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Incandescent to LED

We have 3 Hampton Bay Ceiling Fans with a Light Kit.  I want to change from Incandescent to LED bulbs.  Currently, we have 3, small base, blunt tip,  60W bulbs in each light kit.  I don't know what to get, the 25W or the 40W.  Additionally, I need to know what would be the best type of "light" for a ceiling fan.  I really need to chase away the shadows and need a good even light so I can at least see what I'm doing.
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Posted 2015-08-13T15:53:21+0000  by allaboutcats allaboutcats
I'm glad you asked this question.  With the advent of compact fluorescent and LEDs buying a light bulb became a lot more complicated.  On the bright side, if LEDs last as long as they are advertised to, then it won't be something we do too often.

There are three things that should be considered when purchasing a bulb:

Lumens:  Is the measure of light output of a bulb.  When we just had old fashioned incandescent bulbs, everyone knew that a 100 watt bulb was brighter than a 75 watt, which was brighter than a 60 watt.  If you wanted more light, you put in a bigger bulb.  Today CFL and LED are marketed as "equivalent" to the old bulbs.  Now when I think of the word "equivalent" I think "about the same" but, especially for LEDs a bulb advertised as "equivalent" may put out 20 to 40% less light. While LED lamps also list wattage, it is a bit more complicated because not all diodes are created equal and one brand may put out slightly more or less than another.  Instead, I would suggest looking at the side of the package for the lumens of the bulb.

In your case, I would suggest starting with a package of the incandescent bulbs you want to replace and then selecting an LED bulb that puts out at least that much light.  Most fan lights and other light fixtures list a maximum wattage bulb that can be used in the fixture.  Since LEDs (and CFLs) are so much more efficient than incandescent bulbs, you can use a larger "equivalent" bulb.  So an "equivalent" 100 watt LED bulb may only use 13 watts of power, far below the limit of the fixture.  That's a nice benefit, especially for something like a closet or garage where there might be only one fixture; it's possible to use a much brighter bulb without creating a hazard.

Color Temperature:
  Basically how "warm" (yellow) or "cool" (blue) the light from a bulb appears.  It's measured in degrees Kelvin, ranging from about 2700K to 6500K.  2700K is generally considered "warm white", 4100K "cool white" and 6500K "daylight".  Regular incandescent bulbs are about 2700K-2800K.  Mostly color temperature is a matter of personal preference because they can give a space a "feeling".  Cool white (fluorescent) bulbs are very common in commercial settings.

Color Rendering Index (CRI):  Measures how accurately colors are reproduced and measure on a scale of <0-100 with 100 being the most accurate.  High CRI usually is not that critical in the home unless you're doing something that requires high color accuracy, perhaps wood finishing or crafts like sewing or painting.  Most LED and CFL bulbs have a CRI of 80-85.  Higher accuracy (90+) bulbs are available, generally at a higher cost.  If you're interested in seeing the effect of a poor CRI, look at colors under a high pressure sodium lamp (CRI 25) commonly used in street and parking lights.  The high pressure sodium lights are on the left in the picture.

Hope this helps and if you have any more questions, please feel free to ask.

Posted 2015-08-14T11:39:12+0000  by Adam444
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