LED lights are a great upgrade from your regular fluorescent light bulbs but they have one disadvantage. Heat is the mortal enemy of LED light bulbs. They may look similar to other light bulbs on the outside, but the chip inside and LED is similar to computer chips. Meaning that LED bulbs should not be placed in areas with a lot of heat or they will overheat and shorten the lifespan of the LED. This is why some bulbs will label whether or not you can use them in enclosed light fixtures.
What is an Enclosed Light Fixture
An enclosed lighting fixture is where the light bulb is encased in a way that does not allow for proper ventilation. Some examples of lighting fixtures include porch lights where the bottom is glass or plastic instead of it being open, as well as a lensed recessed light fixture. If you use an ED ulb in an enclosed fixture when it isn’t designed for that may cause the bulb to overheat, potentially causing damage to not only the bulb but the fixture. Before purchasing, make sure the bulbs you are looking at can be placed in an enclosed fixture so you can enjoy the full value of the light.
LED lighting is a more energy efficient and longer lasting light bulb option than any other lighting technology. The only downside is that when you make the switch to LED there are some issues that could arise. Here are five common mistakes to avoid when upgrading to LED bulbs.
Light Distribution is Different
Depending on your application, the difference in light distribution with LED bulbs can be a blessing or a curse. LEDs are very directional due to the arrangement of the diodes, so you’ll need to pay attention to the beam angle and distribution type. For example, if you are replacing an A-shape incandescent bulb in a lamp with an LED, you may lose some downward light. Since LEDs are designed to emit light to where you most need it, your best option is to look for omnidirectional bulbs. In addition, take into account of where you want the light to go and purchases or angle your fixtures accordingly.
Lights Are Too Bright or Too Dark
When looking to upgrade your bulbs to LED, you need to compare the Lumens of your current bulb with he replacement. Most people will compare wattage to get a feel for how bright their new lights will be, but Lumens will give you a better understanding of how bright the light will be. The only exception where the wattage equivalent rating will help more is the fact that LED lights are directional while HID are omnidirectional.
Light Is Too Blue or Too Yellow
The color appearance of the light emitted from a fixture or bulb is measured in Kelvin and if you want to match the color light of the lighting you’re upgrading, take note of the LED’s Kelvin color temperature. While most fluorescent tubes will have the color temperature stamped on the side of the tube, incandescent and halogen bulbs do not. Incandescent bulbs are around 2400-2700K and halogen bulbs are around 3000-3200K. So purchasing LED bulbs within these ranges is a safe bet.
Using LEDs With An Incompatible Dimmer
Not all dimmers will work with LED lights as they are not all created equal. You will know if you have an incompatible dimmer if you noticed flickering, buzzing, humming, or flashing after installing your LED bulb. If you plan to use dimmable LED lights then you need a compatible LED dimmer switch.
Lights Make Colors Look Dull
Lights have a color rendering index, or CRI, that indicates how accurately it displays colors compared to the sun. Most halogen and fluorescent bulbs have a CRI of 100. LEDs can’t quite match that number but there are some bulbs that have a CRI rating in the 90s which is still considered excellent. After switching to LED you may notice colors appear to be a little lackluster. The difference should not be too significant that the average person would notice right away.