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led lights LED Your cheat sheet for the light bulb aisle

September 29, 2018 / by admin

watt replacementLook for at least , lumens

Another metric worth thinking about is rendering, or how accurate and vivid a given bulb will make whites and s look. For reasons that are pretty wonky, most LEDs struggle with reds, and a lot of those yellowy , K bulbs will cast a yellowy tinge on things. Bulbs that are good at rendering, like that GE Reveal bulb on the right, can help fix that.

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watt replacementLook for at least , lumens

LED Your cheat sheet for the light bulb aisle

We also test the dimmability of every LED bulb we review. There are still some sticking points here, with bulbs that flicker or buzz due to electromagnetic interference when you dim them up and down, and your mileage may vary depending on the specific hardware in your home. For that reason, I recommend hanging onto your receipt and the bulbs packaging if youre buying an LED with the intention of dimming it. Most bigname hardware stores have helpful return policies if you run into any trouble.

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Just like your phone or laptop, LED bulb performance is affected by heat. As you leave the bulbs on and they heat up, the brightness will dip slightly. After minutes or so, the light output will silize as the bulbs heat sinks kick in. Brightness and efficiency is measured after the bulbs hit this steady state, so you arent getting shortchanged, but its worth knowing.

One last thing Now is the perfect time to think about upgrading to smart lighting. With most smart bulbs, you can program your lights to turn on automatically at sunset or when motion is detected, or you can program scenes for things like dinner and movie night that give you the exact brightness settings you want whenever you want them.

Thats where these new LED bulbs come in. They put out the same amount of light as incandescent bulbs, but they use much less electricity to get the job done. For instance, this watt replacement LED puts out the same amount of light as a watt incandescent, but it only uses about watts to do it. Use each for an average of hours per day for a year, and the incandescent will add about to your energy bill. The LED will add just to it. Even if the LED costs more upfront, its still the cheaper option in the long run and these days, most LEDs will pay for themselves in energy savings within a single year.

LED stands for lightemitting diode. Each of those diodes is just a little electrical component that emits light when electricity passes through it.

Color temperature is another light bulb basic worth miliarizing yourself with. It isnt a measure of heat, but rather, a measure of a bulbs specific whitelight tone. The scale typically ranges from , K up as high as , K or above, with warm, orangelike tones at the bottom and hot, bluishwhite daylight tones at the top.

One of the biggest trends in the lighting aisle these days is vintage LED bulbs that are designed to mimic oldschool incandescents in artful ways. Some, like this Feit bulb, are pretty striking to look at, and can make a good pick for exposed bulb lighting setups where you want to strike a classic ambiance. Trendy restaurants have been using this trick for years to set mood lighting.

We measure this loss of lumens with every bulb we review. Bulbs that finish higher in this test typically have better heat sinks, them easier to recommend.

If thats the case, look for bulbs that claim to put out omnidirectional light. That means that they promise to shine evenly in all directions.

The confusing thing about that is that most of us are accustomed to talking about brightness in terms of wattages, as in watt bulbs. Thats why most LED manucturers list their bulbs using terms like watt replacement. Theyre saying, This LED is bright enough to replace an old watt bulb.

Other vintage bulbs use different layouts, and some, like this Philips Warm Glow LED, will cast undesirable shadows if the ke filaments get in the way of each other.

The easy way to remember temperature is to think of a flame. It starts out orange, but when it gets really hot, it turns blue.

Along with lling prices, youve got a growing ersity of options. These Sylvania smart bulbs come in a variety of shapes and s, and the regular Ashaped one in the middle costs just .

Another caveat Look out for misleading claims about brightness from vintage LED bulbs, because they tend to futz around with the terminology more so than other, nondecorative categories.

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You can see the subtle impact of different temperatures in this comparison shot. I tend to like bulbs in that middle ground a little yellowy, but nottooyellowy. To each their own, though!

The biggest thing most shoppers look for are light bulbs that are bright enough for their needs. The term to know here is lumens, a unit of measure for brightness. The more lumens a light bulb has, the brighter it is.

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In this case, a watt replacement should put out at least lumens of brightness. lumens isnt even close.

Some smart bulbs will even change s on demand. They tend to cost a bit more, though, typically at least .

watt replacementLook for at least lumens

One of the big drivers of the current smart lighting boom Alexa, and other voice assistants like her. If you want bulbs that she can turn on and off, youre in luck andweve got some suggestions.

For me, the biggest selling point is that smart bulbs are great at dimming. You dont need any dimmer switches to use them, because the dimming mechanisms are located in the bulbs themselves. In almost all cases, theyll dim without flickering or buzzing.

Thats all well and good, but its the lumens that actually matter as r as brightness is concerned. Stick to these figures as you shop, and youll avoid buying a bulb thats disappointingly dim

Rising efficiency standards have transformed your local stores lighting aisle intocentral, and that means that there are some new things to understand if you want to be sure to buy the right light bulb for your needs. Weve got your back, though just click through for quick primer on what youll want to know and look for.

The filaments inside these vintage bulbs are actually just thin strips of LEDs. I really like this double helix design because the diodes all ce outwards and dont cast any shadows.

The key here is to look for the Lighting Facts label that manucturers are required to print on their packaging. Just like the Nutrition Facts labels on your food, its filled with useful info about the bulb youre buying things like lumens, wattage, yearly energy cost, expected lifespan and temperature.

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Prices have llen considerably, too. For instance, this Eufy Lumos LED costs less than , and it doesnt need a hub. Just screw it in, sync it with your phone and start automating.

If you dont want to get confused at the store, you can always take the bulb youre replacing with you. Most lights print specs like lumen output, power draw and temperature directly on the bulb itself, it easy to compare as you shop.

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Like other kinds of light bulbs, LEDs come in all shapes and s, and youll want to know which one you need before you start shopping. BR floodlights like that LED on the left put out all of their light in a single direction, them a good pick for overhead fixtures that shine straight down. That PAR floodlight on the right is weatherrated, it a good pick for outdoor use.

Were seeing a growing number of bulbs that claim to offer improved quality, but theyve been largely inconsistent in our tests. If quality is important to you, my advice is just to stick with GE Reveal bulbs, which are all designed specifically with quality in mind. Ive tested about a dozen of them by this point, and they always do a great job in my tests.

, K bulbs like that one on the left are the ones youre probably used to, and theyre typically better for subdued, relaxing lighting. Daylight bulbs like that one on the right can help trick your brain into thinking its daytime, keeping you more alert.

watt replacementLook for at least lumens

Light bulbs are just devices that convert electricity into light. Oldschool incandescent bulbs like this one do it by using electricity to heat up a wirelike tungsten filament to the point where it glows. It works like a charm, but it isnt efficient, because the majority of that electricity is getting converted into heat, not light.

Youll also want to think about directionality before you make a purchase. Some bulbs are designed to put light out evenly in all directions, while others, like that bulb on the left, arent as good at it. Its especially important if you need a bulb that puts out a lot of downward light, for a reading lamp for example.

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