When you’re used to spending 40 cents on a traditional, incandescent light bulb, the $10 price tag on LED bulbs might make you hesitate. That is, until you realize that you will use approximately 25 traditional bulbs over the lifetime of just one LED bulb. Add to that the fact that it costs almost $5 per year to run an incandescent bulb compared to about $1 per year for an LED, and the choice now seems much more clear. What is not always so clear is how to choose an LED bulb. Instead of decoding how to convert watts to lumens and demystifying what Kelvins are, follow these Ace Helpful tips and start saving time, money and energy right away:
- Although LED bulbs provide significant long-term savings, the up-front cost of switching is more than you’re used to paying for bulbs. We recommend upgrading to LED bulbs in phases. Hard-to-reach bulbs, like your porch light or vaulted ceiling lights, are a good place to start, and chances are it will be a couple of decades before you have to climb back up on that ladder.
- Choose a bulb that spreads the light in the right pattern for that area of your home. Omi-directional bulbs cast light in the widest range and are the best choice for main lighting, such as vanity fixtures, pendants, table lamps, ceiling lights and chandeliers.
- Your LED bulbs will be part of your décor for a long time, so you want them to create the right ambiance. Warm bulbs have more of an amber tint and give off a cozy, soft white, diffused light. These are popular for rooms in which you relax or entertain. Bulbs resembling daylight give off brighter, whiter light, which are popular for home offices or for reading in older generations.
- Lumens replace Watts as the way to measure a bulb’s intensity. When it comes to brightness, 800 lumens is a good, all-purpose level.
- To get the best look and longest life from your LED bulb, upgrade your dimmer switches and be sure to look for bulbs that are compatible. Also, look for LED retrofit kits that combine the bulb and fixture trim to give you a finished, flush look when using LED bulbs in can lights.