LED light bulbs provide the ultimate energy-saving solution for updating outdated bulbs. They come in various shapes and sizes. These replacement bulbs offer exceptional efficiency and deliver a superior quality of light across a wide range of color temperatures that will suit the needs of various indoor and outdoor applications. Replacement LED bulbs are the perfect choice if your looking for the best in energy-efficiency, the most durable, something that is dimmable, or just a bulb that is long-lasting!
LED light bulbs are continuously evolving, from improvements in specifications such as lumen output or lower wattages to advanced dimming or life expectancy. All of this information that is available on LED bulbs can become confusing really quick. We will go over the important details about LED light bulbs and what you need to know before making your purchase.
Residential or commercial LED light bulbs can offer over 100,000 hours of consistent illumination, are environmental friendly, and the most important they have a greater cost savings over time than incandescent and their CFL equivalents.
At Stars and Stripes Lighting, we carry many different styles of LED light bulbs that are equipped with the latest technology, including the most popular LED general service bulbs that offer up to 40,000 hours of consistent illumination to commercial-grade LED bulb lights that are smarter alternatives than traditional T8 fluorescent tubes. LED bulbs produce less heat than compact fluorescent and incandescent light bulbs. This give your HVAC unit a break during the summer months since there is virtually no heat emitted by LEDs. LED bulbs originally only came in a cool blue tone but now they come in a variety of different color temperatures from 2700 kelvin warm white to 5000 kelvin daylight. LED light bulbs are not only energy efficient but they are very durable and environmentally friendly. LED bulbs also burn continuously at full brightness without color shifting or brightness reduction due to the age and amount of hours the lamps had burned.
LED light bulbs are also much more energy efficient than compact fluorescent lamps. LED bulbs require no warm-up time unlike compact fluorescent lamps which require a period of time before they reach full brightness. LED replacement bulbs are generally manufactured out of plastic instead of glass like compact fluorescent and incandescent lamps; thus making them much more durable. They can also product the same amount of light that is emitted from fluorescents while lasting longer and by using less energy in the process. LED bulbs are also mercury free and RoHS compliant; the same can not be said about fluorescent lamps.
Stars and Stripes Lighting will provide you with informed information concerning your application, to ensure you purchase the correct residential or commercial LED light bulbs with confidence. We carry a wide variety of LED bulbs that are compatible with most dimmers. We also can help guide you in making the right choice in color temperature for your new LED bulbs; including 2200 kelvin to 3000 kelvin being more like a traditional incandescent lamp or if you want a bright white light output you could go with a 5000 kelvin temperature or higher. Order today from Stars and Stripes Lighting, or if you have additional questions about buying LED light bulbs online, feel free to reach out to one of our customer service representatives.
LED Light Bulbs FAQs
LED light bulbs consist of light-emitting diodes that are encased in plastic or glass materials that protect the internal elements and focus the light output. LED bulbs are designed to replace traditional incandescent, fluorescent and HID technologies with a more efficient and long-lasting option.
There are a variety of different types of LED light bulbs on the market. Below we'll go over each type and what they replace:
Type A LED Light Bulbs: A-shape, also referred to as standard shape, bulbs are the most common shape available on the market. These bulbs are commonly used in lighting fixtures, table lamps and recessed fixtures throughout a home. For many years, these incandescent light bulbs have been used by homeowners to illuminate the interior and exterior of their home. A shape light bulbs come in three different sizes that are referred to as A15, A19 and A21.
As technology has improved, incandescent a-shape light bulbs have been replaced with better LED versions. A-shape LED light bulbs provide several benefits over their incandescent predecessors. They are designed to provide up to 50,000 hours of uninterrupted illumination, which means you'll be able to enjoy doing other things rather than constantly having to replace light bulbs. These new a-shaped LED bulb emits up to 90% less heat than the traditional incandescent. Also, they provide the same amount of light while only using a fraction of the energy.
Type B LED Light Bulbs: BR, also known as bulged reflector, bulbs are designed with a reflective coating to provide directional light. It provides a cone-like light beam that ranges in ranges from narrow spot to wide flood beam angles. The spot bulb has a narrow distribution pattern with a higher intensity at the center of the beam than a flood bulb in the same shape and wattage. These BR light bulbs come in three different sizes that are referred to as BR20, BR30 and BR40.
BR incandescent bulbs were frequently found in a variety of applications that needed general lighting. Unfortunately, they've quickly been replaced by LED versions because of their lower efficacy and shorter life. BR LED light bulbs are designed to last up-to 4 times as long as their incandescent predecessors, while requiring less than half the energy to operate.
When shopping for these bulbs it important to keep in mind that the BR refers to the shape of the bulb, and the number that comes after it indicates the diameter. For example, a bulb labeled as BR30 is a bulged reflector (BR) bulb that is 3.75" at the widest point. So, its important to check the size of the fixture housing first to make sure your new bulb will fit.
Type C LED Light Bulbs: C shape bulbs are designed to look like a candle flame. There are two styles of C light bulbs available. One style has a blunt tip that is often referred to as "torpedo" or "bullet" shaped, whereas the other style has a molded, bent tip (also known as a flame tip) and is often referred to as a "chandelier light bulb".
These C-shaped bulbs come in four different sizes that are referred to as C7, C9, C11, and C15. The most common applications for type C LED light bulbs include chandeliers, indoor and outdoor string lights, marquees, scoreboards, and time/temperature signs.
Type G LED Light Bulbs: These bulbs are designed with a globe shape to distribute light output at a wide angle. There are various globe bulb sizes available that include G16.5, G25, G30, G40, and G50. If you're searching for a bulb that offers improved energy performance and doesn't need to be replaced for years to come, while providing an abundance of light, LED globe lights are the perfect solution.
Globe light bulbs are commonly used in bathroom vanities, chandeliers, foyer lighting, kitchen lighting, ornamental fixtures, and decorative string lights. We carry a large selection of sizes and colors of globe LED bulbs, including standard warm white and multi-color options.
MR LED Light Bulbs: MR, also known as multifaceted reflector, bulbs are designed to with built-in pressed glass reflectors, which allows them to direct light at a precise angle. Originally MR bulbs were used in slide projectors, and then they started being used in landscape lighting, recessed lighting, track lighting and other applications that required precise directional lighting. These MR light bulbs come in two different sizes that are referred to as MR11 and MR16.
MR halogen bulbs were and still are very popular. Even though they are small, they provide an intense amount of controlled light. However, with the evolution of LED technology, the halogen version of these bulbs are seen less often. MR LED light bulbs have many advantages over their halogen counterparts. They provide as good, if not better quality of light that is 4 times more efficient. Their lifespan is also significantly longer as well, and do they do not generate near the amount of heat.
PAR LED Light Bulbs: PAR, also known as parabolic aluminized reflector, bulbs are designed to illuminate a specific area. Typically, these bulbs are used for downlighting, floodlighting, and spotlighting in commercial and residential applications. You'll commonly see them used in landscape lights, recessed lights, and track lights. Due to their ability to properly highlight products, they are also used frequently in retail stores and art museums as well. PAR light bulbs come in four different sizes that are referred to as PAR16, PAR20, PAR30, and PAR38.
In the past, these areas typically utilized PAR halogen bulbs, which provided decent light at that period of time. However, they had extremely short lifespans and the heat they generated was almost unbearable. Now that PAR LED light bulbs have been introduced to the lighting market, you'll will save you money on electricity costs, because they require less wattage to operate while providing a better quality light output. They also last up-to 4 times as long as their halogen predecessor, which results in less replacements.
Determining the size of which bulb you need is easy. Simply divide the number after the word PAR by eight. Since we carry bulbs ranging from PAR16 to PAR38, you'll find bulbs starting at in 2-inches diameter all the way up to 4.75-inche in diameter. Depending on the atmosphere your trying to create, you can choose PAR LED bulbs in a low, warm white color temperature like 2700K, or something in bluish, white hue like 5000K.
LED Tube Light Bulbs: LED tube light bulbs are designed to replace your linear T5, T8, T10, and T12 fluorescents.
Type S LED Light Bulbs: S-shape bulbs, also commonly referred to as straight minature bulbs, have a bulged top that tapers to straight sides. There are four sizes of S-shape light bulbs available, S6, S8, S11, S14 and S19. The most common applications for type S LED light bulbs include automative, aviation, healthcare, manufacturing and commercial signs.
LED light bulbs are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Keep in mind, if you're planning on using LED bulbs outside they need to have a damp or wet location UL rating, which means they will not be affected if bulb is exposed to water or moisture.
There are several factors you should consider before purchasing LED light bulbs. Below we'll go over what some of those factors are:
Equivalent Wattage - It's very important when comparing an LED bulb to a fluorescent, incandescent, or HID version to look at the equivalent wattage. This will give you an idea of how well the LED bulb will illuminate an area. For example, LED wattages are typically 1/4 or 1/5 of incandescent wattage.
Lumens - is a measurement of how much light the LED bulb will produce. For example, a 60-watt incandescent bulbs delivers approximately 800 lumens, whereas an LED version would be between 50-100 lumens of difference above or below. This will depend on how old the lamp is and its manufacturer.
Color Temperature - describes how the light output will actually look. For example, 2700K-3000K resembles the light output of an incandescent bulb (warm white), whereas higher temperatures like 5000K will deliver a light output that appears brighter (daylight).
When it comes to LED light bulbs, there are countless benefits that you'll receive. Below we'll go over what some of those benefits are:
• Lifespan is up to 20 times longer than some traditional lighting options • Offers the lowest energy consumption of any other lighting option • Higher quality of light than traditional lighting options • Environmentally friendly, since no mercury is used, unlike fluorescent and CFL lamps
Color temperature is a description of the warmth or coolness of a light source. When a piece of metal is heated, the color of light it emits will change. This color begins as red in appearance and graduates to orange, yellow, white, and then blue-white to deeper colors of blue. The temperature of this metal is a physical measure in degrees Kelvin or absolute temperature. While lamps other than incandescent such as LEDs do not exactly mimic the output of this piece of metal, we utilize the correlated color temperature (or Kelvins) to describe the appearance of that light source as it relates to the appearance of the piece of metal (specifically a black body radiator).
By convention, yellow-red colors (like the flames of a fire) are considered warm, and blue-green colors (like light from an overcast sky) are considered cool. Confusingly, higher Kelvin temperatures (3600–5500 K) are what we consider cool and lower color temperatures (2700–3000 K) are considered warm. Cool light is preferred for visual tasks because it produces higher contrast than warm light. Warm light is preferred for living spaces because it is more flattering to skin tones and clothing. A color temperature of 2700–3600 K is generally recommended for most indoor general and task lighting applications. Color Temperature is not an indicator of lamp heat.
Newly created vintage and filament LED bulbs offer color temperatures below 2700K, some even as low as 1900K! These color temperatures are suited for those looking to mimic the ambience created by traditional carbon filament bulbs. These bulbs produce a lower number of lumens than traditional incandescent bulbs as do their LED counterparts. Only chose this level of color temperature if you are willing to sacrifice lumens for a more ambience that demands the extremely soft light these bulbs create.
Before LEDs became the standard for light bulbs, there were compact fluorescent lamps, or also known as CFLs for short. CFLs are fluorescent lamps that emit light from a mix of phosphors inside the bulb, and were designed to replace incandescent lamps (a lamp that produces light as a result of being heated). When compared to an incandescent bulb producing the same amount of light, CFLs use one-fifth to one-third the electric power, and last eight to fifteen times longer. Like all fluorescent lamps, CFLs contain toxic mercury, which complicates their disposal. In many countries, governments have established recycling schemes for CFLs and glass generally.
A light-emitting diode, or LED for short, is a lamp that emits light in a very narrow band of wavelengths. Because of this, LED’s are far more energy efficient than incandescent or fluorescent lights, which emit light in a much wider band of wavelengths. LED’s produce light that renders a color similar (but not identical) to natural daylight, which is measured on a scale called CRI, or Color Rendering Index. CRI’s range from 0-100, 100 being identical to natural daylight. Typical LED’s are around 70-95 CRI, but it is not recommended to put anything indoors below 75 CRI. Like incandescent lamps and unlike most fluorescent lamps, LEDs come to full brightness without need for a warm-up time.
So how much more efficient are LED’s?
On average, an incandescent bulb may last around 1000 hours, while a fluorescent (CFL) bulb producing the same amount of light (in Lumens) may last around 8,000 hours, and an equivalent LED bulb may last around 25,000 hours. Because of their efficiency, LED’s are generally more costly, but the energy saved on your electric bill pays off when compared to incandescent bulbs.
When looking at a 60-Watt incandescent bulb, the price of running that single bulb for 20 years (based on 6 hours per day) is $360. The price of running a 60-Watt LED equivalent for the same amount of time is only $72. So while an incandescent might only be around $1.00/bulb in comparison to $10.00/bulb for the LED, think about how much you would save by replacing every bulb in your house!
The 20-year savings on replacing a single candescent bulb with an LED would be $288, but when you multiply that by (as example) 20 light bulbs in your home, you’re saving $5760 in the long run. If you have even more, lets say (as example) 40 light bulbs in your home, you’re saving $11,520 over 20 years. That’s $576 dollars a year!
While these numbers are estimates, it is clear that LED’s are the most energy efficient option for light bulbs on the market, and the savings from switching out your old incandescent bulbs can keep some extra dough in your pocket.
One question shoppers of LED light bulbs often ask, how much heat is generated by LED bulbs in comparison with incandescent or halogen bulbs? Contrary to some marketing claims, LED bulbs do indeed generate heat as does anything that consumes electricity. The important thing to keep in mind is that LEDs consume a lot less energy than incandescent or halogen bulbs and are much more efficient in how they use that energy versus traditional bulb types.
While LEDs will generate heat, it will be a fraction of that compared to a traditional technology bulb. The ultimate temperature at which the external housing of the LED will operate at is influenced by the temperature of the room and the fixture it is placed in.
LED bulbs have many components inside to change the high voltage electricity from your home or building to the lower voltage that the LED chips need to run. Because of this, they are much more sensitive to heat than incandescent or halogen sources. You will frequently find that many low cost LED bulbs carry a warning that they should not be placed in fully enclosed fixtures. The reason for this is that this heat build up can shorten the life of the components inside of the LED bulb. Only use fully enclosed rated LED bulbs in fixtures of this type or you may void the warranty.
Overall though, the lower heat generated by LEDs makes them a great choice for applications such as task lighting and illumination of heat sensitive objects such as food or artwork that can be damaged by heat.
Unlike traditional incandescent or halogen bulbs, LED light bulbs have the option to come in both dimmable and non-dimmable versions. This is because when LED light bulbs were first released, it was uncommon for them to be dimmable. As LED bulb internal electronics became more advanced, dimming became possible and ultimately we are at the point today where dimming is essentially a no-cost or low cost adder to most LED bulb types. Because of this, many manufacturers no longer offer a non-dimming option outside vendors who are pursing the lowest retail cost point possible.
If you do not have a dimming switch installed, does installing dimmable LEDs cause any issues?
The answer is absolutely not, dimmable LEDs when installed in a non-dimming switch will operate at 100% output and will run just as well as if they were installed with a dimming switch. Sure, there may be a non-dimming option available for a fractionally lower cost but generally speaking, if you plan on keeping your LED bulbs for a long time, it makes sense to choose the dimmable option.
What about installing LED bulbs that are non-dimmable with a dimming switch?
If you install a non-dimming LED bulb in a circuit with a dimming switch, it will likely operate normally if the dimmer is at its 100% or fully on. Dimming the bulb, will likely cause erratic behavior such as flickering or buzzing and ultimately may cause damage to the bulb. If you have to do this, we suggest keeping the bulb at full power. Again, as mentioned above, dimmable LED bulbs are overall a better investment.
When shopping for LED bulbs, the color temperature of the light, rated in Kelvin, is a frequently cited specification. Shoppers are often confused if buying a higher Kelvin bulb will produce more light. Lumens are a measurement of total light output while Kelvin describes the color of the light. LED bulbs of a higher Kelvin may appear brighter due to the higher contrast the cooler light provides but often are equal or just slightly brighter on a Lumens measurement.
When it comes down to it, ultimately the choice in color temperature should be made on the basis of which color of light you prefer, for the vast majority this will be the familiar 2700K soft white color we are used to. For those looking for a more daylight or higher contrast light, 4000K or higher color temperatures will provide this.
PAR 20 , 30 and 38 and BR (or R) 20, 30 and 40 despite their similar names are quite different. Though they bear some similarities, understanding their differences will help you make better decisions about which one of these bulbs works best for your needs. They both share almost all of the same features that come with LED Light Bulbs, and therefore you only need to know the following difference between the two types.
R (Reflector) / BR (for bulged reflector) bulbs are lamps with “wide flood” beam angles, which means that they provide more than a 45° (typically 120°) angle when lighting an area. Use BR bulbs when a broad pattern of ambient light is needed such as down a hallway or over a kitchen countertop. BR bulbs also work best in recessed downlights or "pot lights" as they provide the best wide angle illumination.
PAR (short for Parabolic Aluminized Reflector) bulbs are lamps with "spot light" features, meaning that they provide a beam spread that is typically lower than 45°. Use PAR bulbs when attempting to put a focused beam of light on an object such as in track lighting or illuminating artwork. PAR spot lights also work great as outdoor security lighting.
LED bulbs come in several different shapes and sizes with varying base types. To make sure you get the correct LED bulb, it is very important to choose one with the correct base that matches the lamp socket in which it will be installed.
The most common base type of LED bulbs is the Edison bases. They are also referred to as screw-in bases, they are different in size but all are screwed into a fixtures socket. Edison bases are used in an assortment of lamp shapes that include A lamps, BR lamps, decorative lamps, and PAR lamps. LED HID retrofit lamps have either mogul (E39 or E40) or extended (EX39) base.
Bi-pin bases are typically found in small bulbs such as MR8, MR11, and MR16 lamps. They have two pins that make contact with the socket. Two of the most common bi-pin bases are the GU5.3 and GU10. The GU5.3 base simply plugs in and pulls out of the socket. The GU10 base plugs in and twist to lock into place and when the lamp needs to be changed you twist it in the opposite direct and pull it back out.
LED tubes, have several different base types that include a traditional G13 medium bi-pin for T8 lamps, G5 miniature bi-pin for T5 lamps, and Fa8 or R17d bases for 8 foot T8 lamps. PL lamps typically have 2-pin and 4-pin base configurations that fit into square shaped sockets.