When LED lights first came on the scene, there wasn’t a lot of variety in terms of colour. Add to the fact that LEDs were quite a bit brighter than the lightbulbs we were used to at the time and many people were turned off by the cold brightness of these lights.

Times have changed. Today’s LED lights are more sophisticated and, as a result, offer a wide range of colour options. This additional range means that LEDs can be used in many more applications than you’d expect – indoors, outdoors, for full room lighting, downlights and more. There are even dimmable LEDs now!

The question isn’t “Should I switch to LEDs?” anymore. Now the question is “Which LED lights are right for each room of my house?”

ChoosingLEDlights

3 Factors That Influence LED Light Choices

Choosing an LED light isn’t easy. There aren’t any strong industry standards yet, which makes it hard to compare brands to one another. What one manufacturer calls “warm white” may be quite a bit brighter than what another considers to be “warm white.” A lot of these differences have to do with manufacturing processes and the materials used in the construction of the LED. Sorting through the labels and choosing the right light can be easier if you know what to look for.

1. Colour Quality. The Colour Rendering Index (CRI) measures colour quality. The CRI is used to determine how faithfully colours are represented under various bulbs. CRI ratings range from 0-100. A score of 100 means the bulb emits a broad, even spectrum of colour, most closely to sunlight. Fluorescent bulbs rank around 70. Halogens rank very high, in the upper 90’s to 100. LEDs range from 70-90. Again, these differentiations are because of differences in manufacturing processes. If you know that fluorescent light quality is about 70 and sunlight is around 100, you can use these numbers and your familiarity with those types of light to figure out how objects will appear under your chosen LED, as long as you know the LED’s CRI number.

2. Colour Temperature. Colour Temperature is the label assigned to the colour given off by the bulb. These are the “warm,” “cool,” “bright,” and “natural” or “daylight” labels you see on the packages. Those labelled “cool” tend to be towards the blue end of the colour spectrum, making them brighter and whiter to the naked eye. Those labelled “warm” provide a more yellowish colour to our eyes. Colour Temperature is measured in Kelvins (K). Kelvins range from 2000-8000K. Direct sunlight is about 5000K. Halogens are about 3000K. Lights labelled as “warm white” are up to 3000K. “Cool white” lights are from 3100-45000K. “Bright white” or “daylight” is 4600K and higher. Typically “warm” bulbs are used in bedrooms, and living areas; they give off a calming light. “Cool” lights are used in garages and offices.

3. Intended Use or Application. How and where you intend to use the lights is the single biggest factor to consider when choosing an LED light. You would likely not want a bright white colour in your bedroom, for example. But it might be a good choice for a garage or as a security light. Equally as important as colour is the location where the light will be used. Most LEDs give off light in one direction, which makes them great for downlights and overhead lights. If you’re looking for a bulb that provides a wider band of light, such as one you’d use in a table or floor lamp, look for those labelled “omni-directional.” Likewise, if you want to dim your lights, you’ll need to find LEDs that are specially designed to be dimmable.

Choose The Right LED With Help From LEDified

Choosing the right LED doesn’t have to be frustrating. Contact LEDified for help finding the right LED lights for your needs. Our certified electricians can provide an on-site assessment of your lighting needs, recommend appropriate bulbs and fittings and install the LEDs for you. We pride ourselves on making the transition to LED lighting smooth and trouble-free. Learn more about LED lights at http://ledified.com.au/.