LED lights are becoming an increasingly popular option for replacing everyday household light bulbs in the home. LED light bulbs can be used for a variety of appliances including lamps, ceiling light fixtures, and floodlights. Here is everything you need to know about LED lights before making the switch in your home.
How LED Lights Work
“LED” stands for “light emitting diode.” This means that these kinds of lightbulbs serve as a semiconductor device that illuminates when an electrical current is moving through it. What makes LED lights so much more energy efficient than other light bulbs is that they are able to use far less energy to give off as much light as more traditional light bulbs. When treated properly, they can also last for much longer. It is estimated that most LED lights are able to last for 23 years if they are used for 3 hours every day, meaning that you will not be constantly spending money to replace them like you have to do with traditional light bulbs. This is why proper thermal management is at the forefront of successful LED light performance. LED lights do not just burn out or stop producing light like incandescent light bulbs, instead they go through what has come to be known as “lumen depreciation.” This means that instead of just all of a sudden no longer giving off light, the brightness of the light bulb slowly begins to get dimmer over time. The reason that LED lights do not overheat or burn out is that the bulbs use heat sinks to absorb the heat that the LED light bulb is producing and expend it out into the surrounding environment. They also generate little to no heat or UV rays, reducing air conditioning costs and aiding in protecting the fabrics and furnishings in your home.
LED Lights Compared to Traditional Light Bulbs
One of the main benefits of using LED light bulbs that most people are aware of is that LED lights are much more energy efficient than other other light bulbs. In fact, LED lights are set to be about 90% more efficient at producing light than traditional incandescent light bulbs. Light bulbs are measured in terms of watts and lumens where watts refer to the amount of energy a bulb is consuming in order to give off light and lumens refers to the actual amount of light that is cast out. A traditional bulb usually uses 60 watts to produce 800 lumens while an LED bulb only needs to use about 9 or 10 watts of energy to give off the same amount of lumens. One of the features that allow for LED lights to use light and energy more efficiently than traditional light bulbs is that they are directional light sources. This means that they give off light in one specific direction versus incandescent light bulbs which emit their heat and light in every direction.
LED lights burn at a cooler temperature than other traditional light bulbs so they are able to be installed in other places that would be considered unsafe for traditional light bulbs. LED lights can be used in traditional light fixtures for all of your general lighting needs, but because of their smaller size, they also allow for opportunities to get creative with design.
LED lights are also more durable than traditional light bulbs. LED lights are regarded as not breaking as easily or not being messed up due to being dropped or handled in a rough way. The fact that LED lights are more durable than other traditional light bulbs means that they will not have to be replaced as much, displaying another feature that will help you end up saving money on light bulbs in the long run.
ENERGY STAR Certified LED Light Bulbs
With all of the increasing choices of LED lights, if you are in the market for new LED light bulbs ENERGY STAR certified lighting products are the best choice in terms of efficiency and cost-effectiveness. LED light bulbs with the ENERGY STAR label have undergone a variety of very specific and strict requirements in order to closely replicate the features that you experience when you use a standard light bulb. According to the ENERGY STAR website, having the ENERGY STAR label means that the light bulbs will perform at a high level in the categories of color quality and light output. This will also increase peace of mind as these light bulbs have to go through verified compliance testing with more than 20 requirements in order to pass as an ENERGY STAR light bulb and receive the label. In addition, just like every other ENERGY STAR product, certified LED light bulbs that have gone through the testing and made it on the market are subject to undergo random testing throughout the year in order to ensure that they are still performing at a high-quality level and are still meeting the ENERGY STAR requirements.
LED Light Bulb Uses
Just like incandescent light bulbs, LED light bulbs come in a variety of shapes and sizes that can aid in the best lighting for specific uses. The standard light bulb or general light bulb shape give off light at a wide angle in whatever room you place them in. These standard light bulbs work the best in reading lamps, hallways and many other common light fixtures found throughout the home. Can light bulbs are otherwise known as bulged reflectors or BRs and work the best for recessed or downlights. Floodlights or Parabolic Aluminized Reflector bulbs are purposely designed to give off a strong but narrow beam of light and are most commonly used for exterior lighting needs. Globe light bulbs give off light in every direction and are perfect for bathroom vanity lighting and pendant lights. Candle light bulbs, candle bulbs, or chandelier LED light bulbs are designed in the shape of a candle flame and are most effective in accent lighting. They are most commonly found in wall sconces and other decorative light fixtures. Tube light bulbs which are also known as linear light bulbs are designed to be the most effectively used in a more professional setting such as office buildings, kitchens, and a variety of other workplaces. This is one of the most functional light bulb types and they come in a variety of lengths, diameters, colors, and even temperatures. Track light bulbs are used most extensively for directional lighting or to highlight a specific feature such as a piece of artwork or an area in a kitchen or workspace. Vintage light bulbs are for decorative light fixtures and are used to fulfill all of your aesthetic and ambiance needs.
LED light bulbs are also available in a variety of colors to fit different lighting needs. They also come in different shades of white such as soft white to give off a warm, comfortable lighting glow, bright white to give set a cooler lighting mood, and daylight which is a bright light that is mostly utilized for security lighting purposes.
Additional Features of LED Light Bulbs
Some LED light bulbs are dimmable with the ability to have the light output range from 20-80% to conserve energy even further. LED smart light bulbs are also available. When you connect your light bulb via Bluetooth, it can then be controlled with Wi-Fi when within a reachable range. Keep in mind that some of these light bulbs might require a Smart Assistant hub such as the Google Assistant or the Amazon Alexa.
Making the Switch to LED Lights in Your Home
If you are thinking about making the switch from incandescent lights to LED lights, the best way to test them out without making the commitment or spending money is to visit a store that displays different brands of LED lights. You will be able to see which brand of LED lights most closely resembles the warm glow that incandescent lights provide.
LED lights were invented in the early 20th century but have only just begun becoming more popular within the last 50 years. There are multiple advantages to choosing to use LED light bulbs over traditional light bulbs that include efficiency, environmental and energy benefits, and overall light performance. While LED lights are more expensive in upfront costs than traditional light bulbs, they are up to 80 percent more energy efficient in the long run. It is no surprise that LED lights are quickly becoming one of the top choices to fulfill lighting needs.