LED light bulbs are an increasingly popular choice for home lighting and customers often ask us about whether or not they should consider installing them. Previously amongst the most expensive lighting choices, the cost of LED bulbs is continuing to drop so they are now an affordable option for many householders.
What is LED?
LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. LED lights work in a very different way to traditional light bulbs. Light is produced by an electrical current which passes through a microchip which in turn illuminates tiny LED light sources. This results in light being emitted.
What are the main advantages of LED bulbs?
- The main advantage is that LED bulbs use far less energy than traditional old fashioned or halogen bulbs. It is estimated that they use 90% less energy than traditional light bulbs
- LED lights do not take a long time to ‘warm up’ so are bright as soon as you switch them on
- LED bulbs have the advantage of longevity – they will work for a long time with the potential to save you money in replacements. You could get a quarter of a century’s use out of an LED bulb depending on when and how it is used
- Traditionally more expensive than traditional bulbs – the cost of LED bulbs is dropping all of the time as the technology develops. Plus their long life makes them great value of the long term
Are there any downsides?
LEDs do produce a different kind of light to traditional light bulbs so this sometimes take some adjustment.
You will need to make a colour consideration when you are selecting an LED bulb because they are available in a range of colours. If you are looking for lights to use at home you can opt for a ‘warm white’ or a ‘soft white’ colour hue. Light colour is measured by temperature in Kelvins so for a warmer or more yellow light the guidance is to select a bulb with a measurement of between 2700 and 3000 Kelvins.
Should I use LED lights at home?
The simple answer to this is probably yes – over time it is likely that most home lighting will ultimately go in the direction of LED because of the potential to save energy. A good way to start is to consider replacing your lights at home which get the most use with LED bulbs, and then to gradually upgrade your other lighting when you naturally need to replace bulbs.
Do I need a qualified electrician to help me swap to LED light bulbs?
If you are doing a straightforward bulb replacement then provided you select the correct type of LED bulb for your specific fitments, then you should be able to make the swap yourself. However, it can make sense to get everything checked by a qualified electrician whenever you are making any changes to the electrics at home – particularly if they haven’t been checked for a while. It is also likely that you will need an electrician if you are using dimmer switches with your LED lighting as these will probably need to be replaced.