The light-emitting diode, or LED as it’s more commonly known, is a rapidly-developing lighting technology that offers a host of benefits. LED bulbs are energy-efficient, highly durable, and last longer. They also make the most economic sense, whether you’re lighting a small home or a large commercial space. In fact, swapping out your incandescent bulbs for LED bulbs can reduce your energy consumption by 70-90%, resulting in a significantly lower electricity bill.
If you’ve decided to make the switch, there are a number of factors to take into consideration to ensure you buy the right LED for your needs. Ask yourself the following questions:
#1 What bulb fitting do you have? You need to determine what type of bulb base is required by your fixture socket. A bayonet socket requires a bulb with a B22 base. This base has two pins on either side and when inserted into the socket and turned clockwise, it locks into place. An Edison screw socket requires a bulb with a screw thread base. This type of base is called an E27 and it simple screws into place when inserted into the socket. A GU10 socket requires a GU10 bulb. This bulb has a base with two little pins protruding from it and requires a ‘push and twist’ motion to secure it in place. B22 and E27 bulbs are usually a classic or spherical shape, while GU10 bulbs have a more spotlight-like shape.
#2 Do you want to dim your lights? While many LED bulbs on the market are dimmable, older dimmer switches were designed specifically for use with incandescent bulbs and they aren’t compatible with new LED technology. Be sure to check the technical details on your bulb pack to see if they can be dimmed or not. If they can, buy one bulb as a test to see if your dimmer is compatible. If it’s not compatible you may need to replace it with a new dimmer.
#3 What colour temperature do you want? When selecting new LED bulbs for a room consider how that space will be used and what sort of ambiance you want to create. For spaces like the bedroom and living room, a cosy atmosphere is often desirable, whereas more functional rooms like the bathroom and kitchen require light that is similar to daylight. Luckily, LED technology has advanced over the years and LED bulbs can now produce all hues of white light. The colour temperature of light is measured in Kelvins. For that warm, cosy effect go for a bulb that ranges from 2800 to 3000 Kelvins. For a cool, white light you’ll want a bulb with a value of about 4000 Kelvins.
#4 How bright do you want the light to be? Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the wattage listed on a bulb pack tells you how bright the bulb will shine. Wattage is simply the amount of energy it consumes. If you want to compare the light output of your existing incandescent bulb with a new LED bulb then consider its Lumen value. A Lumen is a unit of luminous flux, which is the amount of light emitted by a light source. If you don’t know the Lumen value of your current incandescent bulbs but do know their wattage, there is an easy way to figure out how many Lumens your new LED bulbs should be - a 100-watt incandescent bulb should be swapped out for an LED bulb with a Lumen value of 1500. A 40-watt incandescent bulb is equivalent to an LED bulb with a Lumen value of 500.
#5 Is the light fixture enclosed? To ensure the longevity of your LED bulbs you need to check if the heat they create has a way to dissipate. Excessive high temperatures will shorten their lifespan and affect their performance over time. If you’re purchasing an LED bulb for an enclosed fixture make sure it’s approved for this type of setting. LED bulbs that are designed specifically for enclosed fixtures have a more efficient thermal design and can withstand higher temperatures.
#6 Do you need to replace tube lights? Replacing your existing ceiling fittings with modern LED tubes is simple. Eurolux stocks a wide range of retrofit LED T8 Opal Tubes. If your fixture has a magnetic ballast you only need to change the fuse. Fixtures with an electronic ballast will need to be rewired.
View Eurolux Lighting's full range of LED bulbs here.