Light plays a vital role in our day-to-day activities. Therefore, choosing the right type of lighting for your home is especially important as different rooms and activities might each have specific lighting requirements.
This can be managed by using different light bulbs. Since the inception of LED light bulbs, different designs have been developed to suit the various environments and ambiances you might need in different rooms in your home.
Lighting aisles in shopping centers are flooded with LED light bulbs that are diversified in terms of energy efficiency, color, cost, and suitability for different rooms.
Your lighting needs will be dictated by specific requirements such as the number of rooms, color preferences, electricity costs, and energy efficiency.
For instance, a person looking for the perfect light for reading will prefer a reading lamp with a super bright bulb, while a bedside lamp will be best with a gentler light having a candle-like warm glow.
Types Of LED Bulbs
Dual In-Line Package (DIP) LEDs
Most LED lighting is usually associated with the DIP LED chips. While not as extensively used today, the DIP LED chips can still be found mostly in built-in electronics because of their diminutive size. The other reason the DIP LED chips may not be widely used today is because they are not very powerful and only provide limited brightness.
Surface Mounted Diode (SMD) LEDs
This may be the most common type of LED lights available. They are mostly found on circuit boards where they are mounted and soldered.
They are preferred because they are brighter and more versatile even when encased in smaller electronics. By mounting several diodes on a single SMD chip, one has the option to include different colors and varieties.
Chip on Board (COB) LEDs
This is the latest LED technology in the market. As such, it marks a significant improvement in brightness, and one can park up to nine or more diodes on a single chip. With these developments, lighting efficiency is improved significantly as the brightness-to-energy output is enhanced.
Furthermore, it provides more options with lighting range. However, the only disadvantage is that COB LED chips can’t emit an eclectic range of diverse colors.
How To Choose The Best LED Bulb For Your Home
LED color temperatures
LED lights are associated with different white light shades that give you more options for home lighting.
The LED color temperature is measured in Kelvins with higher values indicating whiter and cooler lighting. Options associated with color temperature are cool white (5500K-6500K), daylight (4000K-5000K), warm white (2700-3200K), and very warm light (under 2700K).
In the past, the criteria when shopping for light bulbs was to look for higher wattage, however, this might be misleading especially when considering LED lighting.
That is because LED bulbs use less energy and lower wattage, while offering the equivalent brightness of their halogen counterparts. Therefore, next time you shop for a bulb, do not only consider the wattage but also the brightness and energy efficiency the LED bulb offers.
CRI – Color Rendering Index
Understanding CRI is necessary when choosing the right lighting for your workspace or home. Lighting preferences are often centered around the type of space and personal preferences, however, this does not factor in CRI.
It is important to note that higher CRI is preferred. That is because CRI refers to how accurately artificial light shows colors of people and objects. It is always on a numerical scale (1 – 100).
CRI assesses color accuracy and color rendition of different objects assessed under different lights compared to how they appear under natural sunlight and incandescent lights. As such, higher CRI means a better bulb color rendition or light fixture.
Higher CRI is important for environments where presentation, color accuracy, and visual appeal are critically important. The reason CRI is an important consideration especially when shopping for an LED light bulb is that LED is associated with variation in color rendering.
LEDs are preferred to fluorescents since they are energy efficient, have long life, and do not contain mercury. However, besides all their advantages, assessment of CRI is also critical.
LED light bulbs come in various shapes. Bulb shape designations are labelled with letters and numbers. The numbers indicate actual size while letters describe bulb type.
The number on a bulb indicates its diameter often in multiples of an eighth of an inch. As for shape, there are four main shapes of LED bulbs: specialty, decorative, A-shape, and reflector.
A-Shape – This is a common shape which is often considered the standard LED bulb shape. There are different A-Shape bulbs. The A19 bulb replaces the incandescent bulb of about 75 watts, while the A21 shaped bulb replaces incandescent bulbs of 100 Watts. There are also smaller A15 shaped bulbs.
Reflector – Often referred to as spot or reflect light bulbs because they have a reflective coating that focuses the beam angle (either narrow or wide). These reflector LED bulbs are engraved with the letter R to show the bulb shape designation. Below are some options of Reflector bulbs:
Mirrored Reflector (MR) that focuses light into a single focal point. This is suited for recessed lighting, landscape lighting, and track lighting.
The Reflector (R) and Bulged Reflector (BR) are directional bulbs that reflect light outwards. The BR bulb’s housing contains a mirror-like coating and an additional mirror at the neck that gives it a bulge near the socket base, unlike the Reflector bulb that has the mirror-like coating only in its housing.
The Parabolic Aluminized Reflector (PAR) lamps contain flat lenses that come in different sizes such as PAR16, PAR20, PAR30, PAR36, and PAR38. These lamps are used for outdoor flood lighting, recessed lighting, and track lighting.
The Aluminum-facetted Reflector (AR) generally suits low voltage applications (in the range of 12 – 24 Volts) although options for the 120V are also available. They are used for architectural lighting and retail spaces, replacing halogen bulbs.
These are popular bulbs used for different decorative lighting needs. The different options available include the B (Bullet) or the Torpedo bulbs, the candle or conical bulbs which are used as Christmas replacement bulbs and night lights, the Candle Angular (CA) having a flame shape with flame/ bent tips that are used as decorative bulbs, and the LED filament bulb that has antique lighting and is available in either bullet or candle angular shapes.
Globe – This is an LED bulb with a spherical design. Its size ranges from 1.5-inch to 5-inch diameter. Globe bulbs are used in light stringers, sconces, and decorative fixtures. Using LED globes that have LED filaments gives a more vintage look.
LED Filament Bulbs. These bulbs have LED diodes with a thin bar design. The popular options of LED filament bulbs available include Tubular, Edison, S14, Victorian, LED Silver Bowl, and Oversized.
Specialty LEDs – This bulb has fewer options of shapes and its use is limited to specific applications. Popular options of this type of bulb are the tubular and straight-sided shapes.
Another important component of LED lighting is dimming. This feature of an LED bulb introduces versatility to lighting. In order to determine the dimmability needed in a light bulb, one first needs to consider the basic functions of the room where it will be used.
For example, the living room serves diverse purposes where activities such as a family playing board games, reading books, watching TV can take place. For such diverse functions, the room lighting should be adaptable. With the evolution of LED lights, one does not have to set up different light sources, but instead it’s possible to achieve a full lighting spectrum with dimmable options.
LED lights work with light switches that allow you the flexibility of shifting between different light intensities. Furthermore, there are smart plugs that allow you to dim fixtures and lamps by adjusting the dimness either up or down.
Another approach would be to obtain dimmable smart bulbs. The best news regarding LED lights is that with time the cost of the bulbs is dropping, and many newer options work with voice controls which make dimming bulbs much faster and easier.
Price And Life Span
LED bulb prices vary depending on the different specification. LED light bulbs come in many options that accommodate both a variety of customer lighting needs as well as varied financial capabilities.
They have a longer lifespan compared to incandescent bulbs. The lifespan of LED lights on average is estimated at 50,000 hours and this could be prolonged to 100,000 hours if used well.
The number of hours that a bulb can last guarantees a good number of years of usage. With the increasing cost of living, people are exploring different options that can be used to reduce the costs of maintaining a home.
One such option would be replacing all the fluorescents and bulbs with LED bulbs. That not only slashes the cost of energy usage, but it also leads to having an eco-friendly home. With the life span of an LED bulb, one saves on replacement and maintenance costs associated with bulbs that have shorter lifespans.
The Benefits Of Using LED Bulbs In Your Home
LED lights are a recommended option for home lighting based on their advantages and variety of options available. Some of these include:
- Opting for LED bulbs for your lighting needs means you get a quality product with a great lifespan which is cost friendly.
- LEDs are energy efficient in that they emit higher quality light per unit of power compared to other bulb options. Energy efficiency of LED bulbs could be 60 to 70% and this could be improved to 90% depending on the LED lights one chooses. This option also factors into the financial implications by minimizing costs.
- Unlike traditional lighting options, LED lights do not emit heat or UV emissions. That means that they are also eco-friendly and suited for use in the wake of current efforts towards mitigating the impact of climate change.
- From the above discussion on types, shapes, and other features, LED bulbs clearly offer numerous options. With these options LED lights also have design flexibility that can be suited for different functions, occasions, and roles. Their design flexibility features also includes instant lighting and the capability to withstand frequent switching.
- LED lights are known to have options for low voltage and dimming capabilities. The LED lights and bulbs are designed to work at low voltage. With this ability to work in different power percentages, they provide dimming when there is less power for maximum efficiency. The option also helps increase bulb lifespan and reduce energy costs.
Where To Buy LED Bulbs Online or in store
You may be wondering where to buy LED bulbs online or in store. There are numerous options to consider. You can get quality lighting options especially LED lights and bulbs at The Good Guys (http://thegoodguys.com.au), MICA Lighting (http://micalighting.com.au), and JD Lighting.
These are a few recommended sellers because they provide a variety of options at great prices. Furthermore, The Good Guys have same day delivery on bulk purchases (more than 100 items) while MICA Lighting facilitate direct purchase from the importer and offer greater details of up to 70% off on retail prices. All of them offer in-store and online shopping options.