Over the last several years, many people have decided to switch out the light bulbs in their homes and replace them with light-emitting diode (or LED for short) bulbs.
After making this switch, consumers and businesses alike are on track to save approximately $20 billion in electricity costs. Does this sound appealing to you? Are you skeptical of the benefits LED light bulbs can supposedly provide?
If you’ve been considering making the switch but want to be more informed before pulling the trigger, keep reading.
Explained below is everything you need to know about the difference between regular and LED light bulbs. Keep this information in mind so you can decide which ones to use in your home.
What are LED Light Bulbs?
LED lights work by sending an electrical current through a special microchip. This, in turn, illuminates the LEDs and produces visible light.
LEDs produce very little heat. However, the heat they do produce gets absorbed into a heat sink to help minimize the risk of performance issues.
LED vs. Regular Light Bulbs
LED light bulbs function in a different way than regular (or incandescent) light bulbs, which have been used for over 100 years. Incandescent lightbulbs use filaments that glow and produce light and heat.
Pros and Cons of LED Light Bulbs
There are lots of reasons why someone may want to switch from incandescent light bulbs to LED light bulbs. There are also some drawbacks to keep in mind, though.
If you’re not sure whether or not you want to switch out the bulbs in your home, consider these pros and cons of LED lights:
One of the greatest benefits of LED light bulbs is their energy efficiency. LEDs are known for using much less power than incandescent light bulbs. This, in turn, can help you to save quite a bit of money on your electricity bill.
In addition to using less power, LED lights also have longer lifespans. This also helps you save money since you don’t have to worry as much about maintenance and buying new light bulbs to replace those that have burned out.
They also put out less heat and have lower infrared and ultraviolet output. All of this, combined, helps to reduce the risk of overheating and fires, something everyone, whether they’re a homeowner or a renter, can get behind.
This type of lightbulb comes in a variety of styles, including retro light bulbs, so it’s easy to find ones that fit with the aesthetic of your home. They’re highly durable as well and are unlikely to break or experience internal damage from vibrations.
The final benefit of LEDs is the fact that they’re more environmentally friendly.
Because they have longer lifespans, LEDs don’t produce as many CO2 emissions. This allows you to lower your carbon footprint in an easy, low-maintenance way. They also, in most cases, don’t contain toxic materials, such as mercury vapor.
Of course, there are some potential downsides to installing LED lights.
For example, it’s true that LEDs can save you a lot of money on electricity over time. However, the initial cost of switching to these new light bulbs can be quite expensive. This is especially true if you want to swap out all your light bulbs at once.
Some people have issues with compatibility, especially if they have things like dimmers in their home that they want to continue using. You may have to do some extra research to find bulbs that work with your existing technology.
The light quality and color of LEDs isn’t always on par with incandescent lights. As long as you purchase high-quality bulbs, though, you can often get comparable, if not better, lighting in your home even after you switch out all your bulbs.
In some cases, folks have complained about their LED lights interfering with radio signals, too. This isn’t common, but it can happen, especially if you’re using low-quality LED bulbs.
Tips for Switching to LEDs
You can overcome a lot of the obstacles that LEDs sometimes present by choosing the right bulbs and following a more streamlined process when installing them throughout your home.
Here are some tips to keep in mind if you want to switch to LEDs and want to keep the transition as simple as possible:
Replace Bulbs One at a Time
Replacing all of the light bulbs in your house or apartment at once can get pretty pricy. You don’t have to take this approach and do a complete overhaul, though.
Instead, replace your bulbs gradually as they burn out. This allows you to make the transition more slowly and enjoy the benefits that LEDs have to offer without having to pay a ton of money upfront.
Purchase High-Quality Bulbs
Make sure you’re purchasing high-quality LED bulbs so you can see the greatest benefits from them.
Pay attention to the lumens listed on the package, rather than watts, to ensure you’re buying bulbs that are bright enough for your house and match well with your current lighting situation.
Take note of the bulb shape as well and look for one that matches your current lightbulbs for a seamless transition.
Talk to a Professional
When you’re shopping for special lightbulbs to replace unique lighting fixtures or to use with a dimmer, don’t be afraid to talk to a professional. They can help you find one that will pair with your current technology so you can continue using it even after you make the switch.
Get More Lighting Advice Today
If you’ve been on the fence about switching to LED light bulbs, be sure to keep the information outlined above in mind.
There are definite benefits that come with switching to LED, especially if you’re concerned about your energy usage. Now that you have all the facts, it’s time to choose the lighting that makes the most sense for you and your home.
Don’t forget to check out some of our other home improvement articles if you need additional advice on improving the lighting or updating any other aspect of your house.