Why buy LED light bulbs over say CFL bulbs (compact fluorescent bulbs) or even ordinary bulbs like standard GU10 halogen bulbs (the little recessed bulbs in your ceilings)?
Well the obvious answer is that they’ll last longer and give out a brighter light. Plus they light up instantly!
Let’s look at the advantages of LED bulbs over the other types of eco bulbs available in the market today.
LED bulbs are the most efficient bulbs available on the market at the moment offering 75-80% savings over traditional tungsten/incandescent bulbs (CFL’s are about 75% more efficient and halogen bulbs about 25%).
LED bulbs are designed to last around 25 times longer than tungsten bulbs (based on typical use patterns). Compare this with around 10 times longer for CFL bulbs and 3 times longer for energy efficient halogen bulbs.
All low energy bulbs will cost more to buy than standard incandescent bulbs. So think about the total cost over the bulbs lifespan and the cost of electricity it will consume.
LED bulbs will last much longer than the other types of bulbs available and yes they will also probably cost the most to buy initially. But over the lifespan of the bulb they should save you a significant amount of money.
For more details on potential savings levels here’s a UK LED bulb review where I calculate the potential savings over the bulbs lifespan.
When you go to buy LED light bulbs it’s important to know what "warmth" of bulb you should get. By warmth I mean the colour of light you’ll get from your LED bulbs.
LED bulbs range from 1700 kelvins right up to 7,000 kelvins and the table below should go some way to giving you a reference point for buying the correct LED bulbs for your particular application.
In my experience the 3,000 kelvin LEDs are the easiest to live with as they’re closer to what we’re used to with incandescent bulbs. The very white light from the bulbs further up the kelvin range can initially appear to be a quite harsh blue/white light and it typically takes a few days before you start to consider them “normal”.
Granted CFL bulbs only contain a very small amount of mercury (around 1% of the amount of mercury found in a typical thermometer) but it's there none the less.
I don't want to scare you off CFL's either as they'er pretty good too. So it's worth pointing out that the level of mercury shouldn’t be that much of an issue provided your CFL bulbs are disposed of correctly by recycling them when they're done.
But if you're concerned about mercury content at all then rest assured that LED bulbs don't contain any mercury.
LED bulbs light instantly as opposed to CFL bulbs which typically take around 1 second .
One thing to consider is when you install your low energy bulbs in outside lights.
CFL bulbs are temperature sensitive and will take longer to light up if it's cold whereas LED bulbs aren't. So they are the superior option for security lights and any other fitting located outside.
The beauty about buying LED light bulbs today is that as they're so popular you'll be able to find them pretty much anywhere from the small pound shops right up to the huge DIY stores and everywhere in between.
Personally I tend to buy from specialist companies online as I know what I'm getting and they offer guarantees that I feel more comfortable with.
But as I've already mentioned they're available in so many places, feel free to buy from where suits you and then sit back and enjoy saving electricity.
Don’t be put off by the initial purchase cost when buying LED light bulbs. They’ll last longer than the other types of low energy light bulbs; they’ll light up instantly and use less electricity helping you save money in the long run.
You can even buy LED bulbs that look just like traditional bulbs