LED lighting or Light Emitting Diodes, are great energy savers, which is a good thing!
Switching to LED lighting is not as simple as changing a light bulb though. Have you gone to your local hardware or big box store to get the same LEDs as you bought six months ago, only to find they no longer carry them? That’s how rapidly the technology continues to change and improve.
As LED lighting has become more common, here are a few things to consider when purchasing LED lighting bulbs:
- If your existing lighting is controlled by dimmers, be sure to use dimmable LEDs.
- You might have to replace your existing dimmers with LED compatible dimmers. (Tip: some dimmable LEDs don’t work well even with dimmers rated for use with LEDs.)
- Forget about watts used. Look at the lumen output. Lumens indicate how bright the light will be.
- Color, or color temperature, indicates whether the light is “cool” (more blue) or “warm” (more yellow). Lower Kelvin (K) temperatures cast a warmer light, higher K temperatures are more cool. Many of our customers find 2700K to 3500K the most comfortable range.
- The other number to look for on LEDs is the CRI, or Color Rendering Index. This number indicates the quality of the light. On the CRI scale of 0 to 100, incandescent and halogen lamps are generally considered to have a CRI close to 100. Look for LEDs with a CRI close to 100.
- Not all LEDs are designed to be installed in enclosed fixtures. Check the packaging to make sure the LEDs you plan to use in an enclosed fixture are intended for that use.
If you decide to upgrade your light fixtures, not just the bulbs, we would encourage you to consult with an experienced lighting designer or lighting showroom. There is much more to consider than color, temperature and dimmability when investing in a complete overhaul of your lighting.