Like with just about anything, if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is. As with the rapidly-growing LED light bulb market, prices are steadily dropping, and when some stores use this as their main selling point, it’s easy to lose sight of the quality that is compromised when the cost gets so low. At Batteries Plus Bulbs, we understand that not all LED bulbs are created equal, and although we’ll offer our customers the most competitive prices we can, for the high-quality bulbs that we offer, low-cost isn’t what we’re selling; a selection of the best LED bulbs for you money is. It’s important to know the difference.
It’s become widely known that LED bulbs are significantly more energy-efficient than traditional (now phased out) incandescent bulbs (using 80% – 85% less energy), and last considerably longer than any other lighting option available (including CFLs), as many are projected to last 20-25 years before requiring a replacement. Plus, most LEDs come in a range of color temperatures, from soft-white (incandescent-like) to bright-white or daylight, with varying levels of brightness (lumens).
Since these factors are pretty commonplace – across-the-board – when comparing LED bulbs, here is a list of other criteria that should be considered when comparison-shopping for LED bulbs:
– Energy Star certified and/or UL (Underwriters Laboratories) rated – Energy Star products must pass strict testing to qualify, and in turn may offer enhanced eligibility for energy incentive rebates on qualifying products (depending on the market). Plus, all LED lamps that are over 12V should be UL or ETL listed, if they are not, buyer beware – they have not been properly safety tested
– Beam Spread/Omni-directional light output – It’s important to understand at what angle the light will be distributed by a bulb. For example, for certain applications, like accenting a piece of hanging artwork, a narrower beam of light is preferred. Whereas, when illuminating an entire room, a more omni-directional angle will be ideal. Certain bulbs, such as Duracell LEDs, offer a variety of beam angles, allowing users to vary them, depending on their individual, intended use. And unlike incandescent bulbs, not all A-shaped lamps are omni-directional, so it’s important to know which ones are if the intent of the bulb is to accurately mimic a previously used incandescent
– CRI (Color Rendering Index) – This term describes the level of accuracy that a light bulb reveals color in comparison with an ideal or natural light source. With 100 being the highest possible rating, it’s preferred to use LEDs that have a rating of at least 80 or 90, which is the standard for the bulbs we offer
– Dimmability – Excellent dimmable LED bulbs can be more expensive upfront, however, with the capability of lowering energy-use when dimming, they will eventually use considerably less power and should last even longer than other LED bulbs. It’s important to select the right dimmer to get the best performance from your bulb. You may observe that your LED bulb dimming capability is acceptable on any type of dimmer, however, if you are disappointed with it, you may want to consider improving it by selecting a more compatible dimmer
– Warranties – When LED manufacturers claim that their bulbs will last roughly 25,000 hours, it’s vital that they back it up with a warranty. For example, Duracell LED bulbs have a 5 year warranty (regardless of application). Furthermore, Energy Star requires that all rated products have to have a minimum warranty of 3 years.
By changing our name, and announcing our commitment to being a major retailer in the $17 billion light bulb market (reported by Freedonia Research Study), we have made it our business to know which bulbs are best for our customers. With the mass exodus of consumers transitioning from incandescent bulbs to energy-efficient alternatives, we are happy to offer our expertise on the myriad of options now available. It’s an exciting time to consider all of the variables that we can now control when lighting our homes and businesses. Please feel free to stop in at any one of our stores, see the bulbs actually lit up, compare them, and let us consult you on the best, most cost-effective solution for your next lighting upgrade.
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