LED technology is fast becoming a popular lighting solution due to its versatility, efficiency and cost-effectiveness. An LED or Light Emitting Diode is a semiconductor that converts electricity to light. It is encased in a lamp, thus turning into a LED light for various applications. It requires less electricity compared to traditional lights, giving the advantage of lower electric bills. If this is the first time you are buying an LED light, here are the basics you should know.
The brightness of light is measured in lumens, and energy is measured in watts. You might be used to looking at the number of watts to determine the brightness of lights if you were using incandescent bulbs. Wattage is still used in LED, but this does not automatically tell how bright the light is. Typically, LED lights with a wattage of 20 to 30 have 1600 lumens, while a watt range of 9 to 13 produces 450 lumens.
Not all LED lights are dimmable because it is the driver that enables dimming. If you are to pair an LED light with a dimmer, you should make sure they are compatible. Check the packaging to see whether it is leading edge or trailing edge compatible.
Kelvin is used to measure colour and is interpreted as either warm or cool. Lower Kelvin of 2700 to 3000 produces warm white light, ideal for living rooms, bedrooms or hallways. Cool white light has higher Kelvin, around 4000, which is suitable for kitchens, bathrooms, and studies. Commercial applications might require Kelvin of 6500 for cool daylight white light.
Aside from lumens, the beam angle is something you should be careful about when choosing LED downlights or spotlights. This simply means the spread of light from the source. When buying LED bulbs, the common angle is 120 degrees, which is typical for general lighting. However, if you need it for accent lighting, such as highlighting artwork, you might find a narrow beam more suitable.
Today, LED bulbs come in a variety of fittings. These include E27 or Edison Screw bulbs, which are the most popular ones. The size of LED E27 is the same as incandescent or halogen bulbs. The other ones are Small Edison Screw, B22 bayonet, B15 small bayonet, R50, and R63 or reflector bulbs, PAR38 and smart bulbs.
LED lights are a good investment for their versatility. They have various applications, from task or reading lamps to cove lighting, under cabinet lighting, art lighting and more. They do not burn like other lamps, so they are safe and do not need to be replaced often. LED lights are also eco-friendly and durable. It is the future of lighting, so learn all you need to know and end up buying the right lighting fixture for your needs.