LED Light Buying Guide | Understanding the Lighting Facts Label

LED Light Buying Guide | Understanding the Lighting Facts Label


Hello everyone, I’m Chris with Toolbox DIY
and today I’m going to demystify all the technical jargon you find on the back of an LED light. I’m going to cover everything you see on this
label and give you some tips on choosing the right LED light. Let’s get started with light output. On an LED label you’ll see something called
lumens. This is the amount of output a light produces. You don’t need to understand the science behind
how lumens are measured. Just know that the higher the number, the
greater the output. So, when two bulbs say they are equivalent
to a 60w incandescent, you can use the lumen number to figure out which one is brighter
or dimmer. Now if the packaging doesn’t include an equivalent
to an incandescent bulb, you can refer to the reference table that I’ve included on
the ToolboxDIY website to help you make that determination. The next thing you’ll find is the estimated
yearly energy cost. Now if you don’t know what your kilowatt hour
energy cost is I don’t think that this number is very useful. I find it more helpful to search for an online
LED savings calculator to determine how much money you will actually save given your circumstances. Moving down the label we see the lifespan. I don’t find this number very useful at all. I think it’s rather misleading. It’s a rather long explanation why I feel
that way, but you can learn more about that in our video “Tips for Buying LED Lights”. I really only use this number when all other
things are equal and I am having a hard time making a decision. I might choose the one with a longer lifespan. Next up we have the energy used. This is the amount of power that it takes
to drive this particular light. What I actually find more useful is lumens
per watt. That tells you how efficient that this particular
light is going to be. Some labels show that, this one does not. You can easily calculate it by dividing lumens
by the watts and that will give you the efficiency. All other things being equal, it’s better
to go with higher efficiency because it’s taking less power to produce the same amount
of light. Another number you might see on a label is
the color rendering index or the CRI. Unfortunately, this is becoming less common,
but I still think it’s a rather important number. This light doesn’t have it nor do any of the
other labels that I have, but you might find it on the larger lights like the PAR38. What the CRI is, it tells you how accurately
colors look under this particular light. Some people don’t think this is very important,
but if you have a hard time distinguishing between a black piece of clothing and a navy-blue
piece of clothing, a high CRI may be a better option for a closet or for a bedroom. Personally, I don’t buy any lights that have
a CRI under 90. Lastly and most importantly in my opinion
is the color temperature. On this label it’s noted as “Light Appearance.” This is a four-digit number followed by a
K. The K is just Kelvin which is a unit of measure
of color temperature. What you need to know is that lower the number,
the more warm or orange the color of the light will appear. The higher the number, the more cool or blue
the light will appear. My recommendation is that bedrooms and bathrooms
should get 2700 to 3000K color temperature. Kitchens and utilities rooms, I aim for 4000-4500. And in my garage and workshop, I go for 5000
or even higher. Just know that the higher the number the more
blue the light. If you put this in, say, a bedroom, this could
actually interfere with your circadian rhythm. Because blue light is telling your brain it
is not time to go to bed. So you may want to consider the warmer or
more orange lights for the bedroom. Of course, color temperature is a personal
preference so choose the color that works for you. Well that covers all the technical information
you need to know to help you choose the right LED light. Now the label isn’t the only factor in choosing
a light. You may also care about the physical appearance
of the light – how the lens looks. If the bulb is going to be exposed, the actual
physical appearance may matter to you so you have to take that into account as well. Well, I hope you found this useful. If you have any questions or comments, please
don’t hesitate to post those in the comment trail down below. I’m Chris with Toolbox DIY. Thanks for watching.


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