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Choosing the Best LED Light Bulb

There is a wide range of lighting available these days for households. As inflammatory lamps have made way for halogen bulbs, compact fluorescent lights, and CFLs, and now with the LED Light Bulb transition, a great deal can be understood. The choice is not as simple as it was a couple of years ago.

Many light bulbs and lighting are now LED-based, but these are more expensive, so the first question is whether the purchase of LED Light Bulb is worthwhile or whether some other technologies provide a better value.

If LED Light Bulb lighting is chosen, many questions have to be answered, from the required power to the color temperature and more.

LED Light Bulb vs. other types – technology choice

LED lights and light bulbs are now widely available, and prices drop. They are still more expensive than other types, however.

It is worth looking at how efficient they are and how long they live. Another advantage of LEDs is that they can be better enabled and disabled than CFLs. For example, you want a low-energy bulb for lights triggered by a motion sensor, PIR, for external illumination. PIRs are started very quickly in windy weather and can always be turned off. CFLs can last only a short time, but LEDs can last a lot longer.

An LED bulb’s anticipated lifetime is also considerably longer than that of a CFL or even a halogen or incandescent lamp when used commonly. This alone can result in some cost savings apart from cost reductions due to their higher efficiency.

COMPARISON OF LED CFL & INCANDESCENT LIGHTS
PARAMETER LED INCANDESCENT CFL
Average life (Hours) 50 000 1 200 8 000
Power for the equivalent of 60W incandescent 6 – 8 60 13 – 15
Typical operating cost over a year (USD $) 32 330 75

LED Light Bulb output light – select the correct output

In the day of incandescent lights, the power they consumed was measured by the different lights and not the actual light output. It is sometimes difficult to compare the various types of lighting on the market and understand what lamp is needed in any position.

The people used the power ratings in previous years with incandescent lamps and were aware that a 60W bulb would be ideal in one area or a 100W in another.

The lamp is now measured primarily in its light output rather than power input, although this remains important and is still printed on the sales data. The main parameter is whether the area in which it is used will produce sufficient light. This is provided by the rating of light output in lumens.

LIGHT OUTPUT (LUMENS) TYPICAL INCANDESCENT POWER TYPICAL CFL POWER TYPICAL LED POWER
450 40 9 – 13 4 – 5
800 60 13 – 15 6 – 8
1100 75 18 – 25 9 – 13
1600 100 23 – 30 16 – 20
2600 150 30 -35 25 – 28

 

Using the table it is possible to choose the LED light with the right light output, relating it to equivalent incandescent lamps or CFLs.

Although everyone will have their own preferences, a small table lamp may require to have around 450 lumens, whilst for a medium-sized living room, it may require a total of between 1500 and 3000 lumens, although this would need to be provided by more than one LED light bulb.

Choose a bulb with the right fitting

There is a host of fittings that modern electric light bulbs have. Names like a bayonet, Edison screw, and many others are used to describe them, although they also have fitting type numbers as well that are often more widely used on the boxes to exactly identify the fitting.

There are two main light bulb fittings that have become standard across the globe. These are the Edison screw, and the bayonet. The Edison screw is used mainly in the Americas and Europe, whilst the bayonet is used in Germany (taschenlampe) for domestic lighting.

Although for domestic use, neither type has a major technical advantage, the bayonet types do have the advantage that they cannot shake loose under vibration, although this is not an issue for domestic lighting:

There are a few types that are given abbreviations that will be seen in the literature.

  • E27 or ES:   This is the standard Edison screw light fitting, and used for the majority of mains-powered light bulbs. It has a screw outside diameter of 27mm.
  • E14 or ‘SES’:   This is a small Edison screw – hence the abbreviation SES. It is often used for lights where space is at a premium and often for lower-powered bulbs, possibly for use in fridges, ovens, and other light fittings where space is at a premium.
  • B22 or Ba22d or just BC:   BC standards for Bayonet Cap, and it is the fitting used for standard mains electric light bulbs using a bayonet type cap. The outside diameter is 22mm, excluding the bayonet lugs.
  • B15 or Ba15d or SBC:   SBC stands for small bayonet cap. Like the small Edison screw, t is used for smaller, lower-powered lamps where space is at a premium. The diameter of the cap or fitting is 15 mm.

Choose a LED Light Bulb in the right color

The light from various bulbs can look different – some have warm sunshine, others are much colder, much whiter.

The light color from the bulb, LED, or elsewhere is measured on the Kelvin scale as the “light temperature.” It is known as the light color temperature.

Technically speaking, the light’s color temperature is measured in terms of a perfect black body radiator’s temperature, which radiates color light similar to that of the light source.

The color temperature of incandescent light on the Kelvin scale is around 2700k, and the light of the sunrise or sunset is about 2500km at midday.

The color temperature of the light is usually printed inside the box for LED light bulbs. Typically, a warm white of around 2700k is suitable for many homerooms, but this can be personally chosen.

LIGHT ENVIRONMENT COLOUR TEMPERATURE °K
Candlelight 1500
Sunrise / sunset 2500
Traditional incandescent light 2700
Midday sun 5000
Overcast sky 7000
Blue sky 10000

 

The color temperature can change the mood for a room – warm white can often be used to relax, while a kitchen or home office may want a whiter light with a higher color temperature of approximately 5000°C.

LED light bulbs with various color temperatures are sold – a quick look at an LED light source shows a wide range of color temperatures and descriptions:

– 2700 k (hot white); 3000 kilos (hot white); 4000 kilos (cool white) and 6000 kilos (hot white) (daylight white). The main requirement is the color temperature since the descriptions may vary according to the manufacturer or the supplier.

Check out: Amazon utilizing thermal cameras for COVID-19 temperature checks

Choose an AMP with the right CRI

As though the color temperature was insufficient, another often-used figure called the CRI or color rendering index is used.

This is a measure of the light quality that accurately reflects the articles’ different colors illuminated.

The color rendering index is a quantitative measure of a light source’s ability to illuminate so that the colors of different objects in contrast to ideal or natural light resources are accurately rendered.

The index varies from 0 to 100 percent, while the higher the CRI, the better the capacity to make colors. In color rendering, light sources with a CRI of 85 to 90 are considered good.

Traditional incandescent and halogen bulbs have a perfect CRI score, usually in the high nineties. LED Light Bulb and CFLs are not as good as the CRI value is considered acceptable in the mid-80s.

The CRI system is necessary because all frequencies in the visible spectrum consist of light. Natural light has a good balance between those frequencies and makes colors the way we are used to. Other light sources may have a different spectral distribution, i.e., a different color, which means that objects are rendered or seen in a different light.

Dimmable or non-dimmable choice

It was easy to dim bulbs in the days of the incandescent lamps – any of them would faint. CFLs are not dim. Do not dim. Some are dimmable for LED Light Bulb, and others are not. If an LED bulb is dimmed, it must be checked whether it is dimmable. Because LED bulbs function very differently than other bulb forms, the circuitry inside them must be slightly different from designing if dimmed.

Most importantly, an LED dimmer is also needed. The way LEDs are dimmed different from incandescent lamps, so it is essential to have an LED dimmer.

Choose a high-quality LED Light Bulb

It is worth looking for a reliable manufacturer, not just the cheapest, before buying and LED light bulbs. The best-lED bulbs switch immediately, and others take a second or so after the power is applied. Furthermore, manufacturers will reliably ensure that the LED light bulbs do not reduce output over time – the light output may decrease over time, and the better light outputs will retain much longer. Even LED light bulbs from reputable manufacturers to tend to be more reliable, which can be challenging to quantify but tend to be true.

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