The LED Bulbs Guide: All You Need To Know About LED Bulbs
When it comes to lighting systems, the light source or bulb is considered as being equally important as the light fixtures. Initially, incandescent bulbs were the conventional source of light for most light fixtures but with the advent of technology, more durable and energy efficient light sources have emerged with one of the most notable being LED bulbs.
The first LB was invented in 1960. However, it had no real practical use when it came to lighting since it produced power in the lower light frequencies. It was not until 1994 that the first major breakthrough was made in the world of LED lighting with the production of a high intensity LED bulb. This technology was widely adopted later on and over time, LED bulbs have become one of the most popular forms of lighting in both domestic and commercial setups.
Before we start off on the benefits of LB over other types of lamps and the different types of LED bulbs, it is important that you first have a rough overview on how this lighting system works.
So how do they work?
LED basically stands for light emitting diode, a solid state semiconductor device which produces light when electrons pass through its structure.as a norm, LED replacement bulbs have got 2 terminals: a positive and negative terminal. When an electric charge is passed through the an LED, it activates the flow of electrons from the negative to the positive terminals and the excited electrons produce light as they flow from the negative to the positive terminals.
An LED bulb is not simply made up of a single LED; it is usually an array of LEDs with the light intensity of a bulb determining the number of individual LEDs to be used within a particular bulb. LED replacement bulbs that make use of fixtures for standard incandescent and CFL bulbs are one of the most popular forms of LED bulbs currently being used. As a norm, these bulbs can be used for virtually every form of lighting from indoor lighting to outdoor lighting.
Benefits of using LED bulbs
When compared to other forms of light sources such as incandescent and CFLs light bulbs, LED light systems are considered to have more benefits. The following is an overview of some of the most notable benefits associated with using this type of lighting systems.
This is perhaps one of the most notable benefits associated with using this kind of lighting system. As mentioned earlier, LEDs make use of a small amount of energy as they make use of tiny solid state semi-conductors to produce light. As such, LED lamps tend to have a very high level of energy efficiency when compared to other form of lighting. As a matter of fact, LED lights are the best in terms of energy efficiency.
The initial purchase price of an LED bulb is quite high when compared to other types of lighting system but this cost is easily recovered in terms of energy saving.
Another advantage associated with using this type of lighting system is that it tends to last significantly longer when compared to other types of lighting systems such as incandescent and fluorescent bulbs. The average lifespan of an LED bub is approximately 50,000 hrs or around 15 years if the bulb is in operation for 9 hours a day. This is quite substantial since most incandescent bulbs have an average lifespan of one year.
Durability is another benefit for which LED lamps are best known. As a norm, LEDs do not have a filament and as such they can work even after being dropped or accidentally falling down. Additionally, the body for most LED lights is made from sturdy material with some brands even having a clear plastic at the face of the bulb: as opposed to glass, which increases their durability. This property makes them suitable for use in outdoor settings.
LEDs never get hot, even after being used for long periods of time. The same cannot be said for incandescent and CFLs which can heat up to very high temperatures after a prolonged period of use. This is considered as an advantage as it makes LEDs much safer to work with.
But they produce light, how come they don't get hot? LED bulbs actually produce heat and as a norm, heat is usually the greatest culprit in most LEDs burnouts. However, they have an inbuilt heat sink, which draws heat away from the LED and in doing so prevent the LED system from heating up.
LEDs usually come on instantaneously when switched on. This makes them suitable for a wide range of applications such as security lighting.
LEDs are also dimmable. However it is important to note that not all LEDs can support dimmer circuits and as such it would be in your best interest to check if the product specification for a given bulb if you are interested in a dimmable LED light.
The use of LED lamps also brings about an aspect of cost saving. The reason behind this is that, Led lamps of a low rating have the capacity to produce as much light as incandescent or CFLs of a much higher rating. For instance, a 9Watt LED lamp produces the same light intensity as that of a 60Watt incandescent bulb and 20Watt CFL bulb. As such, one stands to save on energy costs by using an LED system as opposed to other types of lighting systems.
Types of LED bulbs
LED bulbs are divided into various categories depending on their functionality. The following is an overview of some of the most common types of LEDs.
As the name suggests, miniature LEDs are quite small in size. Miniature LEDs usually have no practical use in the field of lighting and are most commonly used as a form of indicator. As a norm, they are usually available in predefined shapes and sizes with some of the most common applications in which they are used being mobile phones, TVs and a wide range of digital devices.
High Power LEDs
High power LEDs are another common form of LED that is being used in everyday life. As the name suggests, they have a very high power output, which directly translates to better light intensity. High power LEDS are the LEDs used in lighting applications for both domestic and commercial lighting.
Some of the examples where high power LEDS are applicable include LED spotlight bubs which are commonly used for task lighting, LED night light bulbs commonly used for night lighting in children’s bedrooms and LED floor light bulbs used for decor and also task lighting.
LED strips make use of high power LEDs and as a norm, are commonly used for a wide range of lighting tasks both within and outside a home. Some of the most common forms of lighting applications for this type of fixture include furniture lighting as well as task lighting.
Colored LEDs are another popular option when it comes to the different types of LEDs. Colored LEDs can be used for a wide variety of lighting applications with the most common being mood lighting within a bedroom setup and also in the bathroom. LED headlight bulbs incorporating a preferred color can also be used for accent lighting.
Some of the most popular colors being used with colored LEDs include red, green and blue.
Factors to consider when selecting LED bulbs
When purchasing LED bulbs, they are a number of factors that have to be considered so as to ensure that you get the best LED bulb. The following is an overview of some of these factors.
As a norm, most individuals tend to determine the brightness of a given bulb by its wattage. This is not the correct way to go about this. Wattage is not an indicator of how bright a bulb is but merely how much power the bulb uses when in operation.
When ascertaining the brightness of a given bulb, it would be in your best interest to look at the lumens rating for that particular bulb. Lumens is a measure of light intensity and is considered as the best way through which you can determine the brightness of different bulbs regardless of the type of bulbs being compared.
Color temperature is another very important factor that has to be considered when purchasing an LED bulb. Conventional incandescent bulbs usually .produce a warm luminous glow at a very high temperature and as such don't have a color temperature rating. However all LED lamps usually have a color temperature rating.
The color temperature rating is usually measured in Kelvins and is a measure of how the color produced by an LED bulb is compared to that of the sun. As a norm, the higher the color temperature is the whiter the LED bulb will be. Color temperatures usually range from 2700 K for the lower tier warm-yellow bulbs to 5400K for the high tier range of bulbs that produce whiter light.
Color temperature is considered as being very important when selecting an LED bulb since it will ultimately dictate the color of the light being produced. Mood is usually set by the color being produced by a source of light and by selecting an LED bulb with the right color temperature; an individual can be able to set the preferred mood within a room. The following is a breakdown of the different color temperatures, their corresponding colors and the best rooms in which they can be used.
2700K – this is the lowest color temperature that can be produced by an LED light bulb. At 2700k the light produced by a fixture is a warm yellow color. Bulbs with this color temperature are usually best used within a bedroom or living room area.
3500K – the light produced at this temperature is usually soft white in appearance and light bulbs producing this type of light are best used within a bathroom or kitchen setting.
4100k – LED bulbs, which produce this type of light are quite similar to fluorescent bulbs. They are best-used n security lighting and also accent lighting.
5000K+ – LED bulbs that have a color temperature of 5000K and above usually produce extremely white light that can be described as cool white. These bulbs are usually referred to as daylight bulbs due to the light they produce. They are best suited for accent lighting and also security lighting.
As a norm, the color temperature of an LED bulb is usually indicated in the packaging and it is generally recommended to not only check the lumens rating of a bulb but also the color temperature rating.
LED lamp base
When selecting LED house bulbs, always ensure that the lamp base for the bulb you selected is compatible with the lighting fixture for which the bulb is meant for. When it comes to lamp bases there is a wide variety of bases in existence and as a norm, the specific base type number is usually inscribed both on the light fixture and also on the bulb itself. The following is an overview of some of the most common LED lamp bases.
Edison screw bases
Edison screw bases basically feature a screw type lamp base. These bulbs are usually denoted by a letter followed by a number, the letter denotes the base type while the number denotes the base diameter. For instance E10 stands for an Edison screw type lamp base with a 10mm diameter.
E10 – also known as the miniature Edison screw base, this LED base has a diameter of approximately 10mm and is quite popular especially for small LED bulbs.
E14 – also known as the small Edison screw base, this base can support a voltage of up to 240V and is one of the most common base types being currently used.
E27 – this is the standard Edison screw in base that is widely used in most lighting fixtures.
Pinned base lamps
For pined base lamps, the letter `G’ is used to designate that a light bulb makes use of pins. The second letter after this might be U, V, Y or Z which, is usually optional and as a norm is followed by a number that which shows the distance between two pins in mm.
Some of the most common pin type bases for LED lamps are GU10 which is a twist lock most commonly used with MR16 type lamps and also G9, G4 and G5 which are most common with T4 and T5 fluorescent tubes.
The shape and size of the LED is another important factor that has to be considered when purchasing LED lamps. Shapes are considered as being important especially if the LED bulb is to be used within a confining light fixture such as a sconce. As a rule, the LED bulb should be small enough to fit within the enclosure while leaving some extra space.
With LED bulbs, you also have the option of decorating using the light bulbs. As a norm, LED lamps come in a wide variety of shapes most of which can be used for decorative purposes. For instance, conventional Edison shaped bulbs can be used to create a timeless theme while other intricate shapes such as the teardrop or LED candle bulbs can help create a more modern theme.
If you are wondering where to buy LED bulbs, there are many online shops that have Led bulbs with one of the most notable being wegotlites.com. At wegotlites.com, you get to choose from a wide variety of LED bulb s and the best thing of all is that you would benefit from the great discounts and the best prices online.
LED bulbs and lighting system tips
Now that you have an overview of the different types of LED bulbs available and factors to consider when selecting LED bulbs, the following are some important tips you can use when it comes to LED lighting systems.
Always consider using a dimmer
Dimmer circuits are a great accessory that can be used together with LED bulbs. In a normal household setting, there are a lot of advantages associated with using a dimmer circuit. For starters a dimmer circuit can be used in setting the mood within a particular room while at the same time cutting down on energy used.
Dimmer circuits are great in a bedroom setup but can also be used in the living room and also corridors. However not all LED bulbs are designed for dimmer circuits and as such, it would be in your best interest to first ascertain whether an LED is dimmable before using it with a dimmer circuits.
Consider using colored LEDS
Colored LEDs are another great alternative that can produce remarkable results when properly used. Colored LED bulbs have many applications with one of the most common being night lighting. As a norm, most night light fixtures are used in children’s bedroom and usually have some form of patterned enclosure that casts patterns throughout a room when illuminated. By selecting the best color based on the theme of the pattern, you can be able to create a remarkable night light effect within the bedroom.
For instance if the theme of the night light pattern is clouds, illuminating the night light enclosure with a blue LED bulb will produce a much better effect.
The use of colored LEDs is not only limited to the children’s bedroom, it can also be used in other bedrooms. Apart from mood lighting within for bedrooms, there are other great lighting ideas. For instance, you can saturate the area behind a headboard with a warm glow by using a colored LED bulb.
Accent lighting with LED bulbs
LED bulbs are considered as being the best when it comes to accent lighting. Unlike other forms of lighting, accent lighting is specifically meant to highlight decorative pieces and works of art ad as a norm tends to use very bright light. Using incandescent bulbs for this type of lighting is usually not advisable due to the high-energy consumption and as such LED bulbs are considered as the best option.
Incandescent light sources also produce a lot of heat and can end up causing yellowing of paintings or the gradual degradation of art pieces due to the intense heat. On the other hand, the heat produced by LED lamps is neglible and it is for this reason that this type of bulb is considered best for accent lighting.
decorative lighting is another area in which LED bulbs are best cut out for. LEDs can be used for a wide range of decorative purposes especially in the living room area. For instance, LED lights positioned behind a living room entertainment center can bring in a decorative element to that particular room.
As a rule, you should not confine yourself to regular colored LED lights but also make use of colored LED lights so as to get the best in terms of decoration. LED shop light bulbs are also commonly used for decorative purposes.
Keep the flies away with LED lighting
Are you always being bothered by flies within your house or when turning on security lights? Then LED lighting is the best solution for you. Flies are usually attracted to the heat from a light fixture and most specifically UV light rays. Incandescent and CFL bulbs usually produce a lot of UV light rays and heat attracting a lot of insects.
LED lamps do not produce UV rays and have a relatively low heat dissipation rate. As a result, they do not attract any insects and due to this are considered as being great in areas with plenty of insects or during summer and spring.
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