Adapting – Switching your home out to LED bulbs
Buying LED bulbs is just darn confusing. So much so that it inspired a man to start his own LED company. Sure, you can save money on your electric bill but switching to LED can also help you reduce your cooling costs in the summer. 60 watts generates more heat than you’d think it would, then multiply that by six in the kitchen and wow, it gets hot.
Also, the LED bulb you buy could be bad for your health. And, if you’re anything like me, you do not need anything making your health worse. So, how do you choose LED bulbs? I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the owner of an LED bulb manufacturer, Bioluz LED, I learned so much about them, so I thought I’d share what I’ve learned so far.
The color temperature, CCT of an LED bulb will dictate what color of the light it is.
2700K CCT is called “warm white” and will match an incandescent in color
3000K CCT is called “soft white” and will match a halogen bulb in color
5000K CCT and up is called “cool white” or “daylight” and I believe, daylite LED are the saccharin of LED bulbs. You can read why here: “Need to finish this: The Danger of “Daylight” LED”
Next important thing to know is brightness. Remember you could get a 40 watt bulb for your nightstand, a 60 watt bulb for your table lamp and a 100 watt bulb for your porch? Now, it’s all about the lumens.
The lumen count on an LED bulb dictates how bright the light will be (the way we used watts before – that’s why you’ll see “60 watt equivalent” on an LED description. Keep in mind that not all LED bulbs shine light out of the whole bulb (this is determined by the beam angle), so an all glass filament bulb may appear brighter than a white plastic bulb.
350 – 400 lumens will be about a 40 watt equivalent
500 – 700 lumens will be about a 60 watt equivalent
800 – 1000 lumens will be about a 100 watt equivalent
1200 – 1400 lumens will be about a 120 watt equivalent
The beam angle of a bulb is also important, it will tell you how far the light will spread. I’ll make a note about the beam angle next to the bulb shapes below.
A regular lamp bulb is called an A19
If the bulb is white plastic, it will probably have a 220 degree beam angle, meaning light will come only out of the plastic globe at the top of the bulb, which is fine for a table lamp but if you have a sconce, only half of it will be lit.
If the bulb is clear glass (filament LED) it will have a full 360 degree beam angle, just like an incandescent (image at the end.)
The large bulbs, triangle shaped, are called BR bulbs or PAR bulbs
BR bulbs are considered “flood lights” and have about a 110 degree beam angle and are great for in or outdoor recessed ceiling lights and flood lights.
PAR bulbs are considered “spot lights” and have about a 40 degree beam angle and are great for ceiling lights where you want a concentrated beam of light, to highlight art or landscape downlighting (in a weather protected fixture)
I need to finish this – adding information about downlights, candle bulbs, and MR16/GU10 which are track light bulbs.
The other specification you might see is CRI, the Color Rendering Index. You’ll see pictures of food and the 80 CRI pic will look like it’s got a filter on it and the 90 CRI pic will be clear and full of color. Unless, you’re taking pics of food, the CRI is not going to matter to you and, I take all my food pics in 80 CRI light and they look fine to me… 90 CRI will be the minimum in California in 2018 but, until then, don’t let CRI be the deciding factor.
If you need help you can call them, tell them what you want to replace and they’ll help you figure out exactly what you need. 818-888-1150 x 106 between 10:30 and 3:30 PST is the best time to call.
If you already know what you need, you can find links to Bioluz LED bulbs in my “Store.”