Your LED IQ: How to Avoid Mistakes When Buying LED Lights

31st Jul 2018

You’ve bought light bulbs before—is it really so different when you’re buying LED lights? Yes, obviously. Why else would we bring it up? Here’s what you need to know about buying LED.

It’s all about lumens, not watts.

In the past, you’ve probably focused on wattage when you’re figuring out the right brightness for a bulb. As we discussed previously, wattage actually refers to how much electric power the bulb uses. With LED, though, you’ll want to look at the lumens, because the watts won’t really tell you much about how bright the bulb will get. The lumen is the measurement unit for a bulb’s brightness. Example: An LED bulb with 2600lm has an output equivalent to that of a 150W incandescent bulb. Also worth noting, the 2,600-lumen LED bulb only consumes 26W, delivering 83% energy savings compared to a 150W bulb-- while matching its lumen output.

Pick a color, any color

Innovations in the industry have made it possible to pick an LED bulb in almost any color. If you love the warm, golden glow of an incandescent bulb but want a more environmentally- and cost-friendly bulb, choose a yellow-hued LED. Some LED bulbs even allow for color adjustment-- so you could transition from the warm yellow to a neutral white, or even the blue tone of fluorescent lighting.

Be Penny Wise

LED lights cost more, but they also last longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. Not all LED bulbs are created equal, though; so don’t fall into the trap of picking the cheapest because of sticker shock—you could end up with a bulb that dies as quickly as incandescent. Do your research and opt for reliable brands, and expect to pay a little more. Over the life of the bulb, the cost will even out. An important note: Make sure your bulb has a UL label. This certification from the Underwriters Laboratory ensures it has been thoroughly tested for safety.

Be Dim- or Don’t

Not all LED lights are compatible with dimmer switches, so if you plan to use one make sure to check labels on your bulb’s packages. Even if an LED bulb is dimmable, make sure your dimmer is also LED compatible, as some dimmer switches only work with older types of lighting. For example, there are incandescent dimmers that have a minimum wattage, and since LED bulbs are so efficient, they fall below that value.

Figure Out Your Fixture

Not all light fixtures are compatible with LED bulbs, which will make them burn out quickly. And forget “trial-and-error”: Some LED lamps may also suffer irreparable damage if connected to the wrong type of fixture. And, in case that’s not complicated enough, some lamps are compatible but, from a technical standpoint, create a beam that is unsuitable for the fixture. The solution? Check the manufacturer’s guide on your FLOS piece for information, or call our customer service line.

Ask the Experts

If you’re feeling lost or confused about choosing an LED, FLOS customer service can help you via chat or phone to figure out what’s best for your particular FLOS design. Don’t feel like chatting? Check the manufacturer’s instructions on your lamp.

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