What to look for when buying LED light bulbs?

Answered by Robert Dupre

When it comes to buying LED light bulbs, there are several factors to consider to ensure you make the right choice. Here are nine things to keep in mind:

1. Lumens, not watts: Unlike traditional incandescent bulbs, the brightness of an LED bulb is measured in lumens, not watts. So, when comparing bulbs, look for the lumen output to determine the brightness level you need.

2. Shape matters: LED bulbs come in various shapes, such as A19, BR30, PAR38, etc. It’s essential to match the shape of the bulb with the fixtures you have at home. For example, A19 bulbs are typically used in table lamps and pendant lights, while BR30 bulbs are ideal for recessed lighting.

3. Deploy strategically: Consider where you need the most lighting in your home. Identify areas where you need brighter light for tasks or areas that require a softer, ambient glow. This will help you determine the right type of LED bulbs for each space.

4. Compatibility with dimmers: If you have dimmer switches in your home, make sure the LED bulbs you choose are compatible with them. Not all LED bulbs are dimmable, so check the packaging or product specifications to ensure compatibility.

5. Colored bulbs: LED bulbs are not limited to just white light; they are available in a range of colors too. If you want to add a pop of color to your space or create a specific ambiance, consider purchasing colored LED bulbs.

6. Worth the savings: LED bulbs may cost more upfront than traditional incandescent or CFL bulbs, but they have a longer lifespan and are more energy-efficient. Consider the long-term savings on energy bills and the reduced frequency of bulb replacements when evaluating their overall value.

7. Check the sockets: LED bulbs come in different base types, such as E26 (standard screw-in), GU10 (twist and lock), and more. Ensure that the bulbs you choose have the correct base to fit your existing fixtures.

8. Quality is key: It’s crucial to buy LED bulbs from reputable brands or manufacturers known for producing high-quality products. Cheaper, low-quality bulbs may not last as long or provide consistent performance.

9. Consider additional features: Some LED bulbs offer additional features, such as the ability to change colors remotely using a smartphone app or compatibility with smart home systems. If these features align with your preferences or home automation plans, it may be worth considering such bulbs.

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision when buying LED light bulbs that best suit your specific needs and preferences. Remember, the right LED bulb can not only provide adequate lighting but also save you money and contribute to a more sustainable future.