- Estimate desired brightness - read the package to choose desired brightness level. You can use wattage to compare bulb illumination, for example, a 3W LED is equivalent in output to a 45 W incandescent. However, the new method for comparing bulbs is lumens. Lumens is the measure of perceived brightness, and the higher the lumens, the brighter the bulb. The FTC has mandated that by 2012 all light bulb packages display lumens as the primary measure for comparing bulbs. For more information about lumens, see LED Terminology further down this page.
- Choose between warm and cool light - new LED bulbs are available in 'cool' white light, which is ideal for task lighting, and 'warm' light commonly used for accent or small area lighting.
-Standard base or pin base - LEDs are available in several types of 'pin' sockets or the standard 'screw' (Edison) bases for recessed or track lighting.
-Choose between standard and dimmable bulbs - some LED bulbs, such as the LumiSelect series, are now available as dimmable bulbs.
- Choose high quality bulbs or they will die prematurely - do not buy cheap bulbs from eBay or discounters. They are inexpensive because the bulbs use a low-quality chip which fails easily.
-Look for certifications - including FCC, Energy Star and UL.
The common styles of LED bulbs include the following:
In this style LED bulb, clusters of LEDs are covered by a dimpled lens which spreads the light out over a wider area. Available in standard Edison bases, these bulbs have many uses, such as area lighting for rooms, porches, reading lamps, accent lamps, hallways and low-light applications where lights remain on for extended periods.
Diffused high power bulbs
Designed for standard household use, these bulbs produce light equivalent to a 100-watt incandescent bulb. The EvoLux (pictured), and ZetaLux (pictured above) are the first UL Listed and FCC approved LED light bulbs for general household illumination.
Available in MR-16 (pin base), LEDs are ideal for track lighting. LEDs do not contribute to heat buildup in a room because no matter how long they remain on, they do not get hot to the touch. Also, because they are 90% more efficient than incandescent, and last 10 times longer than CFLs, the frequency of changing bulbs is greatly reduced.
Recessed Down light and Spotlight bulbs
LEDs are now available for standard recessed lighting pots and housings. For PAR 16 and PAR 20 cans, measure the can diameter and read the bulb dimensions to be sure it will fit. The light output and color quality are similar to incandescent down lights, but draws only about one-fifth of the power. Also, because they are 90% more efficient than incandescent. and last 10 times longer than CFLs, the frequency of changing bulbs is greatly reduced.
A certified Houston Electrician in the area will be beneficial in ensuring all electrical installations are done correctly. An Electrician in Houston should be trained in all aspects of home lighting and should be able to assist you at the drop of a dime.