5 Mistakes to Avoid When Replacing Your Light Bulbs

Energy-efficient and long-lasting, LED bulbs are versatile, eco-friendly, and offer directional lighting.  According to research, LED lighting can save up to 80 percent of energy. This translates to huge sums of money in terms of utility bulls. Still more, LED bulbs can reduce the overall carbon footprint, a key step towards saving the environment. However, it’s important to choose wisely. Don’t make the following mistakes when replacing your LED bulbs.

Ignoring Light Distribution

Don’t ignore light distribution when replacing or upgrading your bulbs. It can affect your lighting system. This is because LEDs are directional (that’s how they are designed to produce light). Thus, you must consider specifications, such as beam angle, type of light distribution, etc. For instance, if you replace an A-shaped incandescent-based bulb (table lamp) with an energy-efficient LED lighting bulb, you may end up losing some downlight. Instead, consider replacing it with an A-shaped omnidirectional LED bulb. LEDs are directional. That’s why they are used as area and wall pack lighting.  

The area and the wall pack lighting use omnidirectional HID bulbs. As a result, a lot of emitted light is lost inside the lighting fixture. This light loss is referred to as “Lumen bounce”.

Pro tip: Figure out the type of light distribution you are dealing with. For a wide circle, avoid type one and type two distribution types.

Not Considering Wattage Output

Don’t purchase your LED upgrades without comparing the lumens of your current bulb with the replacement. Of course, you should compare wattages. However, taking into account lumen output will help you understand how bright the LED lighting fixture will be. The only exception where you don’t need to compare Lumen output is when upgrading HID fixtures. This is because HID bulbs are omnidirectional while the LEDs are directional.

Not Considering Color Temperature

Kelvin is the SI unit for thermodynamic temperature or color appearance coming from a lighting fixture. That’s why you should match the color light when making the upgrade. For fluorescent bulbs, the color temperature is stamped on the tube’s side. This makes it easy to match the LED tube lighting replacement.

On the other hand, there is no Kelvin color listed on incandescent and halogen lighting bulbs. Usually, the color temperature of all incandescent bulbs ranges between 2400 and 2700K. On the other hand, halogen bulbs have a color Kelvin of between 3,000 and 3,200K. When making a replacement, stick within these ranges for a uniform appearance.

Using an Incompatible Dimmer

Dimmers are excellent light control systems. However, dimmers are designed for different lighting bulbs. Using a standard dimmer will lead to flickering, buzzing, or flashing issues. That’s why you need a compatible dimmer switch. Check the dimmer’s product page and check for dimmer compatibility.

Not Considering CRI Rating

The color rendering index is an important aspect you should consider when purchasing your lighting replacements. Also referred to as CRI, the Color Rendering Index indicates how a lighting fixture accurately displays color in comparison with the midday sun. Higher CRI means that the color is more accurate and vice versa.

You need higher CRI in certain applications, including art installations, jewelry counters as well as retail displays. While incandescent and halogen lighting fixtures come with high CRI (100), their LED counterparts have a lower CRI (90s). That’s why replacing an incandescent or halogen bulb with an LED bulb (of an average CRI rating) will result in a jaded color appearance.

The Bottom-Line

It’s time to switch to LED bulbs. LED lighting bulbs save you energy. They lower utility bills and save money. With LED lighting, you can lower your overall carbon footprint. Switch to LED lighting today. Use a professional electrician for excellent results. Consult first. Don’t make the above mistakes when replacing your light bulbs.

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