Now is the right time to switch from conventional lighting to LEDs. This technology has made some major advances in recent years, so LEDs can produce light as close as possible to natural glow quality. Since there is a diverse range of LEDs bulbs on the market, it’s a bit different from the choice of a classic light bulb. Here is what you need to know when choosing a LED.
Lumens, just lumens!
Leave aside what you know about classical bulbs, watts are no longer up to date! When you buy a light bulb, the number of watts means how bright it would be. The brightness generated by a LED is slightly different. Power (Watt) is not an indicator of brightness, it tells us how much energy a light bulb will consume. In the case of incandescent light bulbs, there is a direct correlation between energy consumption and generated light, but for LEDs power does not always show us the level of brightness, it will only consume a smaller amount of energy. For example, an 8-12W LED emits an equivalent light to a 60W classic light bulb. For LEDs there is no direct correlation between watt and the amount of produced light. For these we will use another indicator (lumen - Lm).
But what are lumens, exactly? It is the unit that equals to the amount of light generated by a source and it’s the index that we should take into account when choosing LEDs.
While classic light bulbs emit a warm light, LEDs come with an extensive palette of shades, being able to create different colors of the light spectrum. The most popular shades are WW (warm white) and CW (cold white), in other words, warm light and cold light. From a technical point of view, we can use the color temperature unit (Kelvin scale). The lower the temperature, the warmer the light will be. A traditional light bulb, for example, ranges from 2700 to 3500k.
If you choose LEDs you choose to invest in a solution that reduces electric consumption on a long term basis. At the moment prices decreased enough to be accessible to the general public.
Beware of compatibility issues before upgrading to LEDs!
Due to the LED circuits, the bulbs are not always compatible with the regular changers, which leads to the reduction of the light output. In most cases, you will need to replace the changer. Less energy does not mean a lower light intensity for LEDs. To simplify the purchase process, it is necessary to check the compatibility with the changer before purchasing a LED.
Where it’s not advisable to use LEDs
Although we know that LEDs do not produce as much heat as incandescent bulbs, there is, however, an amount of heat released by the inner circuit. This heat is driven by a system designed to cool the circuit and increase lifespan. In this way, LEDs need to be used together with light fixtures that provide a way to dissipate the amount of heat released. If the LED is mounted in an air-tight light fixture that doesn’t allow the air to circulate around the bulb, it will significantly reduce its lifespan.