HOW TO BUY A LED BULB IN 2018

HOW TO BUY A LED BULB IN 2018

Here are the terms you need to know when buying led lights

  • LUMENThe amount of light a bulb produces. Depending on which government agency you ask, this is “brightness” or “light output.” Your reference point: A standard 100-watt incandescent produces about 1,700 lumens.
  • WATTSNot a measure of brightness; instead, it’s a measure of how much energy a bulb consumes to reach its claimed brightness.
  • WATT-EQUIVALENTSince we’ve conflated watts and brightness, it’s easier to talk about bulbs in terms of watts. So if a 100-watt incandescent produces 1,700 lumens, and a 20-watt LED does the same, the LED will be sold as a 100-watt equivalent.
  • EFFICACYThe number of lumens a bulb produces for each watt it consumes. The higher the number, the more efficient the bulb. A good number for incandescents is around 18, CFLs around 60, and LEDs around 54.
  • BULB LIFE: LEDs dim over time. They’re considered effectively dead when they produce no more than 70 percent of their original brightness. For LEDs, this lifespan is given in hours or years, the latter an estimate based on three hours of daily use.
  • ENERGY COST: Based on an assumption of three hours of use per day at 11 cents per kilowatt-hour. For a 60-watt incandescent, it’s just over $7 per year. CFLs and LEDs both come in at about $1.50 per year.
  • COLOR TEMPERATURE: Expressed in degrees Kelvin, this is how we measure things like soft white or daylight. A pleasant soft white will have a color temperature of 3,000 K. White light ranges from 4,100 to 6,000 K, roughly equal to midday sun. Higher numbers get increasingly blue.
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