How to choose the best quality LED bulb
Your best option for a high-quality, long lasting, energy saving bulb is to buy ENERGY STAR® certified LED bulbs. Use this guide to choose the right light bulb(s) for your home or small business.
Be cautious of LEDs that haven’t earned ENERGY STAR certification. Low quality non-certified bulbs may be cheaper at the register, but you may find that they flicker, shift in color, look dim, have uneven light the longer you use them, and shorter life spans. LED bulbs that have earned the ENERGY STAR certification meet high performance standards and ensure the bulbs will perform as expected. For example: ENERGY STAR bulbs will cast light in a broad range, like the light of a general purpose incandescent bulb. Non-certified bulbs may not meet this simple criteria.
There’s an energy-efficient bulb to match every fixture and space in your home–including indoor recessed lights, outdoor floods, and task lighting for your home office. Screw-based LEDs are available in dimmable and three-way versions. Decorative styles are also available at lighting retailers.
Brightness in modern light bulbs is measured in lumens, a higher number indicating a brighter bulb. Watts are sometimes associated with a light bulb’s brightness, but watts tell you how much energy a bulbs uses. Here’s what to look for:
- Choose 800 lumens to replace a 60-watt bulb
- 1,100 lumens for a 75-watt bulb
- 1,600 lumens for a 100-watt bulb.
The lower the bulb is on the Kelvin scale, the warmer the glow. To select color (in Kelvins), look for:
- 2,700–3,000 Kelvins for warm-yellow light
- 5,000–6,500 Kelvins for a cooler, whiter, natural-daylight color.
Warm colors work well in bedrooms and living areas, while cooler tones tend to be ideal for task-oriented rooms like kitchens and workspaces. You may want to consider trying different colors in different spaces to see what appeals to you.
When you’re at the store, read the Lighting Facts label on the package. The label gives a clear snapshot of what you’re buying. It lists brightness (in lumens), light color (in Kelvins), and estimated life span and annual operating cost.