Light Emitting Diodes (known more commonly as LED) bulbs have been appearing more frequently in both homes and workplaces.
Often thought of as the more energy-efficient light bulb choice, they last longer than traditional light bulbs and consume less energy – so we can understand their growing popularity.
If you haven’t considered introducing LED bulbs into your home or workplace, now may be the time! To help you decide, we have created the below guide to LED light bulbs, so you have all of the information you need to make the right decision.
What are LED light bulbs?
LED light bulbs are an alternative to incandescent and halogen light bulbs. The difference between LEDs and other types of bulb is in the way they burn light; traditional incandescent and halogen bulbs burn using a filament, whereas LEDs use a semiconductor. Although this is a small difference, it makes a big impact on the benefits of using LED light bulbs.
The brightness of LED light bulbs is measured in Lumens (lm). Lumens measure the amount of visible light coming from the source, as seen by the human eye. The higher number of Lumens, the brighter to the eye.
In traditional incandescent bulbs, wattage is used to measure brightness (the higher the wattage, the brighter the bulb). However, wattage actually measures energy usage!
If you are used to determining the brightness of your bulbs in Watts, we’ve created this handy Watts to Lumens conversion guide:
|Wattage (Incandescent bulb)||Lumens|
Why use LED light bulbs?
There are a number of reasons why to use LED light bulbs. Some of the key benefits are:
- Energy-efficiency. LED bulbs use 90% less energy than other types of bulbs of similar levels of brightness
- Money-saving. Due to the energy-efficiency of LED light bulbs, they’re also cost-effective; which has a positive impact on energy bills after installation
- Long-lasting. LED light bulbs can last up to 30 years (or 11 years of continuous use), so you make fewer purchases in comparison to other types of light bulb
- Environmentally-friendly. If you’re looking for ways to make more environmentally-conscious choices, switching to LED bulbs is a good step. Using LED bulbs, you’re consuming less energy, which releases fewer carbon emissions into the air. LED bulbs also don’t contain harmful materials such as mercury or lead
- Light up instantly. When powered, LED bulbs get bright instantly, unlike other bulbs that take some time to warm up to their full levels of brightness
- Available in a wide range of colours. LEDs give you a greater variety of colour temperatures to choose from; from cool daylight bulbs which have a blue hue, through to extra-warm whites which are more yellow. This allows you to have more control over the ambiance of the room.
Where to use LED light bulbs
LED light bulbs can be used anywhere in a home or workplace as a replacement for incandescent and halogen light bulbs. All you need to do is make sure your fixtures are compatible, and they can work anywhere your existing bulbs are used.
Can you use LED bulbs outside?
Yes, LED light bulbs can be used outdoors and indoors. Unlike traditional bulbs, they can operate extremely effectively under cooler temperatures so they’re ideal for outdoor use. They are also more durable than traditional light bulbs, which makes them perfect for outside.
Do LED light bulbs work with dimmer switches?
Dimmable LED light bulbs are now available, and are compatible with contemporary dimmer switches. You just need to make sure you have an LED-compatible dimmer that reduces the energy load that the LED needs to handle. Choose from dimmable and non-dimmable LED lights.
Types of LED light bulbs
There are a number of different types of LED light bulb for you to choose from. Some of the most popular types include:
GU10 LED bulbs
The GU10 LED is one of the most common types of spotlight light bulb. You will often find GU10 bulbs in places where directional light is needed, such as kitchen and bathrooms
Candle LED bulbs
Candle LEDs can be identified from their distinctive candle shape. They are often used for more decorative lighting purposes, in order to mimic the appearance of a flame. Often used in the hospitality industry, they work well in lamps and chandelier lighting.
GLS LED bulbs
GLS LED lightbulbs have the classic lightbulb shape, making them the most versatile of your LED bulb options. They work best anywhere you use traditional bulbs in domestic properties, such as living rooms and bedrooms.
MR16 LED bulbs
MR16 LED bulbs are also spotlights, but differ from the GU10 bulbs, as they have two pins on the base to connect to the power source. They can be used in places where directional light is needed, such as kitchens, bathrooms and office spaces.
Golf Ball / Globe LED lights
Known as the contemporary choice, globe and golf ball LED light bulbs are more spherical in shape. They can be used effectively in domestic buildings, especially in lamps and more intricate light fittings where the bulb will be displayed.
Reflector LED bulbs
Reflector LEDs work by reflecting the light back out into the room, giving a brighter finish than other bulbs. Use in places you want to illuminate on a budget, as they’re also extremely long-lasting, with up to 50,000 hours of lighting.
We hope we have given you everything you need to know about LED light bulbs. If you’re still unsure about whether LED bulbs are for you, you can read our guide to the best light bulb types for different uses. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of our team.