Efficient and long lasting. Cost-effective and eco-friendly. LED’s have a string of benefits to their name, and they’ve surged in popularity recently. Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology relies on a small microchip: an electric current passes through the chip, which in turn illuminates the diode and creates visible light. It’s the light source behind screens, digital signs, and, importantly for homeowners, many lightbulbs.

As concerns over affordable, eco-friendly, and long-lasting lighting have grown, the popularity of LED bulbs has skyrocketed. But which LED bulbs are worth purchasing, and why, exactly, are they so much better for our homes and wallets?

Compared to incandescent bulbs, LEDs use less energy, last longer, contain fewer harmful toxins, and are available in a wider range of colors and designs. LEDs use 80% less energy than their incandescent counter parts. While the average lifespan of an incandescent bulb is a measly 1,000 hours, LEDs will often last for up to 50,000 hours. That means that if you left the average LED bulb on for 8 hours a day, every single day, it would last for 17 years.

In contrast, an incandescent used at the same frequency wouldn’t even last 6 months. LEDs also don’t “burn out” in the same way. An LED will become dimmer as it reaches the end of its life, where an incandescent tends to stop functioning completely and suddenly.

Not only does your LED last longer, they also use less energy to produce the same amount of light. They require anywhere from 20-80% less energy to run than incandescents, and that means more money in your wallet. According to Energy.Gov, by switching your three most commonly used lighting fixtures with LED bulbs, you’ll save roughly $75 on your electric bill each year (and that’s only an average).

Which LED Bulb is Best for My Home?

Which LED bulb is best for home?

This can depend on what fixture and lighting system you’re looking to fill with LED bulbs, but here are a few guidelines to help you read the labels in the manufacturer’s descriptions.

First, it’s important to know that LEDs are measured in lumens, not watts. Watts, contrary to popular belief, aren’t actually a measure of brightness. Instead, they record how much energy the bulb uses, but LEDs use much less energy than incandescents.

An LED bulb that uses 70 watts will produce a brightness that would almost blind you — but an incandescent bulb that uses 70 watts produces the comfortable glow we’re familiar with. So by themselves, watts don’t tell us anything about the brightness of an LED bulb as compared to an incandescent.

Rather than looking to watts to guess the brightness, look to lumens. Lumens are a true measure of how much brightness a bulb actually emits. If you’re already familiar with the brightness of incandescent bulbs as measured by watts, you can use this guide to find the corresponding brightness in lumens:

●  20W incandescent = 200 lumens

●  40W incandescent = 450 lumens

●  60 watts incandescent = 800 lumens

●  75 watts incandescent = 900 lumens

●  100 watts incandescent = 1200 lumens

●  120 watts incandescent = 1500 lumens

Many manufacturers also list the “incandescent equivalent” in their descriptions. Be cautious, however, because manufacturers are not always consistent in their conversions. If you are hoping to use your LED bulb in a dimming system, make sure the lightbulb indicates that it’s dimmable. When incandescent bulbs are dimmed, they grow warmer as the light gets lower.

If you want your LED system to mimic a warm glow, look for the label “warm dimming.” LEDs come in a variety of color temperatures. To estimate the warmth of your LED light, look for the Kelvin (K) measurement. Warmer light, comparable to most incandescents, will fall closer to 2,700K. Hospitals, on the other hand, might be using light higher than 4000K for bright illumination.

Here is a rough guide to the types of light on the Kelvin scale:

●  Warm White = 2700K (comparable to an incandescent bulb)

●  Neutral White = 3000K (comparable to a halogen bulb)

●  Cool White = 3500K – 4100K

●  Very Cool White = 5000K – 6000K (mostly used for high brightness, comparable to daylight)

Finally, make sure your LED bulb will fit the socket to your light fixture. Whether you’re looking for a flood light, a recessed light, or a table light, the style of the bulb will vary. Check the instructions of your light fixture for more information.

Can LED Bulbs Be Used in Any Fixture?

Can LED bulbs be used in any fixture?

For the most part, yes. As long as the socket, or mounting base, is the same size and type, you can use an LED bulb in the fixture. If you have a dimming system, check to make sure that your bulb is dimmable. You should also avoid using LEDs in old dimming features, as these can wear the bulb out more quickly. Never use an LED in an enclosed or airtight fixture as they can overheat.

Are LED Bulbs Safe?

Are LED bulbs safe?

Yes, LEDs are known for being safe for use in homes. They should not be confused with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs, which gained a reputation for their energy efficiency — and for containing mercury. LEDs do not contain mercury. Some contain trace amounts of lead, but these amounts are so low that, unlike some CFLs, the bulbs can safely be disposed of in the normal garbage when you are done with them.

LEDs can emit a blue light that has been shown to affect some people’s natural sleep and wake cycles. In response to exposure to blue light — the white, bright light of daylight — our bodies produce the hormone melanopsin, which keeps us awake and encourages alertness.

There is growing concern that bright LEDs — including the lights used to backlight our phones and screens — contain more blue light. That blue light disrupts our natural circadian rhythms and makes it difficult to fall asleep. If this is a concern, consider purchasing warm LEDs, ideally 2700K or lower. If you’re using cooler temperature LEDs, keep them out of your bedroom or reduce your exposure by using them only for short periods of time in the evening.

The Best LED Bulbs You Can Buy

Energetic Smarter Lighting A19 LED Bulbs, 24-pack

LED bulbs by Energetic Smarter Lighting, 24 pack.

Suitable anywhere you might use a standard incandescent bulb, these LED bulbs are 24 to a pack, making them an economical option. They’re available either in warm white at 3000K or daylight at 5000K. Just be aware that they might be a little cool for nighttime use in sleeping areas. They are also non-dimmable, so these won’t work with dimmable fixtures.

Reviewers gave these an average of 5 stars. They mostly used them in spaces where they preferred white light.

To read the latest customer reviews, click here.

LED Dimmable Bulb, 6-pack by LiteHistory

Dimmable LED bulbs by LiteHistory, 6 pack.

This E12 LED bulb offers smooth dimming and a modern, industrial look. Flicker-free and non-buzzing, they’re a good option for ceiling fan lights and chandeliers. The funky, candelabra shape can be aesthetically pleasing — depending on your decor, you don’t need to hide these bulbs behind a shade. They’re offered in a variety of brightnesses and color temperatures, and the glass itself is available in clear or amber.

Customers praised these bulbs for their longevity and color. Many used them in chandeliers or ceiling fixtures and reported significant energy savings.

To see pricing, click here.

Dimmable Flood Light Bulbs, 6-pack by Hykolity

Dimmable LED bulbs for flood lights or recessed light fixtures by Hykolity.

These are a good choice for flood lighting and recessed can lights. They are suitable for use outside, but they’re not waterproof, so use them in areas where they might be covered or otherwise protected from the elements. They’re 850 lumens and available in color temperatures from 2700K to 5000K. Best of all, they work with dimmable light fixtures and include a three-year warranty.

Customers praised the clean, bright light, and many used them in their offices or kitchens. Some reported flickering at lower, dimmed levels however, so read the most recent reviews before purchasing.

To learn more, click here.

LED Color Changing Light Bulb, 2-pack or 4-pack by Yangcsl

Color changing LED bulbs with remote control by Yangcsl.

Want to add a little color to your home? These bulbs change color and include a remote control to adjust both the color of the light and the brightness. You can select from ten colors (including standard white), six modes ​(flash, strobe, smooth, warm, fresh, romantic), and seven levels of brightness.

Multiple bulbs can be synchronized to one color and mode, but the set includes a remote for each bulb if you prefer to use them independently. Even if you chose not to set these to colors, the remote means you can turn faraway lights on and off from wherever you are. They include a timer and are dimmable for extra convenience.

Reviews overwhelmingly gave these lightbulbs five stars. Many customers used them in basements or to light up the outside of their home during the holidays.

Love it? Click here to buy now.

LED Super Bright Lights, 2-pack by YWD

Super bright LED bulbs for garages, barns, and large spaces by YWD.

These super bright bulbs are perfect for garages, barns, or other large areas. At 6000K and 5500 lumens, they produce a bright, cool light, and fit an E27/E28 base. They’re also made with aluminum alloy to generate less heat. Just be aware that they aren’t dimmable, so they won’t work with dimmable light fixtures.

One reviewer summed it up: “It’s like daytime with these bulbs.” Many people thought they were an effective, affordable option for lighting garages and large spaces.

Ready to buy? Click here.

Energetic Smarter Lighting Vanity Bulbs, 6-pack

Vanity mirror LED bulbs by Energetic Smarter Lighting.

Feature these bulbs above your mirror, makeup table, or vanity. With a pretty globe shape and a standard E26 base, they’re ideal for bathrooms, bedrooms, or hallways. They are also 5000K in color temperature and 500 lumens, which is a little less than 60W incandescent. These bulbs are dimmable, so they’ll allow you to customize the lighting scene in every room.

Customers report that these are bright, effective lights; they found they were perfect for seeing fine details in a mirror.

To learn more, click here.

To Sum it Up…

We see LEDs everywhere — they’re the backlights on our phones, the light in our digital watches, and the force behind digital billboards. As light-bulb makers have turned to LED technology for household bulbs, these bulbs have gotten more efficient, cheaper, and more durable. Compared to incandescent bulbs, the economical differences are astounding. LED bulbs can last for years — even decades — where incandescent bulbs rarely last more than a year or two depending on their use.

LED technology produces a variety of types of light — it’s easy to find the temperature and brightness that will fit your space. Once you have the right LED bulbs for your lighting system, you can be sure that these highly efficient bulbs will save you money on your energy bill.