LED light bulbs are often touted as the future of lighting, but should you really buy into all the hype? With all the claims you hear about LEDs being the perfect replacement to incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs, when should you make the big switch to LED lighting? We hope this article clears up some common misconceptions about LED lighting, and reaffirms doubts about what makes LED light bulbs so great.
Here are 5 facts you should consider when thinking about switching to LED light bulbs.
1. LEDs were first designed give off directional or focused light
Early prototypes of LED light bulbs were designed to give off directional light. Unlike incandescent and CFL bulbs, LEDs were considered to be poor choices for lighting large areas. However, this has all changed today, with various types of LED bulbs specifically designed for lighting large spaces, such as hallways, arenas, and more. The directional limitation of LEDs has been solved through innovation and persistence.
2. LEDs typically generate blue light
Most LED light bulbs that are sold in the market today generate blue light. However, many manufacturers are now making steps to produce light bulbs that emit white, warm and cold light, so this shouldn't be a problem anymore. Still, it pays to test a light bulb and be aware of its colour before making any purchase.
3. LEDs have a problem with heat
Thermal management has always been a problem with LEDs. Excessive heat drastically reduces the life span of an LED light bulb, which can make it a poor choice for outdoor lighting. When installing LED light bulbs, be sure not to place it near a heat source.
4. Some LEDs are not dimmable
As of writing this article, there are already a number of fully-dimmable LED light bulbs in the market which work just like traditional incandescent bulbs. More research is done to perfect the design of these LED bulbs, so if you're a perfectionist who wants permanent designs, you might want to wait for better versions in the future.
Although ordinary LED light bulbs will work in sockets with a built-in dimmer, this is not recommended, as it can shorten a bulb's lifespan, or worse, cause it to burn out completely.
5. Lumens ratings are often unreliable
Lumens is the strength of light as perceived by the human eye. With light bulbs, it's measured using a device that takes the average brightness a bulb generates. You may have heard of comparisons between a low-energy LED light bulb and a 50-watt incandescent bulb, but bear in mind that LEDs focus their light in one spot, while incandescent bulbs are multi-directional. One 50-watt incandescent bulb can light up a small room; an LED bulb on the other hand, does this poorly.
The old standard of measuring lumens may put a low-energy LED light bulb at par with a 50-watt incandescent bulb, but this doesn't take into account the unique way in which LEDs display their light. Your best bet is to do a side by side comparison between an incandescent, CFL, halogen and LED light bulb to see which one fits your needs.