LED bulbs

LED bulbs are now available pretty well everywhere. They are now suitable for most residential applications and offer a number of advantages in regards to shape, luminosity and color. The quality of light they provide is similar to that of traditional incandescent bulbs, but they last at least 15 times longer and are even more efficient than compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). The helpful hints below will help you choose the best bulb for your fixture and your environment.

What’s an LED?

First used in electronics, an LED is a type of semiconductor device (diode) capable of emitting light when an electric current is passed through it. Unlike incandescent bulbs, which use only 5% of the power they draw to produce light and give off the rest as heat, LEDs use energy efficiently. LEDs produce a directional, focused light. You can buy LED replacement bulbs for your existing fixtures or LED-integrated fixtures.

LED fixtures are designed to take into account various thermal and electrical conditions.

Benefits of LED lighting

  • Typical energy savings between 70% and 90% compared to incandescent lighting
  • Ideal for high ceilings and other hard-to-reach spots
  • 15,000-hour lifespan
  • Choice of replacement bulbs for existing fixtures or LED-integrated fixtures
  • “Instant on” (just like incandescent bulbs)
  • Adjustable brightness with compatible dimmer
  • Low heat emission
  • Adjustable color temperature (some bulbs)

LED bulb shapes

The lighting effect created depends a lot on the shape of the bulb.

Directional or mood lighting? Indoor or outdoor? Select the shape based on the intended use.

LED bulbs: globe, regular, candle and three types of reflectors.

Color

The terms “warm white,” “cool white” and “natural light” refer to color temperature, which is measured in kelvins (K), 2,700 K, for example. The higher the number, the whiter (colder) the light. Conversely, the lower the kelvin number, the yellower (warmer) the light. If you are looking for color similar to that of an incandescent bulb, opt for a bulb between 2,700 and 3,000 K.

Mood

To find out what kind of lighting you need to create the mood you want in each room, follow these steps:

  1. In each room, try out the different color temperatures (warm white, soft white or cool white) that LED bulbs offer.
  2. Determine the type of bulb that would work best for each of your fixtures.

Living Room

To create a pleasant environment, try placing several diffuse, warm-colored lights around the room rather than one strong lamp.

Opt for LED bulbs with a color temperature of warm white for general lighting and neutral white for your work area.

Recessed lighting
Directional lighting
  • Bulb shape: reflector, parabolic
  • Type of lighting: wide or narrow beam, diffuse or focused light
  • Bulb models: GU10, MR-16, BR30, BR-40, PAR-20, PAR-30, PAR38
Table or floor lamp:
Omni-directional lighting
  • Bulb shape: classic
  • Type of lighting: general purpose bulbs
  • Bulb models: A-15, A-19
Wall sconce
Omni-directional lighting
  • Bulb shape: classic
  • Type of lighting: general purpose bulbs
  • Bulb models: A-15, A-19
Decorative lighting
  • Bulb shape: candle
  • Type of lighting: decorative bulbs
  • Bulb models: B-10, B-11, B-13
Hanging light fixture:
Omni-directional lighting
  • Bulb shape: classic
  • Type of lighting: general purpose bulbs
  • Bulb models: A-15, A-19
Ceiling lamp
Omni-directional lighting
  • Bulb shape: classic
  • Type of lighting: general purpose bulbs
  • Bulb models: A-15, A-19
Decorative lighting
  • Bulb shape: globe
  • Type of lighting: decorative bulbs
  • Bulb models: G-9, G-16.5, G-25
Ceiling fan
Omni-directional lighting
  • Bulb shape: classic
  • Type of lighting: general purpose bulbs
  • Bulb models: A-15, A-19
Decorative lighting
  • Bulb shape: globe
  • Type of lighting: decorative bulbs
  • Bulb models: G-9, G-16.5, G-25
Hanging lamp or chandelier
Decorative lighting
  • Bulb shape: candle
  • Type of lighting: decorative bulbs
  • Bulb models: B-10, B-11, B-13

Kitchen

Kitchen lighting must be both functional and decorative. As it’s the room where you eat, read and carry out a variety of tasks, it is essential that lighting in this area provide you with optimal visual comfort and task-specific lighting.

LED lighting with a color temperature of neutral or cold white (3,100–4,000 K) is ideal for your work area.

Recessed lighting
Directional lighting
  • Bulb shape: reflector, parabolic
  • Type of lighting: wide or narrow beam, diffuse or focused light
  • Bulb models: GU10, MR-16, BR30, BR-40, PAR-20, PAR-30, PAR38
Wall sconce
Omni-directional lighting
  • Bulb shape: classic
  • Type of lighting: general purpose bulbs
  • Bulb models: A-15, A-19
Decorative lighting
  • Bulb shape: candle
  • Type of lighting: decorative bulbs
  • Bulb models: B-10, B-11, B-13
Hanging light fixture:
Omni-directional lighting
  • Bulb shape: classic
  • Type of lighting: general purpose bulbs
  • Bulb models: A-15, A-19
Ceiling light
Omni-directional lighting
  • Bulb shape: classic
  • Type of lighting: general purpose bulbs
  • Bulb models: A-15, A-19
Decorative lighting
  • Bulb shape: globe
  • Type of lighting: decorative bulbs
  • Bulb models: G-9, G-16.5, G-25
Ceiling fan
Omni-directional lighting
  • Bulb shape: classic
  • Type of lighting: general purpose bulbs
  • Bulb models: A-15, A-19
Decorative lighting
  • Bulb shape: globe
  • Type of lighting: decorative bulbs
  • Bulb models: G-9, G-16.5, G-25
Ceiling fixture or chandelier:
Decorative lighting
  • Bulb shape: candle
  • Type of lighting: decorative bulbs
  • Bulb models: B-10, B-11, B-13

Bedroom

Lighting in the bedroom must be functional and create a warm and relaxing environment. A combination of several different types of fixtures, like ceiling lights and bedside lamps, often works well.

Opt for LED lighting with a color temperature of warm white (2,200–3,000 K).

Recessed lighting
Directional lighting
  • Bulb shape: reflector, parabolic
  • Type of lighting: wide or narrow beam, diffuse or focused light
  • Bulb models: GU10, MR-16, BR30, BR-40, PAR-20, PAR-30, PAR38
Table or floor lamp
Omni-directional lighting
  • Bulb shape: classic
  • Type of lighting: general purpose bulbs
  • Bulb models: A-15, A-19, A-21
Wall sconce
Omni-directional lighting
  • Bulb shape: classic
  • Type of lighting: general purpose bulbs
  • Bulb models: A-15, A-19, A-21
Decorative lighting
  • Bulb shape: candle
  • Type of lighting: decorative bulbs
  • Bulb models: B-10, B-11, B-13
Pendant lights
Omni-directional lighting
  • Bulb shape: classic
  • Type of lighting: general purpose bulbs
  • Bulb models: A-15, A-19, A-21
Ceiling light
Omni-directional lighting
  • Bulb shape: classic
  • Type of lighting: general purpose bulbs
  • Bulb models: A-15, A-19, A-21
Decorative lighting
  • Bulb shape: globe
  • Type of lighting: decorative bulbs
  • Bulb models: G-9, G-16.5, G-25
Ceiling fan
Omni-directional lighting
  • Bulb shape: classic
  • Type of lighting: general purpose bulbs
  • Bulb models: A-15, A-19, A-21
Decorative lighting
  • Bulb shape: globe
  • Type of lighting: decorative bulbs
  • Bulb models: G-9, G-16.5, G-25

Bathroom

There are often two different types of lighting in the bathroom: general and task-specific lighting.

Opt for LED bulbs with a color temperature of warm white (2,200–3,000 K) for general lighting and neutral white (3,500–4 000 K) for task-specific lighting.

Recessed lighting:
Directional lighting
  • Bulb shape: reflector, parabolic
  • Type of lighting: wide or narrow beam, diffuse or focused light
  • Bulb models: GU10, MR-16, BR30, BR-40, PAR-20, PAR-30, PAR38
Wall sconce
Omni-directional lighting
  • Bulb shape: classic
  • Type of lighting: general purpose bulbs
  • Bulb models: A-15, A-19, A-21
Decorative lighting
  • Bulb shape: candle
  • Type of lighting: decorative bulbs
  • Bulb models: B-10, B-11, B-13
Hanging light fixture:
Omni-directional lighting
  • Bulb shape: classic
  • Type of lighting: general purpose bulbs
  • Bulb models: A-15, A-19, A-21
Ceiling lamp
Omni-directional lighting
  • Bulb shape: classic
  • Type of lighting: general purpose bulbs
  • Bulb models: A-15, A-19, A-21
Decorative lighting
  • Bulb shape: globe
  • Type of lighting: decorative bulbs
  • Bulb models: G-9, G-16.5, G-25
Bathroom mirror
Decorative lighting
  • Bulb shape: globe
  • Type of lighting: decorative bulbs
  • Bulb models: G-9, G-16.5, G-25

Garage

Most garages don’t have any natural light, so lighting is very important. You’ll want to opt for functional lighting so that you can carry out your tasks safely.

Opt for LED bulbs between 3,000 and 5,000 K.

Ceiling light
Omni-directional lighting
  • Bulb shape: classic
  • Type of lighting: general purpose bulbs
  • Bulb models: A-15, A-19
Decorative lighting
  • Bulb shape: globe
  • Type of lighting: decorative bulbs
  • Bulb models: G-9, G-16.5, G-25
Wraparound Fixture:
Omni-directional lighting
  • Bulb shape: linear
  • Type of lighting: strip light
  • Bulb models: T-4, T-8

Brightness

It’s best to use the lumen (lm) to determine the brightness of a bulb. The number of watts is a less reliable indication for LED bulbs and CFLs. Technology for LED bulbs continues to evolve. As a result, you can use fewer watts to create the same level of brightness.

 400 lumens
Incandescent Bulb (W)
40 W
CFL (W)1
9 W
LED Bulb (W)1
7 W
 800 lumens
Incandescent Bulb (W)
60 W
CFL (W)1
13 W
LED Bulb (W)1
10 W
1,600 lumens
Incandescent Bulb (W)1
100 W
CFL (W)1
23 W
LED Bulb (W)1
19 W
Luminous Flux (LM)

Incandescent Bulb (W)

CFL (W)1

LED Bulb (W)1

400 lumens 40 W 9 W 7 W
800 lumens 60 W 13 W 10 W
1,600 lumens 100 W 23 W 19 W

1 Estimated

Did you know?

The lumen is a measure of light (or luminous flux) emitted by a source. It’s the best gauge of brightness.

Other efficient technologies

CFLs

CFLs produce the same light as incandescent bulbs. As well as being extremely energy efficient, they can also produce warm colors. ENERGY STAR® certified CFLs draw up to 75% less power than standard incandescent bulbs and last 10 times longer.

Some CFLs are covered by a protective globe that also increases the diffusion of the light. They are shaped like familiar incandescent bulbs.

A typical CFL saves energy month after month, so you could recoup the purchase cost in just eight months.

Benefits of CFL products

  • Low consumption
  • Almost “instant on”
  • Lifespan of 6,000–10,000 hours
  • Low heat emission
  • No buzzing or flickering
  • Reduced mercury level
  • Dimmable (some models)

Halogen bulbs

Halogen bulbs draw up to 30% less power than standard incandescent bulbs and last three times longer. From the same amount of energy, they produce more light. They come in a wide variety of shapes and colors and can be used in the same fixtures as standard incandescent bulbs.

See also