UK next day delivery available Monday to Friday - order by 2pm UK next day delivery available Monday to Friday - order by 2pm

    A Guide For Switching to LED Bulbs

    The lighting in a typical home and office accounts for roughly 20% of the overall energy consumption, so it is no surprise that homeowners and businesses alike are looking at ways to reduce their energy consumption.

    LED bulb chart

    One of the easiest ways to reduce your lighting energy consumption, and therefore save money in both the short and long term, is to switch to LED bulbs.

    About LED Bulbs:

    LED bulbs are by no means a new technology, in fact such bulbs have been around for over 50 years, but it is only in recent years which they have began to emerge as a popular choice for lighting in homes, and for good reason.

    With an EU ban on halogen bulbs scheduled for 2018, it is widely expected that LED bulbs will become even more popular in homes throughout the UK, and to help you get the best LED bulbs for your home we've produced this guide.

    How LED Bulbs Produce Light:

    LED bulbs differ to traditional incandescent bulbs in the way they produce light. Unlike their incandescent counterparts which pass electricity through a filament, LEDs produce light through the use of a semi-conductor, which emits light energy when an electrical current is passed through it.

    Selecting a Base Shape:

    When it comes to selecting an LED bulb, it's important to make sure you get the correct base shape, and some of those available to choose from, are as follows:

      I) Bayonet Cap - these bases come with a push-and-twist action and 2 locating lugs, although they're also available in 3-Pin and B22D-3.

      II) Small Bayonet Cap - these are almost identical to the Bayonet Cap, but instead of being 22mm in diameter, are typically 15mm in diameter.

      III) Screw Cap (ES) - the most popular ES bulb is the E27 which is 27mm in diameter and is a common bulb throughout homes in the UK.

      IV) Small Screw Cap (SES) - the small screw cap bulb traditionally has a base of 14mm, and is often found in decorative fittings such as chandeliers.

      V) G9 - also known as capsules and found in 240v mains applications, the G9 bases typically come with a 9mm base.

      VI) GU10 - these bases come with a twist-and-lock fitting and are bi-pins - predominately used in spot lighting.

      VII) MR16 - bi-pin bases with a push fit, often found in 12v low-voltage spotlight circuits which include a transformer.

    Picking the Right LED Bulb Shape:

    As with the base shape, the shape of the bulb can vary with LED bulbs and whilst there are a variety of shapes available, three of the more common shapes are:

      I) Candle - also known as B35 or C type bulbs, these are ideal for chandeliers and wall lamps and come similar in shape to a flame on a candle.

      II) Classic Globe - also known as A/A60 type or GLS bulbs, classic globes are used in ceiling fittings, table, wall and floor lamps. It's also possible to get a mini-globe shape which is also known as a G or P45 type bulb.

      III) Spotlight - perfect for ceiling fittings, particularly in bathrooms and kitchens where spotlighting is popular. These bulbs can also be referred to as PAR16 bulbs.

    Brightness of Light - Watts vs. Lumens:

    When it comes to selecting an LED bulb which is bright enough for your requirements, instead of thinking about watts, as you may have done when purchasing incandescent and halogen bulbs, you need to think about lumens and the "warmth" of the light.

    The measurement of lumens, which is shown as "lm" on the packaging of bulbs, is the measurement of light / brightness the human eye perceives, although they don't describe the quality of light generated.

    Lumens are also considered to be the real measurement of brightness provided by a bulb, and to help you get the right brightness for your needs it's worth bearing in mind that as a rule of thumb...

      I) 25 watts = 230-270 lumens

      II) 40 watts = 440-460 lumens

      III) 60 watts = 800-850 lumens

    It is also suggested that an LED bulb which uses between 9 and 12 watts is bright enough to replace an incandescent bulb which is 40 to 60 watts - the most popular wattage throughout homes in the UK.

    In addition to checking the "lm" rating of the LED bulbs, we also recommend you pay attention to the "temperature of light" offered by the bulb. This is often referred to as "Kelvins" or "Warm White", "Cold White" and "Daylight".

      I) Warm White - such bulbs replicate the warm, slight yellow glow of an incandescent or halogen bulb, and are around 2,700 Kelvins.

      II) Cool White - perfect if you're looking for a brighter more clinical light, which is usually reserved for bathrooms / kitchens , and these such bulbs are anywhere between 3,000 and 4,000 Kelvins.

      III) Daylight - these offer a very white light with a slight tinge of blue, and fall between 5,500 and 6,500 Kelvins.

    Why You Should Switch to LED Bulbs:

    Along with the EU ban on halogen bulbs set to come into place in 2018, switching to LED bulbs can offer a multitude of benefits to homeowners and businesses alike - due to the unique selling points offered, including:

      I) LEDs light up instantly as full brightness, unlike other bulbs such as CFLs which can take up to a minute to reach 95% brightness.

      II) LEDs run at a much cooler temperature than traditional bulbs, meaning they don't get as hot or waste energy (and therefore money) on heat.

      III) LEDs have an average lifespan of between 20,000 and 50,000 hours- significantly longer than traditional bulbs, helping save money in the long run.

      IV) LEDs are highly durable and don't feature fragile elements such as glass tubes or filaments, whilst they're also safer as they don't contain any mercury or lead.

    Finally, switching to LED bulbs can save you money with it being estimated that by switching from 10 incandescent old style bulbs to LED bulbs, you can save as much as £240 a year. However, it is worth noting how much you actually save will depend on a number of factors, including:

      I) How many bulbs you have and what type of bulb you currently have (e.g. halogen)

      II) The wattage of your existing bulb and what you're changing to

      III) How much kW/hr your current electricity is costing you

    LED bulbs

    * All information provided is a guide only. BuySpares accepts no liability for any problems occurred while attempting any advice shown. If in any doubt contact a qualified repair service.