First came incandescent bulbs, then compact fluorescents, and now thanks to LED (light-emitting diode) technology, the light bulb has evolved again, and is better than ever. Combining low energy consumption and incredible longevity with the appeal of inviting, natural light—LED light bulbs represent the next generation in lighting.
Find just the right lighting for your home with our guide to buying new LED light bulbs and discover the benefits of advanced technology that provides a warm, inviting light, plus exceptional value and safety in every room of your home.
How does LED work?
The LED light bulb is a small digital light source that is illuminated when electrons move through a semiconductor. A digital chip inside the bulb converts tiny amounts of energy into light that is warm and inviting, while the bulb itself remains safely cool to the touch, uses very little energy and lasts for years—at least 10 years with average use*, meaning LED bulbs will more than pay for themselves over time.
LED bulbs emit no harmful UV or infrared rays and use 85% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs**. In fact, just one LED light bulb lasts as long as 5 CFLs or 40 incandescent bulbs**, which means lower energy bills, fewer light bulbs to buy and change, and a reduced carbon footprint for your entire home.
A Better Bulb for Better Light
LED light bulbs provide an enhanced lighting experience, generating true-to-nature tones and warm light that brings out the best in your home. Whether you need clear, radiant light in the kitchen, soft illumination in the bedroom, or cozy, inviting light in the family room, providing just the light you need. Unlike compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) LED bulbs reach full brightness instantly, and are dimmable to the softest levels with absolutely no flickering or annoying buzz. Plus, they fit all of the lamps and fixtures you already have in your home, so you can switch over to LED bulbs right away.
The Right Light for You
Here are a few things to keep in mind while you’re shopping for LED light bulbs:
- Lumens: You’re probably used to choosing light bulbs based on watts, but lumens measure the amount of light emitted from the light bulb. A traditional 60-watt incandescent produces about 800 lumens, while a 100-watt generates approximately 1,600 lumens of brightness, so those are the numbers you’ll want to look for.
- Color: Color is another important factor in choosing the right light. A light bulb’s CRI (Color Rendering Index) gives you an idea of how accurate a light source renders color. Natural sunlight has a CRI of 100, while a CRI around 80 is best for indoor lighting in a wide variety of applications. Another measurement of color is correlated color temperature (CCT) and is measured in degrees Kelvin (K). 2700K is a warm color temperature and matches what you are used to with an incandescent bulb. Look for color temperatures in the 4000K– 5000K range in rooms where you want the clearest, whitest light; while a CCT of 2700K will produce a softer, more yellow glow.
- Features: LEDs look similar to the traditional light bulb shape and can screw in most places your incandescents did. They also come in spotlight and floodlight shapes. Other features you might consider are
- smart bulb technology – Connect your bulb via Bluetooth to control your lights within a certain range or sync via Wi-Fi to control from anywhere,
- dimmability – ff your bulb is dimmable, the light output ranges from 20%-80%,
- enclosed fixture rating – when utilizing a bulb in an enclosed space such as a flush mount, make sure to check for this rating to maximize lifespan,
- ability to change color – unlike incandescents, LED technology allows for multiple color options even in just one bulb, and
- ENERGY STAR rating – if a bulb is an ENERGY STAR-certified LED bulb, it has been tested for color quality, light output, and efficacy.
If you’re dipping your toe in the LED pond, you might want to consider starting with a hard-to-reach but out-of-the-way spot. You can get a feel for the brightness and temperature, but you’ll also be glad you won’t have to change the bulb for the next couple of decades.