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Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) have been in common use for over half a century, mainly in electronic equipment, where they’re used as signals and indicators (standby lights, for example). It is only in recent years that LED light bulbs have been widely available. They are an energy efficient, longer lasting replacement for incandescent light bulbs. They emit the same brightness as traditional bulbs, using only a fraction of the power.
LED light bulbs are still a relatively new technology, and in the past they have been much more expensive than traditional bulbs. However, in the last 6 years, the price of LED light bulbs has dropped by around 80%. While they cost more upfront, LED bulbs will actually save households money, thanks to their energy efficiency.
LED bulbs consume 90% less energy than traditional light bulbs. They also last 10-20 times longer. Over the lifetime of a typical LED light bulb, households could save a significant amount of money from reduced energy bills. Unlike energy saving CFLs, LED light bulbs can also be recycled.
No. LED light bulbs use a lot less energy than incandescent bulbs, but are just as bright. When shopping for LED bulbs, remember that the wattage doesn’t denote its brightness. A 5W LED bulb is as bright as a 50W incandescent bulb. The lumens (lm) rating of a light bulb is instead the best indicator of its brightness.
Some LED light bulbs are dimmable. They may need specific LED dimmers to operate correctly, however. A dimmable LED may not work correctly, or at all, if used with a non-specific dimmer switch. Always check product listings for compatibility before purchase.
A bulb’s Ingress Protection (IP) rating will tell you if it’s suitable for wet environments. The IP rating is a two-digit number: the first digit indicates how protected the light is against the ingress of solid objects, while the second tells you how waterproof it is. The higher the numbers, the more protected it is. An IP rating of 65 is recommended for any bulb that will be used in wet areas. Click here to learn more about IP ratings
The lifespan of LED bulbs is many times that of incandescent bulbs. Typically, LED light bulbs have an average rated light of anywhere from 15,000-20,000 hours, compared to just 1,000 for traditional bulbs. More durable lights could have a lifespan of 30,000 hours or more. Click here to learn more about the lifespan of LED light bulbs.
Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) were the first generation of energy saving bulbs. They are a good alternative for wasteful incandescent bulbs, however they do take some time to warm up, and they can often seem quite dim until they get to their full light output. LED light bulbs, on the other hand, reach their full light output instantly. LEDs are also even more energy efficient than CFL bulbs, they can be recycled, and they have a much longer lifespan.
Traditional incandescent light bulbs generate light by heating a small filament until it glows brightly. Unfortunately, this means that up to 90% of the bulb’s energy is lost through heat. LED bulbs are instead illuminated by the movement of electrons in a semiconductor material, a process that generates very little heat. Much less energy is wasted this way, so the bulb can achieve the same brightness as an incandescent bulb while consuming much less power.
Smart lighting systems connect to your home Wi-Fi network, allowing you to control your lights through your smartphone or tablet. You can change the colour or colour temperature of your lights in an instant, or set schedules so the lights activate according to the timings you set. Some smart lighting systems are compatible with smart home systems like Amazon Echo, giving you the ability to control your lights with your voice.
The European Commission recently published a report that found no evidence to suggest that LED lights are harmful in normal use.
There is a direct LED equivalent for almost any incandescent bulb, and they are compatible with existing light fittings. They are available in a variety of cap types, including the most common B22d bayonet cap (BC) and E27 Edison screw (ES). Some specialist light bulbs, such as oven and microwave bulbs, do not have an LED equivalent yet.
Lumens (lm) are a measure of the amount of visible light that a lamp emits. It is used to determine the brightness of a bulb (unlike a bulb’s wattage, which has no direct relation to its brightness). A typical bulb for use around the home might have a lumens output between 300-500lm, while high-powered floodlights can have a lumens output in excess of 20,000lm.
There should be no visible flicker from an LED light bulb in a fitting with a regular switch. Flickering could be caused by a number of things, including voltage fluctuations in the wiring in your home, or an incompatible dimmer switch. LED light bulbs are not designed to work with most traditional dimmer switches, and should instead have an LED-specific dimmer switch fitted. Using a non-dimmable bulb with a dimmer switch will also cause issues like this.
‘Smart’ LED lights can be operated remotely. Some bulbs are packaged with a remote, while others can be connected to your Wi-Fi network via a ‘bridge,’ allowing you to control them through your smartphone or tablet. The bulbs in smart lighting systems are not yet interchangeable, meaning if you install smart lights of one brand in your home, you can’t then use bulbs of a different brand in the same system.
Some LED light bulbs do look different to traditional glass light bulbs. Many have a thermal plastic base, in which sits the LED componentry. There are also some glass LED bulbs that are designed to look like traditional bulbs, with an LED filament that mimics that of an incandescent bulb.
Yes, there are LED light bulbs that will fit in a chandelier/pendant-style fitting. Candle bulbs are the most suitable, as they’re designed for use in more decorative fittings.
Colour temperature refers to the type of white light that a bulb emits. ‘Warm’ white bulbs emit a softer, yellower light, while ‘cool’ white bulbs give off a bluer, more intense light. Colour temperature is measured in Kelvins (K), and typically ranges from 2000K-6500K. The lower the Kelvins, the warmer the light that a bulb emits. Typically, a warm white bulb for the home would be one with a colour temperature between 2700K-3000K, while a cool white bulb would be anywhere above 4000K. ‘Daylight’ bulbs are the coolest available, with a colour temperature around 6500K, and are supposed to mimic the type of light the sun gives off during the day. These bulbs would give off a very harsh, blue light if used in the home. Click here for more information about colour temperatures.
The majority of LED light bulbs are built for mains voltage (240V). This means that you can fit them without the use of an LED. Some types of specialist LED lights, such as LED strips and track lights, will need a transformer to function correctly. Where this is the case, it will be stated on the product page on our website.
SMD stands for Surface Mounted Diode. In simple terms, this is the LED diode/chip that is fixed to the flat surface of the bulb. One characteristic of this type of bulb is that you will get a wider beam angle than traditional bulb types.
No. LED bulbs have been designed to retrofit existing fittings. Check the dimensions of the new bulbs, though, just to make sure that the particular product will be the correct size for your existing fittings.
There is no right answer for this question as it is up to the customer’s preference. One thing to consider is that at the current time you cannot buy dimmable low voltage (MR16) LED bulbs only mains voltage (GU10). Mains voltage bulbs do not need external transformer/drivers and so there is this cost saving also.
LED lights are green technology as they require a small amount of electricity compared to traditional lights to give out the same amount of light. LED bulbs also do not use the harmful chemicals that their CFL counterparts use.
Yes, the brightness of an LED bulb will reduce over time, but too gradually to be noticeable. L70 is a term used to describe the point at which the bulb reaches 70% of the original brightness. It is at this point that the bulb is deemed to have reached the end of its life, although it will still continue to function.