Today at the house I’m working on, I decided to change out the bulbs in the living room. The wall has two sconces I installed some time ago.
When I got the light fixtures, they came with two inefficient incandescent bulbs that looked okay, but the color of light is too yellow, which reminded me of an old, out-of-date home.
Many of these types of fixtures come with these cheap, inept lights — which is a selling point for the manufacturer.
Having the light bulbs included with the package is similar to buying a toy with cheap batteries included. I mean, wouldn’t you purchase it too if you didn’t have to buy additional batteries?
And since I was going to the local home store anyway, I decided to pick up new bulbs while I was there. Currently, LEDs are taking over the lightbulb displays in most home and hardware stores.
See also: Adding Exterior Security Lighting
One main reason is their very low wattage use, while emitting the same (if not more) lumens of traditional bulbs. Lumens can be thought of as the amount of visible light emitted, measured in candelas. Lumens equal brightness. Another reason is they don’t burn out like CFLs or incandescents, and they’re much safer.
The existing incandescent bulbs that are in the sconces are 60 watts each. They are candle style, which is a representation meant to mimic a lit candle light. They also have very small screw-in type sockets. I’ll have match them up, which shouldn’t be a problem.
The new LED bulbs in this same candle style also incorporate small, socket screw ins. The only other main factor when I choose the LEDs will be either daylight bulbs, which have a really white-colored light, or warm light which has a yellowish tone of conventional incandescent bulbs.
After much thought, I chose the white-colored light, because I want to add a little contrast to the retrofitted recessed lighting I have installed.
After arriving at the house, I then unscrewed the old incandescent bulbs from the sconces. The bulbs were blaring hot. I almost burnt the tips of my fingers! So I waited at least 10 minutes for them to cool down before even removing them.
I then screwed in the LEDs. They are noticeably heavier than the old bulbs. But here is the kicker: these new LED bulbs use only four watts per bulb! So, from 60 watts to 4 watts per bulb is an incredible energy savings. The LEDs also run a little warm, but nothing in comparison to how hot the incandescent was.
You’ll spend significantly more for LED light bulbs, but they last a very long time. So, the cost is recouped over the life of the bulb. Spend the money up front now and see the savings add up on your electrical bill.
In the above picture, you’ll notice that there isn’t much of a difference in terms of brightness. The sconce on the left has the new LED bulb installed. A LED uses about 1/6 of the power of an incandescent bulb, but will give you the same amount of useable light.
I try to recommend to people to swap out all their old bulbs — even CFLs. You never have to worry about dropping an LED and it shattering, because most of them have a plastic globe. So they’re pretty tough.
A CFL or incandescent is rendered useless the minute you drop it to the floor. Not to mention the dust that comes from a broken CFL bulb, which is known to cause health problems.
You can find virtually any kind of replacement scenario — from outside security lights to specialized lighting fixtures. You can even get replacement fixtures for bedrooms and hallways in which you never even have to change the bulb. You simply install the fixture and never worry about replacing the unit for years to come. That’s what I call a “long life”.
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