Switch to LED Lights?

You may be thinking about changing your standard bulbs to LED bulbs. LED light bulbs are comparably more energy efficient and longer lasting, thus saving money on utility bills and replacements. While LEDs still cost a bit more than other types of bulbs, prices for today’s versions usually cost between $3 to $70, depending on quality and special features like smart technology, and come available in dynamic color ranges.

Most LED bulbs are packaged listing comparable wattage numbers, but their actual brightness is measured in lumens. Here is a guide that illustrates how much wattage an LED bulb uses to emit the same brightness as an incandescent bulb.

  • A 7- to 9-watt LED bulb is equivalent to a 40-watt incandescent bulb (450 lumens emitted)
  • A 9- to 12-watt LED bulb is equivalent to 60-watt incandescent bulb (800 lumens emitted)
  • A 12- to 15-watt LED bulb is equivalent to 75-watt incandescent bulb (1,100 lumens emitted)
  • A 16- to 20-watt LED bulb is equivalent to 100-watt incandescent bulb (1,600 lumens emitted)

In addition to lumens, an LED bulb’s color temperature is listed on the package’s “Lighting Facts” label. This information is shown through a color-coded bar; the orange-colored end represents “warm” temperatures, and the blue-colored end represents “cool” temperatures. An arrow indicator falls somewhere between the two points, displaying on the color temperature of the specific bulb. For the best results, choose bulbs with a color temperature that corresponds with the specific lighting needs in your home:

  • Warm white light is calm, inviting, and flattering to skin tones, making it suitable for bathrooms, bedrooms, living rooms, reading corners, and outdoor spaces. Warm white light falls on the “warm” end of the color temperature scale.
  • Soft white light is vibrant and energetic. It’s well suited to kitchen work areas, basements, garages, and task-oriented spaces, where you want bright (but not harsh) illumination. Soft white falls mid-range on the color temperature scale.
  • Bright white light, sometimes called “daylight” lighting, is located at the cool end of the color temperature bar. It’s very bright and crisp, but it tends to be a bit hard on the eyes in relaxed living situations. Bright white lighting is best used for outdoor security systems and bright workshops.

Dimmable bulbs allow the user to adjust the amount of electricity to the bulb and control its brightness. Thanks to their ability to conserve energy, dimmable bulbs are a great option for those looking to save on utility bills—but not all LEDs are dimmable, so be sure to read the package before buying. Also, keep in mind dimmable bulbs only work when you have installed dimmable light switches.

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