When it comes to choosing the best LED Lights it’s not only about the color, shade, and finish these are the top six-factors you should consider before choosing the best quality LED light for any application.
6 factors for choosing the best-LED lights
- Lumens Per Watt
- Power Factor
- CRI (Colour Rendering Index)
- Colour temperature
- Heat sink
- Life of LED Chip
1. Lumens Per Watt
We normally check the wattage of the LED Lights before choosing the lights and we all know to do it, but gone are days when the strength of light bulbs was measured in watts. Actually, it is a measure of power. During the days of incandescent light bulbs, the strength for lighting was checked by wattage rating, wherein a 100-watt lamp can put out more light compared to a 60-watt lamp.
The reason is that incandescent lamps use the same filament material but 98% of the energy is wasted on heat and only 2% is spent on making light. So, the only way to raise their light output is to increase the wattage. It was our mindset to look wattage on the light packaging to know how bright it would be. But actually, wattage rating has nothing to do with how bright the bulb is.
Newer types of bulbs consume much less power compared to old-style incandescent light bulbs. For eg. LED light bulbs to spend over 90% of their input energy on light instead of heat.
The right way to measure the efficiency of any light sources is based on how many lumens they can produce per watt. We consider kilometers per littler to measure the fuel efficiency of the car, just like the lumens-per-watt rating to check how energy efficient the bulb is. 9 to 12 watts LEDs can produce the same number of lumens as standard 40- or 60-watt bulbs.
So if you want to replace a 60-watt bulb, go for an LED bulb that produces close to 800 lumens; while for a 40-watt bulb, go for 450 lumens.
One thing for sure is that lots of brands produce LED lights having their own standards. You can choose the best one considering the following guidelines.
The chart indicates that as high as Lumens-per- watt of the LED lights, wattage consumption goes down. Ultimately, you can save more money with low-wattage lighting. Let’s understand clearly with practical examples.
Let’s take an example, your requirement for the 2BHK home lighting is 14300 total Lumens.
Now, if you purchase lighting with 110 lumens-per-watt (tagged as Best Quality Standard in the chart), you just require 130 watts power consumption.
If lighting comes with 100 lumens-per-watt, you require 143 watts power consumption.
For lighting with 90 lumens-per-watt, you require 159 watts power consumption.
For lighting with 80 lumens-per-watt, you require 179 watts power consumption.
For lighting with 70 lumens-per-watt, you require 204 watts power consumption.
This is almost 56% more compared to lighting with 110 lumens-per-watt.
Here you can simply check the difference that if you opt for lighting with 70 lumens-per-watt, your wattage consumption would be increased up to 56% than of lighting with 110 Lumens-per-watt.
The next important thing while choosing the best LED Lights is that no doubt you can save a good for opting light with higher Lumens-per-watt, but you may have to pay a bit more as light offering higher Lumens-per-watt are quite expensive. However, this would be the initial investment, as the cost will be recovered by its amazing power-efficacy in less than 2 to 4 years.
So, whenever you look for the best-Led Lights, you should first search for the bulbs that produce the number of lumens you want for enough brightness. Then, check out the lumens-per-watt rating to find the bulb that is the most energy-efficient.
Note: Light Packaging doesn’t show lumens-per-watt directly, takes total lumens that shown on the packaging, and divided with Wattage, and the product will be lumens-per-watt.
2. Power Factor
The power factor is really a vital parameter to check the quality of any electrical instrument. Power Factor is the effective ratio of real power (used power at load) to apparent power from your meter. An intelligent buyer is who not only checks the wattage of any LED Lights but who also check the power factor with wattage.
Let’s take a real example of 2 BHK Homes. Total LED wattage for 2BHK Home is around 120-150 Watt. Lights with high lumens can illuminate your room around 120watt, but if you opted for quality LED Panel light then you need to go around 180-200 watt. Let’s assume the general life of LED is 20,000 Hours.
However there are the Best LED lights available in the market that give more than 50,000 hours of life warranty.
|Actual Consumption (Watt)
|Cost per life
In a simple example, if 7watt LED light packaging label shows 0.7 power factor then it actually consumes 10watt. In short, LED lights with a power factor of 0.9 and above are high in quality.
3. CRI (Color Rendering Index)
CRI may be new to you…but it is an important one to consider if you are concerned about the light source’s ability to show object colors “realistically” or “naturally”. It measures the effect a bulb has on the perceived color of objects based upon an ideal or natural light source. For eg. it is an indicator of how “natural” an object’s color appears when illuminated as blue looks blue or green; red looks red or purple; etc.
CRI is rated on a scale from 0 to 100 and only Sunlight is classified as having a CRI of 100. Colors look exactly like they should underneath a light scoring CRI of 100. So the simple concept: the higher the CRI, the better colors will look and if the lower the CRI, the worse colors will look. The best LED lights in the market will be more than 80+ CRI.
The chart indicates that LED is the second one with a higher rating of CRI following incandescent/ Halogen. However, research and development continue to improve LED lighting up to 100.
Generally, lighting with a CRI of 85 to 90 is considered to be “very good” while a CRI of 90 or greater is “excellent” that can be used for tasks requiring very accurate color discrimination. You require lighting with high CRI for places like art galleries, museums, or jewelry stores where objects are on display.
And for residential lighting, there’s no need for bulbs with a very high CRI, especially in places like the living room or the kitchen. Lighting with a CRI below 70 makes colours look washed out, and can even change the color of objects. For example, the lights you see in highway fixtures is a very yellow light having a very low CRI that makes colors harder to differentiate.
4. Color temperature
LED Lights are available in the wide colour temperature range from 2800K to 6500K as mentioned below.
Warm white: 2700K-3500K (dusk time yellow light)
Neutral white: 4000K-4500K (bright sunlight little yellow)
Cool white: 5000K-6500K (pure white, cool daylight)
In LED color temperature of around 2700K to 3300K gives the same colour tone (yellowish light) as conventional incandescent or halogen lamps.
Some local companies do not describe colour temperature specifications in Kelvin, but they simply label them with “Natural White” or “Office White”. Branded Companies always mention actual specifications so be sure that which colour temperature you are selecting.
Let’s check real examples of the same picture taken under all available LED Light color temperature. Generally buyers choose Cool White for home and office use. Warm white is used in restaurants and hotels.
The color temperature surely affects the colors of things you are seeing than the actual. So be careful while selecting the color temperature of an LED light according to your application and need.
5. Heat sink
Don’t forget that for LED Lights to last a long time, they need a heat sink. That’s why LED bulbs have metal fins that go down the side, making them look different than the classic Edison-style bulb. Heat sink dissolves any excess heat and maintains the LEDs at the best operating temperature as well as gives a boost in terms of life to the main LED chip.
6. Life of LED Chip
At this point, LEDs really score high as their life typically ranges from 20,000 to 50,000 hours. Therefore, LEDs are idyllic for use in areas where maintenance is difficult or long life is essential.
Still, confused about which is the best LED light you should select? Don’t worry we have done the homework for you.
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