5 Mistakes to Avoid When Upgrading To LED Lights

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.

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