These days, just about everyone is on board with the idea that LED lights are more efficient, last longer, and open up a whole new world of possibilities. As much as we all love LEDs, some issues come about when upgrading from older technology. If upgrading your current lights to LED lights is on your to-do list, be aware of these common mistakes and avoid them having the best configuration possible.
If you replace bulbs with LED lights, be sure to compare the lumens of your old bulb to the new bulb. While comparing wattage seems like the first step to go, and it’s essential to check that too, understanding lumens will help you figure out how dark or light your LED bulbs will be. This typically works well unless you’re upgrading HID fixtures since LEDs are directional and HIDs are omnidirectional, and you’re better off just looking at the wattage.
Do your LED bulbs come off as too yellow or too blue? Typically the color of a light is measured in Kelvin. That’s why it’s essential to do some research into what color temperature you want or, if you’re upgrading from previous bulbs, see what Kelvin temperature you’re already working with. Typical fluorescent tubes have the color temperature stamped on the side, making it easy, but incandescent and halogen bulbs may not have this info listed. Good news, though: most of these bulbs are in the 2400-3200K range anyway, so pick LED lights within that range.
We use a color rendering index, or CRI for short, to indicate how well a light displays color compared to the midday sun. A higher CRI rating means more accurate color representation. While specific applications call for higher CRI, most people get by with incandescent and halogen bulbs with a rating of 100—whereas the highest LEDs can do is 90. Just make sure you’re getting high-quality bulbs.
Not every dimmer switch is going to be compatible with LED lights. If you use an incompatible switch, you’ll notice buzzing, humming, flashing, flickering, or just straight-up incompatibility. Look for compatible LED dimmer switches to get the job done right.
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