Revising Lighting Choices: CFLs & LEDs

Submitted by Barbara on Mon, 02/28/2011 - 18:14

First came incandescent bulbs, then CFLs now we are onto LEDs.  With this we have changed what sort of lighting fixture we look for in our home.

With incandescent lights and CFL, we looked for fixtures with a minimum of sockets.  Some of the existing fixtures in our home had 5 or more sockets so that even with modest 40 watt bulbs or CFL equivalent, we had fixtures that were putting out 200 watts in a small space.  We had most of our high output fixtures swapped out for more modest second hand before we had experience with LEDs.  Now we are holding onto our fixtures with more sockets. 

Now is a good time to stop buying CFLs.  LED bulbs are very economical if you dont need a very bright bulb hence our suggestion that fixture with more sockets are now more useful than fixture with few sockets. 

Start your own LED revolution by moving your remaining incandescent bulbs and CFLs to fixtures with few sockets or where a lot of light is needed like in the kitchen or bathroom.  Then buy LEDs a few at a time to light rooms where the level of illumination isnt as critical.

We have experimented with a few different types of LED bulbs.

We have some LED corn lights.  These have LEDs arranged like corn on the cob.  We have these brighter lights in our home office.

  • LED quantity:  166
  • Luminous flux: 658 lm
  • Color temperature:  3000-3500K
  • Power:   10W. 

We also purchased some LED par lamps.

  • LED quantity: 38
  • Luminous flux: 225 LM
  • Color temperature: 2700K - 3000K
  • Power: 2W

The par lamps are speced as having 1/3 the lumens at 1/4 the watts and number of LEDs when compared to the corn bulbs which on paper makes the par lamps very attractive.  However, the par lamps are very dim and more inline with their power consumption of only 2 watts than with the specified lumens.  Even with three of the above par lamps in a fixture (225 lm x 3 = 675 lm.  675 lm should have been equivalent to a 75 watt incandescent bulb) they didnt produce a useable amount of light so the lesson is buy LED bulbs but beware and look at all the specifications when selecting a lamp for your fixture in your home.   LEDs come in many more styles and levels of illumination than relatively standardized CFLs and incandescent lamps.