You’ve probably heard of LED lighting by now but maybe you are’t sure of what all the hype is about. We’re here to walk you through what LED lights are, how they work and how they save you money.
To start, you need to learn a little bit of lighting lingo. Most houses and appliances use either incandescent or compact fluorescent lights. The standard incandescent light bulbs are 40 and 60 watts, but you can get them in lower/higher wattage as well as many shapes and sizes.
Watts is the measure of electrical energy consumed, while lumens are the measure of the light output. A lot of people make the mistake of trying to increase their wattage, when what they should be looking for on the label is a higher lumen output.
If you’re noticing your lights are still too dim for your needs, or you’re tired of paying a high electric bill, you should consider switching to LED.
What is LED lighting?
LED stands for “light-emitting diodes”. The diodes are semiconductor devices, and produce visible light when an electrical current passes through them. Essentially, LED bulbs take LESS electricity than standard bulbs, and are able to give off a higher lumen or light output.
Also, most standard incandescent bulbs give off heat and light in all directions. LEDs don’t give off heat and are directional lighting, making them ideal for recessed can lights. How much do they cost? LED lights do cost more initially, which can scare some people off. You’ll pay around $30 for a recessed can LED light, vs around $3 for the same incandescent light. That said, LED lights have a lifespan of 30-50 thousand hours which is a 10-15 year average lifespan, rather than replacing every year or so as you would have to do with incandescent.
It’s more money savvy for you to only upgrade LEDs in your main living spaces and not in say, a table lamp that is just for secondary lighting use.
How to select LED Lights:
You can get LED lights in different temperatures on the kelvin scale. The higher you go on the kelvin score, the more blue or “cool” white the color is. The lower you go on the kelvin scale, the more warm it will be, similar to standard incandescent bulbs.
A lot of stores will have a range of LED lights on display so you can visualize what the color looks like before you purchase. If you’ve never bought LEDs before, here is a handy chart that you can use to find the watt equivalent of your current bulbs.