Light Emitting Diodes (LED)
LEDs have been around for many years; starting with flashlights, traffic lights and other small applications. However, the ability to use such a great product inside our homes was often not possible due to the high cost, but in recent years that has changed as the cost has become much more reasonable.
So what are LED lights and why should you buy them?
Cheaper in the long run
LED lights for inside the home originally cost in the range of $30 a piece— that’s a high price for one bulb. But now these lights can be purchased for approximately $1 per bulb, while a Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) will cost $1-1.50 per bulb of equal size. While the upfront cost is roughly the same cost, the real savings comes during the lifetime of the bulb.
LED bulbs have a lifespan of 20,000 hours compared to that of a CFL of 10,000 or halogen/ incandescent of 1,000 hours— making the LED last twice as long as the next competitor. Also, CFLs use 14 watts in comparison to the 7 watts of LEDs. This saves both in energy and in the cost of replacing the bulbs.
One question remains, what type of light should I buy?
Color over wattage
In the past, if you wanted a brighter light, you just bought a higher wattage. But with today’s lighting options, the wattage is the same and the real difference comes from the color which is based off the Kelvin temperature.
Kelvin temperature (K) does not determine how warm a bulb is, but rather what color it is. There are three main color temperatures to choose from:
- 2700- 3000K (Warm White)- gives off a yellow tint and best used in bedrooms
- 3500- 4100K (Cool/ Bright White)- gives off a white tint and best used in the living room, kitchen, bathroom where you want the most natural light
- 5000- 6500K (Daylight)- gives off a bluish tint and best used for craft rooms or reading lamps
And if you need a different color of light in the same room, Tunable White Lighting allows for the same bulb to produce the entire color temperature range. These bulbs are easier found online through manufacturers than in a store.
With LED lights, your smartphone can serve as the new wall switch. Companies now offer “connected” or “smart” bulbs that can be controlled by a smart device via a connection hub kit, with multiple products offered at local hardware stores. With these new controls, comes the opportunity for different types of lighting such as flexible string lighting that allow you to hide the lights under cabinets, stairs and other areas through your house where you don’t have to see the bulbs anymore.
Lighting is changing rapidly with LED technology, and so is the way we look at lighting in general. The new question to ask is not what wattage bulb, but what do I want to accomplish with lighting in my home. You can also see the savings yourself with our home Lighting Calculator.