As you may have guessed, not all lamps are created equal. Below are a few tips that will help you make the right decision when selecting LED light bulbs.
This is the standard measurement for light output across all light sources. Your LED lamp should have about the same lumens as the lamp you are replacing. You can find the lumen information about common lamp replacements on the box or by going here: LED Replacement Guide
*For reflector lamps, compare Maximum Beam Candle Power (MBCP) instead of lumens.
2. Color Rendering Index (CRI)
CRI tells you how the colors under the light source will be revealed. The closer to 100 you get the better the colors will look. LED lamps can have large variations in color temperature resulting in visible color differences lamp-to-lamp. Be sure to look for the maximum range of color variation.
3. Color Temperature
Warm or Cool? How do you like your light? A lower colour temperature means a warmer light. A higher number will give you a cooler look. Most incandescent and halogen sources provide a warm glow with CCTs between 2700K and 3000K.
Want to Learn More About CRI and Color Temperature? Osram Sylvania has Great Training Materials Here
4. Energy Efficiency
Many LED products offer up to 84% energy savings over comparable incandescent products. An LED lamp can also last up to 50,000 hours or 46 years! (Based on 4 hours average usage per day/7 days per week.)
Beieve it or not LEDs are not always the most cost effective solution. How do you know if the investment will pay off? You can use this formula to help calculate you energy savings based on your cost structure:
6. Warranty / Reputation
An LED diode can last years and years, but the LED driver chip is usually the cause of failure. Overtime the driver will fail due to heat. It is important to make sure that the reputable LED manufacturer has a comprehensive LED warranty program. Additionally LEDs should be tested to the highest standards. The testing standards for LEDs are known as LM-79 and LM-80. Be sure to ask your sales representative for these results to ensure you are purchasing a reputable product.