Last updated: September 5, 2021

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LED light bulbs have completely revolutionized the lighting market; changing the way we design, produce and incorporate lights into our homes and businesses. This modern lighting technology allows you to enjoy higher quality lights that are not only more durable but which also allow you to save money and energy. LED light bulbs are more environmentally friendly since they consume less energy and are made without any mercury or lead, unlike many other conventional lights.

Often, choosing the right LED light bulb for your home can prove to be a more difficult task than one would think. There are many different models of LED light bulbs offered on the market that vary in the type of light produced, the color temperature it gives the room, the cost, and the energy consumption. Take a look into our LED light guide to get more information on exactly what these new-age bulbs can offer you and what sort of things you should take into consideration when purchasing new fixtures for your home.




Key Facts

  • LED light bulbs, although they all emit white light, have varying degrees of light intensity and color. They can provide more natural light, neutral white tones, a warm white tone or colder white tones.
  • The temperature of light or color is measured in degrees Kelvin (K). This will be your best indicator when searching for your desired tone and ambiance, from cold (bluish) to warm (reddish).
  • Even though they have much lower energy consumption than traditional light bulbs, they offer superior luminance. For example, a 7-watt LED bulb equates to a traditional 60-watt bulb. Furthermore, lumens (lm) measures the total amount of light emitted by LED bulbs.
  • The luminous efficacy of an LED bulb is described as the amount of light emitted in relation to the energy consumed, and it is measured in lumens per watt (lm/w).

Our Selection: The Best LED Light Bulbs

Before buying an LED light bulb for your home, it’s important to consider a number of different factors. One must look at the lumens measurement of each bulb, the size, and shape of the cap, consumption rates, maintenance of the bulb and corresponding light fixture and of course, cost. To help you in your search for the perfect LED bulb, we have researched and selected the best LED bulbs on the market, including all the product details you need to know in order to make the right purchase.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About LED Light Bulbs

Energy preservation has become a necessity that goes beyond a simple love and commitment to our environment. In these modern days, being mindful about what and how we consume is imperative. LED light bulbs are an efficient alternative to traditional filament bulbs, as they consume less and more often than not, provide higher quality light. Here we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about these products.

In todays modern market, there is a wide variety of light bulbs, enabling you to find the one that best suits you and your needs.
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What is an LED bulb exactly?

An LED bulb or LED lamp is a solid-state lamp that uses LEDs (light-emitting diodes) to produce and emit light. Because LEDs are not capable of emitting the same intensity of light as traditional bulbs, they operate by grouping LEDs in greater or lesser numbers. The diodes operate on Direct Current (DC) electrical power, so LED lamps must include internal circuits to operate from a normal alternating current.

In addition, they incorporate heat management components such as heat sinks and cooling fins. These parts are extremely important and necessary, as the LED generate large quantities of heat that must be dissipated to avoid malfunctioning. Despite this fact, they still have lower consumption rates and very long lifespans.

Did you know that illuminance measures the intensity and amount of light falling on a surface? The units measured are called lux (lx), and 1 lux equals approximately 1 lumen per meter (1 lm/m).

What are the benefits of an LED bulb?

LED light bulbs have a much longer lifespan than traditional light bulbs. Some have a lifespan of up to 20,000 hours, equivalent to around 20 years of use depending on how often they are being used on a daily basis. These multi-purpose products are manufactured in a way that allows them to be used in a variety of settings and, as they have internal regulation components, are extremely durable and shatter-resistant.

The main benefit of LED lamps is their low power consumption. An LED bulb can save you up to 80% on your annual electricity bill. This is something to keep in mind, as replacing all the light bulbs in your house with LEDs can translate into substantial long-term savings. It should also be noted, that on top of all these benefits, they also create much less pollution overall.

Create life in your living spaces by choosing the exact light intensity you desire.
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How much is saved with LED light bulbs?

Although everyone knows the general benefits of using LED light bulbs, there are still many people that have not taken the steps to incorporate these types of bulbs into their homes and living spaces. This type of bulb is not only more affordable and longer-lasting (which allows you to save money); they are also recyclable and made of environmentally friendly materials that do not contain mercury or lead.

Which LED should I use in my home?

One of the main questions people tend to ask themselves when going to purchase an LED light bulb is, which one is best for my house? Power equivalence is something you should be very informed and clear on. An LED light bulb is capable of generating 60 to 90 lumens on its own. To find out how many lumens an LED bulb generates overall, multiply the watts by 70.

To give you an idea, a 12-watt LED bulb offers an overall light output of 840 lumens (12x70=840). The power of this LED bulb would be the same as that of a 60W incandescent bulb. It is capable of generating the same amount of light, but you save 48W per bulb.

Below is a table that compares and equates the power output of both LED light bulbs and traditional light bulb models to give you a better understanding of the wattage that each LED bulb will have:

LED Incandescent Halogen Fluorescent
3W 30W 25W 8W
8W 60W 50W 14W
12W 75W 60W 17W

What types of LED light bulbs are there?

On the market, you will find a wide variety of LED light bulbs. Each bulb will have its own varying characteristics, such as the type of cap, the number of lumens produced and the color and temperature of the light given. Arguably the most important aspect to consider is the type of cap, as this will determine where and with what light fixtures you will be able to use the bulb you have purchased.

LED bulbs have been designed and created in the same shape and models as other conventional light bulb models. Because of this, the caps on LED light bulbs with fit into a wide variety of fixtures and lamps that often also connect to incandescent, halogen and fluorescent bulbs. Below is a table listing the different types of lamps, fixtures, and caps that light bulbs can be built with.

Technology Lamp type Cap
Incandescent Standard Sailing Balloon PAIR E14, E27, E40, E14, E27, E40, E14, E27, E40, E14, E27, E40
Halogen Dichroic Linear Gu10, GZ10, Gu4, Gu5, R7z, Fa4
Fluorescent Compact Tubes G5, G13, 2GX13, 2G13

What are lumens?

A simple way to understand what the lumens of an LED bulb are, think of them as the measurement that determines how much light your bulb can emit to illuminate the immediate surroundings. In simple terms, lumens (lm) are a measure of the total amount of light visible (to the naked eye) from a lamp or light source. The higher the number of lumens, the brighter your LED light will be.

LED light bulbs convert energy into only light, not heat - unlike traditional light bulbs. This means that with fewer watts, they can achieve greater illumination, allowing more efficient transduction of energy, decreased consumption and increased conservation. Here is a table that equates the watts of traditional light bulbs to the lumens of LED light bulbs.

Watts in Incandescent Bulbs Equivalence in lumens LED
25W 250 lm
40W 450 lm
60W 800 lm
75W 1110 lm
100W 1600 lm
125W 2000 lm
150W 2600 lm

How many lumens do I need?

There is no exact answer to this question, as the number of lumens will depend on various factors, which include the size and shape of the room to be lit, the height of the ceilings, the combination of desired colors, the type of lamps or fixtures, the mounting areas, and of course, the individual needs and taste of each consumer.

Presented below is a table with an approximation of the lumens per square meter required for various environments. However, keep in mind that in many cases, this will vary slightly depending on lighting needs as well as the specific model and brand of LED light bulbs.

Illuminated area Lumens per square meter
Kitchen 300-400 lm
Living Room 400-500 lm
Hall 300 lm
Bed Room 300-400 lm
Study 700-800 lm
Bathroom 500-600 lm
Reading area 400 lm

What does the color temperature represent in an LED bulb?

Even though LED lights are usually white in color, that doesn't mean they are all the same white light. There are variations in heat and/or temperature in the different models and brands of LED light bulbs available. Almost always, the color of light from an LED bulb can vary in three shades that are measured in degrees Kelvin (K).

Warm LED lights, have measurements below 3,300 degrees Kelvin and give off an orange to yellow-white tone. Neutral or natural light bulbs fall within the range of 4,000 to 4,700 degrees Kelvin. This light produces a “clean” white light that has very little signs of any unnatural red or blue tones, giving an organically fresh and lively feel to the environment. Finally, there is cool or cold light, which has the highest color temperature, measuring anywhere between 5,000 and 6,000 degrees Kelvin

Choosing the right type of LED lighting is essential when looking to improve or enhance the environment and energy of your home.
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How do I know which tone and color of LED light to use?

All the different shades and tones of LED lights can be utilized differently depending on the environment you are in, the ambiance and mood you want to give the room, and the intensity of light you desire for that space and corresponding events. Warm light is ideal for creating cozy and comfortable environments. Cold light is best used in places that are large, dark and where there will be a lot of movement. Neutral light is the most diverse since it is appropriate for various room sizes, and great for any and all occasions.

The table below shows the suggested uses for the varying shades of LED light bulbs, as well as their ideal environments:

Tonality Characteristics Spaces
Warm white Reddish color. Ideal for relaxing and resting. Bedrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms.
Cold White Light blue. Stimulant. Ideal for areas where the first activities of the day happen and there is a lot of movement. Bathrooms, kitchen, corridors, and stairs. Also ideal for entrances, garages, hospitals, and offices.
Neutral white All white color. It enhances colors within the room and has the ability to stimulate activity in the mind and strongly affect the mood of those in the room. It is often used to improve sales in shops and stores and to increase the performance of workers in office settings. Can be combined with warm white. Shops, offices, study rooms, and reading rooms.

What is the Chromatic Performance Index or CRI?

The Chromatic Performance Index or Chromatic Reproduction Index is an international system of measurement that indicates the ability of a light bulb to reproduce colors as naturally as possible compared to any natural source of light. The sun is the most natural source of light that exists and is used as the primary reference.

The CPI or CRI is measured on a scale from 0 to 100. 0 indicates a total distortion of colors while 100 refers to a true reproduction of natural tones. The closer the value is to 100, the more accurate and precise the color reproduction is to the human eye.

Next, we present you with a table that lists the most prevalent color performance indexes and where these types of light are most commonly used:

Chromatic Reproduction Index Most common uses
CRI greater than or equal to 90 Art galleries. Photographic studios. Workshops where it is essential to reproduce colors accurately.
CRI between 90 and 80 Hotels. Restaurants. Houses. Offices. Schools Hospitals. Libraries. Printing stores. Textile industry. Showrooms. Conference rooms.
CRI between 80 and 60 Outdoor industrial lighting. Warehouses. Industrial zones.
CRI between 60 and 40 Parking lots. Road signposting.

What do I do with LED light bulbs after the break or burn out?

More often than not, when a light bulb goes out at home we are left with a non-biodegradeable material that we don’t know what to do with. Usually, it will end up in the garbage, on it’s way to a landfill. This is neither ideal nor where we should be disposing of our light bulbs. Where you dispose of your light bulb will first depend on whether it is a CFL bulb or an LED bulb.

It’s important to know that LED bulbs should never be disposed of into glass waste containers. LED light bulbs are made of electronic elements that not only pollute the environment when thrown into landfills but they can always be reused. In the United States more urban cities, it's easy to recycle them.

All you have to do is find an LED bulb collection point in your area. This means they will be collected, reused, and disposed of properly. While in rural areas this can prove to be more difficult, it is not impossible, especially considering it’s a necessary task in order to protect and care for our environment.

New LED lighting products are revolutionizing the way we can take care of our world.
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Can I regulate the intensity of light of an LED bulb?

This will largely depend on the bulb you choose, but many LED luight bulbs are designed with light regulation or dimming functions. Just keep in mind that the regulation function will depend on the model of the bulb and not simply whether it is an LED or not. The features and capabilities of each bulb are laid out in detail on the packaging. If this is something you require, before making your purchase, make sure you double-check and are clear on the specific functions and features of the model of bulb you are interested in.

Shopping Criteria

LED light bulbs are the newest revolution in controlling and understanding the lighting in your home or business. There is now an extremely wide variety of lamps and light fixtures on the U.S. market, so choosing the right one for your home is not always easy. Here is a quick summary and list of the most important criteria to consider before choosing which light bulb is the best for you.

Cap

The cap is one of the most important factor in choosing an LED bulb. Each lamp has a certain size and type of cap. In order for your bulb to fit into the fixtures you have in your home, you must purchase bulbs with that have the corresponding parts. The traditional bulb caps have measurements that usually range from E14 to E27, the latter (thicker) being the most common.

If you have purchased an LED bulb to replace a halogen or dichroic bulb, you should choose one with a G-type cap. Normally dichroic use a Gu10 cap. The measurements of the caps are almost always written and labeled on the bulb itself, so take a good look before choosing.

LED light bulbs are revolutionizing the way we light our homes.
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Opening Beam Angle

Another very important factor when buying an LED bulb is the opening beam angle. This usually varies between 40 and 160 degrees and it is a value that is indicated on the box. Some bulbs have a much wider angle, reaching 360º in some very specific cases. For ceiling lights or lamps, you should always choose a large opening angle to provide sufficient lighting in the room.

Color Temperature

The main difference between LED lgiht bulbs is the color temperature they produce. Although the light is always white, there are three main shades. Neutral or natural light, which is a white light without nuances. This is the type of light most reminiscent of the natural light from the sun. Warm tones produce white lights with subtle yellow to reddish tones.

Cold white light produces a light that has bluish tones, ideal for areas of study and work where one must remain alert and awake. Normally, warm light is used in areas of rest and relaxation, where the energy is soft and calm, and cold light is used in work and transit areas. Cold LED light bulbs tend to give a little more light than warm bulbs, however, they use the same amount of watts.

Did you know that an incandescent lamp converts about 9-10 percent of the energy fed to it into the light, whereas LEDs convert nearly 100 percent of the energy they consume as light.

Savings and Consumption

LED bulbs not only provide various options of light tones and intensities ideal for any situation but they are also low-cost and more environmentally friendly than traditional light bulbs. They have a high lighting capacity and are much more economical due to their energy-saving properties. A 7-watt LED bulb equates to a 60-watt incandescent bulb, with the ability to save you up to and sometimes more than 80% on your annual electricity costs.

Not only will you save on your electricity bills, LED bulbs have a much longer lifespan than traditional bulbs, so you will also be decreasing the overall amount of bulbs you need to buy per year. The lifetime of a conventional bulb is about 1000 hours of use, while LEDs have a lifetime of up to 20,000 hours of use, which can translate to about 20 years of use.

LEDs convert nearly 100 percent of the energy they consume as light.
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Luminosity

Another factor to consider when buying an LED light bulb is its brightness. In order to find the LED bulb that best suits your needs, it’s necessary to reference equivalence tables that compare LED to traditional bulbs, and take into consideration the fixture you will be securing the bulb to, and last but not least, the space you want to illuminate. Referencing the lumens of each bulb will give you proper measurements in regards to luminosity.

This number will give you an idea of how bright the bulb is. Companies are designing and putting out increasingly efficient bulbs on the market, so it may happen that a bulb with less power offers higher brightness than others with higher consumption. Comparing and contrasting the lumens of each bulb will give you an accurate reading of how much light the bulb can provide you with.

Installation

Every house, business, and building can vary in how their electric system is set up. In some homes, incandescent bulbs are used and in others, fluorescent or halogen lamps. It is important that before buying a light bulb, you thoroughly check the electric design and installations of your house and find out which parts you can reuse and which would be better to redesign and rewire completely.

This aspect is extremely important, as some halogen lamps incorporate transformers. From a single transformer, it’s possible to hang several LED light bulbs, which have a much lower consumption rate than that of a halogen bulb.

One of the advantages of LED light bulbs is that they do not require special equipment for installation.
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Brand or Generic

The brand of the bulb is not a factor that you should take lightly, as it will directly influence the quality of the LED bulb. For instance, the Philips brand has dominated the LED bulb market since its inception. They offer an enormous quantity of models, with different shapes, designs, caps, colors and varying power outputs. Some of their higher-tech bulbs models even have adjustable dimmer settings, color-changing capabilities, and various connection options.

Other brands such as V-TAC or even Amazonbasics also offer great products. As with all products, there are plenty of amazing high-quality brands, as well as very bad ones. How do we distinguish a good brand from a bad one? It’s important to take on the responsibility of doing your research, by comparing and contrasting models as well as going over various consumer reviews. Good light bulbs are long-lasting, produce high-quality light and don't flicker, buzz or stall once turned on.

Summary

LED bulbs have greatly shifted the paradigm of domestic lighting. Not only do they offer us natural, high-grade light, but they also allow us to save up to 80% on our annual electricity bill. Moreover, they have an extremely long service life, lasting up to ten or twelve years without problems. These factors allow you to spend less time and money at the store replacing burnt-out bulbs month after month.

In the United States, the possibilities when buying an LED bulb are almost infinite, the market offers an enormous variety of models with different shapes, caps, colors, and luminosity. Each one of them providing different options for you to light up your home or office in a way that creates the perfect ambiance. You will have no problem finding a product that meets all of your needs.

If you liked this article, share it with your friends and family so you can help them buy the best LED light bulbs on the market. Alternatively, don't hesitate to leave us a comment with your thoughts.

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