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22nd April 2016 Comments Off on Understanding LED Lighting – how to choose Views: 1554 Help & Advice, How To Guides, Interesting Blog Posts, Simple Lighting Blog

Understanding LED Lighting – how to choose

LED lighting offers an impressive lifespan and energy savings, but it can be confusing if you don’t know what you need. This article explains what to look for in a fixture and a bulb and how to choose what’s appropriate for particular situations, because understanding LED doesn’t need to be difficult.

Understanding Wattage Differences

Traditional incandescent bulbs use wattage to indicate how much power the bulb uses and the higher the wattage, the brighter the bulb. LED bulbs are sold by their wattage or by lumens. Lumens measure the brightness of an LED bulb, not the power they draw.

Here is a quick chart that converts incandescent bulb measurements to lumens and LED bulb wattage:

25W Incandescent             375lm     6.23W

60W Incandescent             900lm     15 W

100W Incandescent          1500lm    25W

 

As you can see, a 25W LED bulb offers as much light as a 100W incandescent, and it draws a quarter of the power.

Understanding LED Light Colour

Understanding LED Lighting - how to choose

You can buy LED bulbs in a variety of colours, including white tones. The most popular are “warm white” and “cool white,” but many others exist.

Warm white produces a warm yellow hue, similar to incandescent bulbs, while cool white produces bright, clean light. When you buy a fixture you can often choose which bulb you want, but it shouldn’t deter you if it doesn’t. You can always swap out the bulbs later if you don’t like the “feel” of the room.

Understanding LED Fixtures & Options

When shopping for fixtures, start with the light you want in the room. For example, you may want task lighting for over your kitchen countertops, but warm ambient lighting for the overheads. This will narrow down the LED lighting fixtures you can use. Some fixtures are wired into your mains voltage and some use wire and plug.

Next, consider how much light you need for each application. The ratings on the fixtures will indicate the maximum light it emits. Use the chart above to work out your LED bulb requirements.

Finally, think about whether you need options such as dimmers, controllers, or waterproofing for outdoor applications.

Choosing LED Lighting by Location

Naturally, you will want various types of lighting throughout your home. For instance, you will probably want warm light and lower lumens in the bedroom. However, in a home office you will want cool light and higher lumens.

Of course, you can mix your lighting choices in a room for many functions. In the living room you might want soft lighting while watching the telly and strip lights above artwork for ambiance. In the dining area, you might choose a dimmable chandelier. In the kitchen, you might switch on cool white LED lights under the counter while you fix your morning tea, and then switch on a soft, dimmable pendant over the eating area.

A combination of various LED lighting fixtures will create the ambiance you desire and the light you need. You can review options here. Knowledgeable staff can answer any questions you may have if you find fixtures of interest.

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