Tips for buying LED bulbs

First of all, there is no real comparison between LED bulbs and other conventional light bulbs (halogen, incandescent, compact fluo and others).

Indeed, it should be noted that not all LEDs have the same lighting power and that some of them alone can have a luminous flux equivalent to more than 500 LEDs less powerful.

The most efficient and economical light bulbs are now the LEDs, but they are not bought like a conventional incandescent bulb or even halogen. Here are some of our tips for making the right choice.

With incandescent bulbs and halogens, we speak had to deal with watts (W), since their luminous intensity depends on their power consumption. This is no longer the case with LEDs. For example, a 6W high performance LED illuminates as well as a 60W incandescent bulb or 46W halogen. The central LED information is the lumens (lm).

THE LUMENS

Their number expresses the amount of light produced by the bulb. The more lights there are, the more it illuminates.
How many lumens are needed to replace an incandescent bulb?
1 521 lm for a 100 W bulb
1 055 lm for a 75 W
806 lm for a 60 W
470 lm for a 40 W
249 lm for a 25 W

THE WATTS

Unlike lumens, watts have no longer any interest with LEDs: they have nothing to do with the intensity of the light produced. They indicate only the consumption of electricity, which is always minimal. A LED bulb consumes 10 times less electricity than an incandescent lamp, 6 to 8 times less than a halogen.

CHOOSE A CLASSIC LED OR A LED “RETROFIT” ?

“Retrofits” consume even less than “conventional” LEDs, for the same luminous flux, it does not affect the electricity bill as the consumption is low: all over the year, the difference is only 30 cents for an average lighting time of 1,000 hours.

COLOR TEMPERATURE

Beside the lumens, this is the second most important data. LEDs can produce a warm light identical to that of incandescent bulbs, or a cold white.
We speak of warm light when it s comprised between 2700 and 3200 kelvins, and of cold light above 4000 kelvins.
The color temperature can be indicated by:
– The number of kelvin (K),
– The color (yellow for the warm, blue for the cold),
– The words “warm”, “warm white” or “warm light” for the warm, “cool white” for the cold.

WHICH ANGLE

Depending on the space and its size and the effect, you want to give the room to illuminate, you must choose an opening angle of light or another:
A low angle (40 °) will result in a more precise lighting. It lights up less space, but will be more focused. For example, if you want to illuminate something specific: a table in a restaurant, a cabinet in the living room, a painting in a gallery, etc.
A more open angle (120 °) will give us a more homogeneous lighting. For example, to illuminate a room (of normal size).

THE DIMMER LOGO

Not all LEDs can be used with a dimmer. When they are not, the logo is crossed out.

LIFETIME

10,000, 15,000, 20,000, 25,000 hours … or 10, 15, 20 or EVEN 25 years of illumination announced: LED manufacturers play the highest bid. It is unnecessary to TAKE INTO ACCONT to the exceptional longevity displayed on the packaging, the lifetimes are calculated by extrapolation from tests carried out on the electronic components and not on the bulb itself.
Moreover, in some tests, several led bulbs dropped or lost a lot of light intensity before the 3000 hours of testing.

WARRANTY

3 years, 5 years warranty or nothing, you have to be vigilant for it to change something. Keep your receipt as proof of purchase is imperative

IS A LED BULB PROFITABLE?

Despite a rather high average price, of 10 € instead of 3 €, or even less for a halogen, the LEDs cost in the end much cheaper than the halogens.
The LED is much more economical tan an halogen bulb because it consumes 6 times less and still operates at 10,000 hours, when at least 5 halogens have to be purchased – and it will probably take more , as they rarely hold the 2,000 hours advertised.

RISKS FOR SIGHT?

LEDs may be suitable for all uses and have become competitive. Some people points to the risks that led bulb represent for eyesight. The National Health Safety Agency has warned consumers in 2010, pointing to health risks associated with their high proportion of blue light. To obtain white LEDs, a layer of yellow phosphorus powder is added to blue LEDs. This blue light is phototoxic to the eye, causing harm to the retina. The agency also emphasized the risk of glare and visual discomfort.