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# Five things to consider before buying LED lights

If you haven't switched to LED lights, it's time.

The reason why is convincing – they last much longer than light bulbs, provide interesting features and can save money on your electricity bill. In addition, many light bulbs – such as 100 watt light bulbs are bevelled, so eventually you need to make the switch anyway.

Buying the right LED is very different than buying light bulbs. Before you shop, there are some things you need to know.

## Lumens, not watt

Forget what you know about light bulbs ̵

1; your watt is not good here.

When shopping for bulbs, you are probably used to looking for watts, an indication of how light the lamp will be. However, the LED brightness is a little different.

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In contrast to common belief, wattage is not an indication of brightness, but a measure of how much energy the lamp draws. For light bulbs, there is an accepted correlation between the wattage and the brightness, but for LEDs, watt is not a good prediction for how light the lamp will be. (The point is, after all, that they draw less energy.)

For example, an LED lamp with comparable brightness to a 60W bulb is only 8 to 12 watts.

But do not disturb mathematics – – There is not a uniform way of hiding light bulbs to LED watt. Instead, another form of measurement should be used: lumens .

The lumen (lm) is the true measurement of the brightness that a light bulb gives and is the number you should look for when shopping for LEDs. For reference, here is a chart showing watt-lumen conversion for light bulbs and LEDs.

As you can see in the diagram above, a bulb can draw up to five times as many watts for the same number of lumens. Get a sense of brightness (in the lumen) you need before going to the store and throwing your affinity for watts.

## Choosing the right color light

You can always count on light bulbs that give a warm, yellowish hue.

As can be seen from Philips Hue LED lights can show an impressive color range from purple to red to a spectrum of white and yellow. For the home, however, it is likely that you are looking for something similar to the light that light bulbs produce.

The popular colors available for LED lights are "warm white" or "soft white" and "light white".

Warm white and soft white will produce a yellow hue, near light bulbs, while light bulbs labeled as light white will produce whiter light, closer to daylight and similar to what you see in stores.

If you want to get technical, light color (color temperature) is measured in cello wines. The lower the number, the warmer (yellow) the light. So, your typical bulb is somewhere between 2700 and 3.500K. If it is the color you are going to go for, look for this range when shopping for LED lights.

## You pay more for an LED lamp

LED lights are like hybrid cars: cheaper to work but expensive in advance.

When you switch to LED lights, do not expect to save money with money. Instead, think of it as an investment. Fortunately, competition has increased and LEDs have fallen in price (for example, this LED from Philips), but you should still expect to pay a lot more than a light bulb.

Ultimately, the LEDs will pay, and meanwhile, you get less heat production, longer light bulb and even the possibility of controlling them with your smartphone .

Bottom Line: if you do not replace many bulbs in a large house, then you will not see any significant savings in your electricity bill.

## Beware of Non-Dimmable LEDs

Due to their circuits, LED lights are not always compatible with traditional attenuators. In some cases, the replacement must be replaced. Other times you pay a little more for a compatible LED.

Most dimmers, which are likely to work with light bulbs, work by reducing the amount of electricity sent to the bulb. The less electricity is drawn, the light dimmers. But with your newly acquired knowledge of LED lingo, you know that there is no direct correlation between LED brightness and energy draw.

This guide explains why some LED lights will soak, flickr or buzz when tied to a dimmer.

If you want your LED to become dimmable, do one of two things: find LED lights compatible with traditional dimmers, or replace your current dimmer with a leading (LED compatible) dimmer.

When shopping for LEDs, it helps you know which attenuator you have, but if you don't know (or rather don't want to go through the problem), look for LED lights that are compatible with standard bulbs. To make it easier for you, we tested a lot of them to find out which LED lights work best with dimmers .

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## Not all lights should use LEDs

Knowing where it is OK to place an LED will ensure that the bulb does not light up before its time.

You probably know that LED lights run dramatically cooler than their glowing cousins, but that doesn't mean they don't produce heat. LED lights get hot, but the heat is pulled off with a heat sink in the bottom of the lamp. From there, the heat in the air lowers and the LED light stays calm and helps keep its promise of a very long life.

And there lies the problem: the lamp needs ways to release the heat. If an LED lamp is placed in a closed house, the heat will not go anywhere, send it directly back to the light bulb and judge it to a slow and painful death.

Keep in mind where you want to place your LED lights. If you have full or half-shielded luminaires, you must light, look for LEDs approved for recessed or enclosed spaces.

Editor's note: This article was originally published in 2013 and has been updated.

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