Lighting has come a long way over the years. Gone are the days when incandescent lightbulbs dominated the market as the only lighting option. In fact, Canada and several other countries in the world are on a path to phase out incandescents entirely.
Other players in the lighting market are fluorescent lamps, compact fluorescent lamps (CFL), cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFL), high-intensity discharge lamps, and, most recently, light-emitting diode lamps, or LED.
In the race for lighting dominance, it’s looking more and more like LED is taking the lead. They are steadily gaining in popularity thanks to their efficiency, longevity (they can last upwards of 20 years!), and ever dropping price tag. Many people associate LED lights with harsh white light, but recent advancements have put warm LED lights on the market; ones that emit the same kind of light that we’re used to with incandescent bulbs.
Many people wonder if they should switch to LED lights. If you are considering it, here is a guide so you know what to expect and how to go about making the change.
LED lights have substantially come down in cost. These days, LED lights can be found for less than $2.50 per bulb in a multi-pack. Fancier models can be slightly more and cost rises from there. At the top of the line, colour-changing bulbs that you can operate with your smart phone start at $30 per bulb.
Most people are used to shopping for bulbs by watts, which isn’t the amount of brightness they emit, rather the amount of energy they use. With LED lights, bulbs are instead measured in Lumens (lm). What’s confusing is that lumens do measure brightness. Make sure to have an idea of what brightness you need in lumens before you go shopping. For example, an ordinary 10 W lightbulb is equivalent to 90 lm, while a brighter 35 W lightbulb would be 400 lm.
LED lights can come in a range of colour, from purple to red, to a range of whites and yellows. For the home, however, you’ll probably want something similar to incandescent light. This will fall into the range of warm yellows. But you might want a different type of light for something like an outdoor spotlight. Have an idea before you head to the store.
It might not be realistic to replace all the bulbs in your home at once as that could cost a substantial amount of money. And besides, you may want to enjoy a mix of lighting installations, differing from room to room.
Instead, plan ahead for what kind of lighting you would like and where, then install the bulbs one by one as the incandescents burn out. You might as well get the most use out of the ones you already have.
One more thing to note, not all outlets are compatible with LED lights. Here are some things to watch out for.
Because of pre-existing circuitry, not all LEDs work with prior dimming switches. And some of the bulbs don’t dim at all so make sure you read the packaging before you purchase.
Most LED lights work outside and are fine in the cold, one thing to note is that they cannot get wet so in a city like Surrey or Vancouver, you will have to make sure that the fixtures are well-suited for the outdoors. They are also heat sensitive. So, again, be sure to read the packaging so you are purchasing the bulb that best suits your needs.
LED light bulbs get hot, but not as hot as incandescents. Nonetheless, enclosed spaces require specially-made LED bulbs.
Lighting can affect the mood of a room and even have affect a person’s mood and productivity. If you have any questions about LED installations or the lighting your home, contact us today.