Guide to Buying LED Lighting


Bulbs with excellent performance can not only protect the eyes from fatigue, but also has the advantages of long service life and power saving. The mainstream bulbs on the market are classified as incandescent lamps, halogen lamps, fluorescent lamps, and LED lamps.

Watts (W) represent how much joules per second are consumed. The higher the wattage is, the greater the power consumption is; however, there are not direct relationships between wattage and brightness as we indicate the latter parameter by lumen (lm). For example, 100 watt halogen bulbs produce brightness of 10 watt LED indoor lights. Especially with the advancement of current LED lighting technology, it can produce higher brightness than the same wattage of energy-saving light bulbs.

Buying LED Lighting: The Short Story

LED stands for “light emitting diode,” but that is just the beginning of understanding this cutting-edge technology and its role in lighting design for our homes. At a glance, here’s what you should know:

  • Efficiency: Compared to conventional incandescent lamps, LED lighting lasts longer, is more durable, and is over five times more efficient. LED bulbs typically use only 2 to 10 watts of electricity.

  • Brightness: LED lighting is measured in lumens, not watts.

  • Cost: LED lighting fixtures have a higher upfront cost, but will have a greater lifespan in the long run.

  • Design: The compact size of LEDs make them an ultra-flexible design element, which has allowed designers and manufactures to create shapes, silhouettes and technologies that simply weren’t possible before.

  • Cool, not hot: LEDs convert electricity to light and do not cause heat build-up.

  • Mercury free: No mercury is used in the manufacturing of LEDs.

  • Slow failure: LEDs slowly dim over time at the end of their lifespan, rather than burning out abruptly.

  • Dimming: In earlier years, LEDs did not “dim” in the way incandescent lights did, but they’ve come a long way. More and more fixtures now offer a “warm dim,” which not only lowers the light output, but also the color temperature.

Incandescent flourescent LED light bulbs

Buying LED Lighting: The Long Story

If you want to really dig in to the ins and outs of LEDs, there is certainly much more we can cover, from choosing the right brightness to retrofitting your current light fixtures and more.

Efficiency of LED Lighting It’s not just a buzzword—efficiency is the name of the game with LEDs. LEDs are more than five times as great as its incandescent counterparts. They use only about 20 percent as much electricity to product the same amount of light. A quality LED lamp can last anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 hours. If you operate the lamp for 6 hours per day, 365 days a year, your LED lamp could last 20 years.  

Brightness of LEDs is measured in lumens, while the energy a bulb consumes is measured in watts. To produce similar amounts of light, LED and fluorescents bulbs consume far fewer watts than incandescent or halogen bulbs. A standard 60W incandescent produces 800 lumens, whereas LEDs consume 13-15 watts to produce 800 lumens.


LEDs Versus Fluorescent Lighting

  • Both LED and fluorescent lighting are more efficient than incandescent: LEDs consume up to 90% less energy and fluorescent consume up to 75% less. Fluorescent are made of glass tubes and can shatter if dropped, whereas LEDs are more durable. Also, fluorescent contain trace amounts of mercury and several states have special recycling rules.

Disadvantages of LEDs

  • LEDs have a higher initial cost relative to traditional lamps. However, people typically make back the cost in a couple of years because of LEDs’ energy efficiency and long life. Also, earlier LEDs emitted directional light making them more suitable for task lighting than ambient glow. These days, omni-directional LED luminaires have become more common, pointing light at reflective surfaces or through high-quality lenses to give off an even and diffused glow. And although the first LEDs were associated with poor color accuracy and crispness, measured by the color rendering index (CRI), they have improved in recent years.


Why LEDs Cost More

  • The components of LEDs are costly: circuit boards, drivers, and some use yellow phosphor, a rare earth compound. However, with advances in technology and growing popularity the prices have been steadily dropping. Keep in mind that the quality of LEDs varies greatly, which will affect the price. Look for ones that provide the best color and light output over time from a reputable manufacturer.