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Buying an A-Lamp LED Light Bulb? Consider These Four Items March 17, 2014

Posted by bowmanlamps in LED lighting.

Have you ever fealt frustrated  when buying a light bulb?  What used to be simple has become a bit complicated. Take heart.  It’s really not that complicated.

For simplicity sake, let’s narrow things down to four things to consider when buying an LED A-lamp, the standard light bulb shape which we all know and love. Here are things to consider:

1. Light disribution – A standard incandescent light bulb (or lamp as it is known in the lighting industry) gives off light in all directions. LED lamps are more limited, sending out light in one direction. A good general purpose LED gives off light at about 230 degrees. That would do best in a fixture with a backing.  A good omni-directional lamp expands the light beam to 270 degrees – which would do best in a table lamp or fixture without a backing.

2. How much light – Most LED A-bulbs on the market today use seven Watts to replace a 40-Watt incandescent, or about 10 Watts to replace a 60 Watt incandescent. There are a few manufacturers producing a 100 Watt equivalent, but I would wait a little longer until the technology is tried and true. When comparing LED A-lamps, you may also want to consider the lumens.  It is a more accurate rendition of light output. A lamp which uses 7 Watts to replace a 40 Watt incandescent will generate between 450 to 500 lumens.  A lamp which uses 10 Watts to replace a 60 Watt incandescent will generate between 800 and 900 lumens. The information is generally readily available on the box.

3. Light Color – There are many variations of white available in today’s lighting.  The selection can be based on room color, the amount of lights, available daylight, and just plain preference. In genera, the lower the Kelvin number the more yellow the light color, while the higher the number, the more white a bulb gets, even into a blue range.  Lamps marked 2700K are considered warm white and most resemble a standard incandescent. A 3000K lamps is also considered a warm white, but most resembles the white color of a halogen lamp.  3500K and 4100K are considered a cool or bright white and are often seen in office situations. Daylight white, 5000K to 6500K, is considered most like the noonday sun. Some people prefere this color for reading, small handwork, and even growing plants. But when all is said and done, it comes down to personal preference. I’ve had husbands proudly light the kitchen with 5000K daylight bulbs, only to have their wives state “it looks like we should be disecting frogs in here!”

4. Dimmable or Non-dimmable?  Perhaps the biggest part of this question is that it has to be considered at all.  Incandescents are fully dimmable. However LEDs are manufactured as dimmable or non-dimmable. And while a dimmable lamp can be used in a non-dimmable socket, a non-dimmable lamp  is limited to non-dimming sockets.  Most dimmable LEDs work well with a basic, non-illuminated dimmer. However there are dimmers designed just for LED use.

As mentioned earlier, most of these items depend on preference. If you are planning to retrofit a room or more, please consider purchasing a few samples before investing in LED lighting. There are many variations available, so give a few a try.

Visit the LED A-lamp section if you would like to place an oreder.  Use coupon code Take10 during check-out for 10% off an LED A-lamp purchase from bowmanlamps.com.



1. Michael - June 3, 2016

Very helpful. My mother is getting older now and she wants more light but also wants to save energy since she is on a fixed income. Her living room has a ceiling fan with a light dimmer. The room always has a yellow tint to it. After reading this article,I now know what I’m looking for and will be better able to brighten my Mother’s world and save energy. Thank you very much.

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