides, Simple Lighting Blog

The Simple LED buying guide

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WHAT IS AN LED?

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An LED (light emitting diode) is a modern solution to artificial lighting.

The latest LEDs rival halogen bulbs for light quality but with loads of added benefits.

LED bulbs are eco friendly, containing no UV or mercury and are energy efficient, have an average lifespan of around 20,000 hours and can save up to 90% in your energy costs!

ALL ABOUT THE BASE?

Generally, most people are surprised to find that there are quite so many different bulb fittings around, but this is definitely the most important bit in choosing your new bulb!

The ones below are the most common household bulbs, take a look at your current bulb and compare to the pics to see which you need.

Now you know your fitting, either click on the relevant link below, or read on to find out more about choosing the perfect bulb…

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AREN’T THE SHAPES ALL THE SAME?

Actually, no, they aren’t! Although a lot about bulb shape does come down to personal preference, the different shapes do serve their own purpose!

Each of the different shapes provides a slightly different spread and angle of light. Spotlights will cast a narrow, direct beam of light, whereas a golf bulb provides an almost 360° spread. It’s also worth considering how the fitting will look even when off, some lamps benefit from a more decorative candle bulb. If you have a short lampshade or multiple fittings, smaller bulbs such as a golf might work best here.

The best place to start is to compare to what you currently have in your fitting, and usually, that will be the best shaped bulb for the job. Below are the main bulb shapes we sell, either click the links or keep scrolling (yes, there’s still more to know!).

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WHAT’S A LUMEN?

The unfamiliar jargon can be off putting when deciding to switch to LED, but as legislation changes and energy efficient bulbs become the only option, it’s worth learning.

Back when we all had incandescents, the most important factor was the wattage. Higher wattage meant brighter bulbs. Easy, right? Well, in terms of LEDs the thing to remember when considering brightness is the lumens, the chart below shows how many lumens you would want when switching. For example, if you used to use a 60w incandescent, then you would want a 10w LED for the same brightness.

So, that’s not too hard, but let’s not forget the watts completely! Watts are still important when choosing your LED bulb, but now, it tells you how much they cost to run instead of the brightness. Hint: the lower the watts, the cheaper it is to run.

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DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT COLOUR TEMPERATURE?

Yes, you do! Colour temperature is another thing that is, for the most part, down to personal preference. But, it can really change how you feel about a space in your home. And, if you’re committing to LED bulbs (which, as we’ve established, are gonna last a long time!) then it’s worth getting it right.

A lot of people prefer the soft, artificial glow of incandescents. It’s what we’re used to, and what we associate with feeling like ‘home’. A colour temperature that falls in ‘Warm White’ is best for this. Alternatively, if you want powerfully bright task lighting, or you have a very modern and minimalist home, you may prefer something from the ‘Cool White’ side of the spectrum.

‘Daylight’ refers to a light that is similar to a sunny day outside, most people still find this a bit bright for in the home. Especially if you’re a fan of cozy evenings in.

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WHICH ROOM?

Now you’ve cracked the jargon, it’s time to figure out what that means for you and your home. You should think about where the bulb is going to be used. For example, we recommend soft, warm white bulbs in living areas such as the living room, dining room or bedroom.

Cool white bulbs are fab for functional rooms, such as the kitchen or bathroom, as the clear, bright light works better for task lighting and beauty lighting.

If you’re using multiple bulbs in one fitting, then we recommend a lumen rating of around 400lms per bulb. If you have just the one bulb in a hanging fixture, go for something a bit brighter, around the 750lms mark should do it.

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Now you know everything you need to know to buy the right LED bulb for you. Go back and click on any of the relevant links for the bulbs you’re interested in, or press the button below to browse our full range of LED bulbs.

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