LED Light Bulbs (NOT)

Not all bright LED light bulbs are able to replace screw-in bulbs, globes or even some lamps to light your a place.

And just because a LED bulb is very bright it may not count as super-bright. Also learn the real cost versus benefit of having them.

courtesy Philips
Not all LED bulbs perform as expected. And some can do much more than others.

I collected most everything I know about them for making a good choice.

And looking into the future it is possible that they will be even greater than today. Here are my reasons.

Artificial room lighting has come an awful long way since the dawn of your incandescent light bulbs. And on the face LED bulbs kind of seem light bulbs too.
They are NOT bulbs?
Color index
What to look out for
Low voltage warning
Under the Hood
Most common question
Related Articles, Resources
LED store

So why they are NOT bulbs?

Well, because light bulbs are generally replacable lighting fixtures (screw-in, screw-out kind of.) And LED bulbs are not - not in that conventional sense. And this small step actually marks quite a big shift in home lighting.

Once properly in place, lighting will no longer need to be replaced. They become part of your building much like walls, floors and skirting boards are. And most LED bulbs might not even have the shape of the Edison bulb we are so used to.

Some will be as flat as the painting on your wall. And some just travel wirelessly from here to there. Yet another type will stay where you fixed it - no need to touch it any more...

TIP #1 These few brigth Led(non)Bulbs have heat sinks  >> more

TIP #2 Nice bright task lights where you need them >> more

My current top picks

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For LED Light bulbs the current fad is the bulb shaped LED light that can be slipped in place of low voltage lights in most DC or AC applications. But LED light bulbs are unlike your halogen, compact fluorescent or even incandescent light bulbs. They are solid state lights.

And once in position, these so called bulbs can easily become part of the building. Much like a skirting board is part of the wall. Or a cornice is part of the ceiling. You don't really replace them. (Unless may be when you move or renovate.)

So the best way to think about led bulbs is that they are NOT like anything you know so far as bulbs. That will help you sort out thinks easier. Because they can come with a whole lot of 'baggages' -- internal LED dimmer, light engine (need for good operation and heat management), converter or adaptor, and last but not least - microcontroller.

Color and Color Index

Led lights in general are narrow spectrum lights. With the manipulation of three basic color units any shade is achievable without the use of filters. Broad spectrum is only achievable with some kind of filtering or doping - industrial process for micro-thin lining of a surface.

Click here for color temperature comparisons

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What to look Out for and HOW

LED light bulbs are NOT light bulbs ... !          

Ask about size, type, light output in Lumen (same as luminous flux), where do I want to put it / weigh it against what suits me best. If outdoors -- does it suit the elements, under water, external UV light,  -- Is it UL listed, (or your local certifying body) ?

Remember, you want to be energy efficient and save on power, so -

Whenever you can: look for possible long life or solar rechargeable battery operated lower voltage LED bulb and lower heat output options. Look for some hefty piece of metal or good 'radiator-like' perforation for good heat sinking. But also think of recycled plastic -- LED products come in plastic housing.

Switches to choose: variability of light and light beam to suit (lower angle for spot - wider for flood light), complexity of wiring and use itended. Understand this: - Dimmer if present, always internal. (External dimmer with a LED is tweaking to push it beyond comfortable operation.)

Other: Heat output, heat sinking - built-in or specially made, wattage, brightness, controller ability.

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for The next few years of LED light bulbs

Photo: courtesy Philips
Philips has been developing this for some time now...

A light tap of the third kind…

The type pictured here has a touch sensor and changes colour when you gently touch it.

Not available yet, only for display. Here courtesy of Philips. Commercially available probably about 2007-08. Will keep checking, but I hope some day to see this in fun-LED store.

And all these LED bulbs and the coming generations of LED lights are so smart that you will even need a new kind of house to fit them: -- Houses with radically less windows and yet radically more natural light WILL become possible, but also a necessity.

Just this year we had the hottest month on record. Clear windows are affordable, but they are not the best future friends of your home.

More about the expect shift in home lighting

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Low Voltage? -- Warning!

The transformer (often called adaptor) used for low voltage led light bulbs must not be much greater then the total wattage of all the LED bulbs connected together. In effect, the transformer you use should be as close as possible to the total wattage of the bulbs.

Most common question about LED light bulbs

Question: Led bulbs? They look great, the concept sounds great.., but -- can they be retro-fit in your current bayonet or screw bases connected to the main?
Answer: Yes and No. YES, with built in converter. But not WITHOUT it. (Don't recommend DIY for this one unless you know what you do...) Reason? Most Leds are Direct Current devices (DC) unlike the home main, which is Alternate AND Direct Current (AC-DC.)

Refer to FAQ for other questions and anwers

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Related Articles, Resources, Products:
Selected LED replacement bulbs with heat management reviewed

Learn the cost vs benefits of a LED replacement bulb and how to calculate

All LED bulbs need good heat management for reliable operation

About bulbs that are not all LED but save energy

Compliment the effects of LED light bulbs with LED rope lighting.

Just because it's small it still can be super bright!

The ways and the need for heat sinking with LED light

And there are other affordable long life bulbs that last for some time

Whenever you can: - Think recycled plastic for key components

Great task lights where and when you need them

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