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How to choose the right LED light bulb? 10 expert tips.

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How often, when you came to the electronics department, did your eyes wander among the multi-story shelves strewn with many LED bulbs? And these strange characteristics on the boxes? Kelvins, vats, lumens, what are these terrible concepts and who even understands them?

We! And we guarantee that after 5 minutes, that is, after reading this article, you will be able not only to choose the right light bulb for yourself, but also to instruct anyone in this matter.

In this article, we will present you with 10 valuable expert tips that will help you master the art of choosing LED light bulbs so that your home glows brightly, efficiently and in style.

1. Bulb socket

First of all, you need to choose a light bulb with the correct base. There are a huge number of them, but the most commonly used ones are shown in the picture below. E27 and E14 are considered the most popular in everyday life. The ideal solution to “not make a mistake” is to bring a previously used light bulb from the same lamp, if available.

2. Power (W)

We will write a separate article about this parameter, because it is quite extensive and needs special attention. To begin with, you can start from the information on the packaging. Many manufacturers indicate the equivalent in watts for LED light bulbs, which allows you to focus on familiar standards. For example, a 60W light bulb is equivalent to an LED light bulb with approximately 8-10W output. Thus, a 1W watt of an LED light bulb is approximately equal to a 10W incandescent light bulb.

3. Shape

As you probably already guessed, LED light bulbs also have a lot of shapes and it’s important not to make a mistake with the choice, otherwise it simply won’t fit into the lamp or will stand out from others. As a rule, manufacturers of lamps indicate on them the name of the light bulbs that are suitable for them, but here again the principle works well: if you’re not sure, take an old light bulb with you.

The most common forms are:

  • A (arbitrary) – pear shape (A55, A60, A65)
  • C (candle) – candle shape (C35, C37)
  • G (globe) – ball shape (G45)

NB! There are two types of lamps that are not spherical in shape - G4 and G9. In their case, the letter and number indicate the type of base, not the shape.

  • MR (multifaceted reflector) - reflector lamps with GU10 and GU5.3 sockets
  • R (reflector) - reflector lamps (R39, R50, R63)

4. Voltage

When choosing a light bulb, it is very important to know its operating voltage - 12V or 220V. If you place a 12V light bulb in a lamp powered by 220V, it will instantly burn out before your eyes, and if you use a 220V light bulb in a lamp powered by 12V, it will not light up at all. Information about the operating voltage of the luminaire must be indicated on the luminaire itself. As for light bulbs, as a rule, the manufacturer notes their characteristics on the body or on the box. The inscription can be either a combination of numbers and designations of the voltage parameter - 12V or 220V, or simply in the form of the letters E (220V) or G (12V).

5. Color temperature

We will also devote a separate article to the topic of choosing color temperature. The main thing you need to know at the initial stage is that color temperature is measured in Kelvin and is designated by the letter K. That is, if you see the designations 3000K, 4000K, 6000K on the box with the lamp, this is it.

White lamps have three main shades:

  • warm (2700K-3000K) - the most familiar pleasant yellow soft color, reminiscent of the light of an incandescent lamp; Great for creating a calm and cozy atmosphere in a living space;
  • neutral (3500-4200K) - reminiscent of daylight sunlight; preferable for lighting workplaces;
  • cold (5500K-6500K) - bright white color, giving off blue; Most often used to illuminate public places, shops and streets.

6. CRI (RA)

Color rendering index - CRI or RA is a value that is determined by the ratio of the real color to its visible or visually perceived color. In other words, it shows how closely the colors of objects illuminated by an artificial light source match their real colors.

Low CRI values can cause eye strain due to difficulty distinguishing between multiple shades, which in turn can lead to discomfort and fatigue.

When using light sources with high CRI values (>85), eye strain is reduced, resulting in lower levels of fatigue and possibly even improved reaction speed, especially in demanding production areas. Thus, the higher the CRI, the better. We recommend purchasing bulbs with a CRI value of at least 80 or higher.

7. Flicker ratio

Flicker coefficient is a percentage that reflects the degree of fluctuation when the luminous flux changes. The main role in the occurrence of flicker is played by the light source and the characteristics of its components.

Have you probably noticed that when a lamp is faulty, it begins to flicker periodically? The same thing happens with LED lamps with a high flicker coefficient, only in a much more accelerated mode. The catch is that the human eye usually does not see these flickers, but our brain actively reacts to them. We will also write about this in more detail in future articles.

Scientists have found that the acceptable range of this coefficient ranges from 5% to 20%. It is important to remember that the permitted pulsation coefficient differs depending on the type of room where the light source is installed.


Permissible flicker factor

Rooms equipped with computer equipment

up to 5 %

Technics rooms and shops

up to 10%

Rooms where work requiring high precision and concentration of attention is carried out

up to 10%

Children's rooms, school classrooms and other educational premises

up to 10%

Reading rooms in libraries

up to 15%

Rooms with high turnover of people (where they do not spend much time)

up to 20%

8. Price

The cost of an LED light bulb is based on:

• Brand

Typically, more well-known brands have higher prices, but they can also provide longer warranties and higher quality.

• Life time

Expensive models often have a longer lifespan, which can mean fewer replacements and maintenance.

• Quality of components

The quality of the components is higher, therefore the CRI level is higher and the flicker coefficient is lower, and therefore the price is higher.

• Brightness and color temperature

Higher brightness or special features, such as a popular color shade, can raise the price.

• Guarantee

As a rule, the longer the warranty, the higher the price.

Thus, we can conclude that it is better to purchase LED products from the mid-to-high price category, since investing in a more expensive, but more efficient and durable LED light bulb can be more profitable in the long run due to the saved energy costs and replacement of light bulbs.

On our website you will find high-quality LED light bulbs at good prices here.

9. Dimmer compatible

If you plan to use a light bulb with a lamp with a built-in dimmer, be sure to check before purchasing whether the selected light bulb supports this function. Manufacturers usually indicate information about dimming capabilities on the packaging.

10. Operating temperature

The ideal temperature range for LED operation is -30 to +60 degrees Celsius. It is not recommended to use conventional LEDs in steam rooms, baths, saunas and near heat sources.

As you can see, choosing the right LED light bulb is an art and we hope that thanks to our article you will quickly master it and be able to easily select the right lamp in the future, like a real professional!


How to check the pulsation of LED lamps?

The simplest and most effective way: Open the camera on your mobile phone and point it at the lamp. If the ripple factor is high, you will see noticeable flickering of the light from the LED lamp.

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