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How to Choose the Right LED Bulb

LED light bulbs not only save energy, but they last significantly longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. Making the switch is easy once you know the features to look for. Whether you need bulbs for a floor lamp, table lamp, desk lamp, or overhead lighting, read on to learn how to pick the perfect bulb.

Lumens

You may be accustomed to buying bulbs by labeled wattage, which actually measures energy use instead of brightness. With incandescent lighting, higher watt bulbs provide brighter light; however, with LED lighting, you'll want to look at lumens as the true measurement of brightness. For the equivalent of a 60-watt incandescent bulb, look for an 800-lumen LED bulb. Replace 100-watt bulbs with 1600-lumen LED bulbs. Most packaging will indicate the incandescent equivalent to help you find the right brightness.

Color Temperature

The shade of your lighting is determined by the color temperature, which is measured on the Kelvin scale, abbreviated as "K." If you gravitate toward soft, warm white lighting like a traditional incandescent bulb, look for 2700-3000K. For neutral lighting 3500-4100K will suffice, and if you prefer a cool white or "daylight" tone, 5000-6500K will provide the correct shade.


After determining lumens and color temperature, all that's left is to be sure the LED bulb shape and base are right for your fixture of choice. With a small investment up front on these energy-efficient light bulbs, your lamps and lighting fixtures will brighten up your life for years to come – and keep more money in your pocket.

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