Is There A Benefit In Replacing My Bulbs Or Fixtures With LEDs?

The quick answer to this question is yes. Replacing your inefficient incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs will provide you with energy savings, as well as the ability to change the aesthetic of your lighting fixtures because of their versatility. 

 

LED (light emitting diodes) bulbs and fixtures have been on the market for over 20 years, introduced as an energy saving lighting alternative, with a high price tag.   Over time, more information has become available about LED bulbs and fixtures, making it an easier decision for consumers to take the leap.  Most recently, LED bulbs have become better and cheaper, especially when the length of service is taken into account.

 

LEDs will soon be the primary type of household lighting, providing efficiency, variety and longevity for its users.  LEDs will more rapidly integrate electronically to household intelligence devices like Alexa, Smart Home and Technology Systems, and other Wi-Fi enabled devices.

 

LEDs are more rapidly replacing incandescent light bulbs, CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) and halogen because of their efficiency and flexibility.  LED bulbs come in a variety of color temperatures, brightness and shapes and can change the way your lighting fixtures and lamps appear, just by changing your bulbs to your favorite LED styles.

 

We are used to choosing bulbs based on wattage, but LEDs are not measured that way.  LEDs are measured by Lumens and Kelvins. For the ease of consumers, the packaging of LED bulbs includes the comparable incandescent wattage.  When you have a lighting fixture rated for 60 watts per socket, you can increase the lumens of the LED bulb.  A 60 watt incandescent bulb is about a 7 watt LED bulb. Therefore you can use a higher wattage LED bulb, which can provide more light from your fixture, should you desire. 

When shopping for LEDs, there are a few things to consider: lumens, color temperature, the direction of light, does the bulb need to be dimmable, and will the bulb be used for indoor or outdoor use.

 

Lumens are measured by the amount of light given off by one candle.  The more lumens of the LED bulb or fixture, the brighter the light will be.  Color temperature is measured in Kelvins with a range typically of 2200k to 6500k.  The lower the Kelvins the more yellow the light will be.  The higher the Kelvins the more blue the light will be. Direction of light is important because most LEDs are designed to emit light in only one direction, unless designed otherwise.  It is important to take this into consideration when selecting an LED bulb for your fixture.

 

Not all LEDs are dimmable, so it is important when selecting a LED bulb to consider if you would like to dim it.  You will also need to make sure that the dimmer switch is made for LED use.  Not all dimmer switches will work with your new LED fixture or replacement bulbs.  Lastly, if you are installing a new LED fixture or replacing bulbs on an existing outdoor fixture, you should make sure they are able to be used in damp or wet locations.

LED bulbs and fixtures need sufficient air flow when in operation.  Do not use LED bulbs for an appliance light, like over an oven or dryer and do not use them in an airtight fixture, like over a bath or shower.

 

The advantages of LED fixtures and bulbs are clear.  They provide higher efficiency, have a longer life expectancy, are shock resistant, provide a high quality of lighting, and can produce a wide range of color temperatures from yellowish to white to blueish.  There are only a few disadvantages to LEDs, which are; their output decreases over time, their output is directional and they are more expensive than other types of bulbs.  It is clear that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

 

LEDs can be used almost anywhere, and can easily replace any incandescent bulb, PAR and MR reflectors (used in track lighting), decorative bulbs, under cabinet lighting and more.   More and more, LEDs are being used for exterior home lighting because of their efficiency, versatility and ability to interface with smart home systems. 

When you think LED, most consumers imagine modern and sleek designs.  However in today’s lighting market, LED has been integrated with all types of lighting styles, from traditional to transitional, and have even been incorporated into crystal designs. LED fixtures can be used for bathroom vanity fixtures, kitchen pendant lighting, in ceiling fans and even grand entry foyer lighting.

 

When you are changing your lighting fixture in its entirety, consider purchasing an LED fixture, for the most energy savings.  The US Department of Energy has estimated that increased adoption of LEDs over the next 15 years would decrease electricity demands from lighting by 62%, prevent 258 million metric tons of carbon emissions and eliminate the need for 133 new power plants.

 

Once you have replaced your light bulbs or lighting fixtures with LEDs, you can sit back and relax.  Chances are your bulbs will not need replacing for about 15 years.  Many lighting manufacturers provide extended warrantees on LED fixtures because of their reliability and endurance.  An LED lighting fixture is a good investment in the environment and your home energy costs.

 

Joshua Marshal, President & CEO – WeGotLites, Inc.

(718) 317-6263     www.wegotlites.com