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Bulb Flat Buyers

In fact, the Energy Department projects that this new policy will save US consumers almost $3 billion on their utility bills, all while cutting global-warming carbon emissions by 222 million metric tons over the next 30 years. And if the cost and environmental benefits aren't enough to sell you, LED bulbs have many interesting and worthwhile features, including bulbs that change colors, and bulbs that sync with your home security system or voice assistant of choice.

bulb flat buyers

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When shopping for bulbs, you're probably accustomed to looking for watts as an indication of how bright the bulb will be. That's because with incandescents, the wattage is a reliable indicator of how much light the bulb will emit: The greater the bulb's wattage, the greater that tungsten filament inside will glow. The brightness of LEDs, however, is determined a little differently.

Contrary to common belief, wattage isn't an indication of brightness, but a measurement of how much energy the bulb draws. For incandescents, there is an accepted correlation between the watts drawn and the brightness produced, but for LEDs, watts aren't a great predictor of how bright the bulb will be. That's because LEDs are designed to be as efficient as possible without compromising the quality of the light -- and some LEDs are better at the job than others.

For example, an LED bulb with comparable brightness to a 60-watt incandescent will typically only draw 8 to 12 watts. Imagine you see two LEDs sitting on the shelf at the store, each of them branded as a 60-watt replacement. One draws 8 watts, the other draws 12 watts. It is absolutely possible that the 8-watt bulb will be brighter than the 12-watt bulb, which is why you should essentially ignore the wattage when you're looking for brightness from your LED bulbs.

Fortunately, there's a better way to talk about brightness, and that's the lumen. The lumen (lm) is the real measurement of brightness provided by a lightbulb, and it's the number you should look for when shopping for LEDs. For reference, here's a chart that shows the watt-lumen conversion for incandescents and LEDs.

As shown off by Philips Hue, LED bulbs are capable of displaying an impressive color range, from purple to red, to a full spectrum of whites and yellows. For the home, however, you're likely looking for something similar to the light that incandescents produce.

Soft white and warm white will produce a yellow, candle-like glow, close to incandescents, while bulbs labeled as bright white or daylight will produce a whiter light, closer to daylight and similar to what you see in offices and retail stores.

If you want to get technical, the color of light on the white light spectrum is called color temperature, and it's measured on the Kelvin scale. The lower the number, the warmer (yellower) the light. Your typical soft white incandescent is somewhere between 2,700K and 3,500K, so if that's the color you're going for, look for that range while shopping for LED bulbs. Want something daylight toned? Look for bulbs rated at 5,000K or higher.

It used to be that you could grab an incandescent bulb at the hardware store for a buck or so. Then, LEDs came along -- most of them costing a lot more. Thankfully, several years of development and competition have brought prices down to the point where you'll find plenty of LED options in the lightbulb aisle available for $5 or less.

But the dollars and cents don't stop there. You need to factor in the cost of using the bulb -- and the great thing about LEDs is that using them doesn't cost very much at all. For instance, a traditional 60-watt incandescent lightbulb will add about $7 to your energy bill each year if you use it, on average, for three hours a day. A 60-watt replacement LED that puts out the same amount of light will draw as little as 8 watts, and only add about a buck to your energy bill over that same year-long span.

In other words, even if the LED costs $5 and the incandescent is a freebie that you found rolling around in a drawer somewhere, the LED is still the less expensive option after less than a year of use. In the meantime, you'll enjoy less heat production, longer bulb life and even the option of controlling them with your smartphone. It won't burn out after a year, either.

Most of the existing dimmers in homes today were likely designed to work with incandescents. Dimmers like those work by cutting off the amount of electricity sent to the bulb in rapid-fire succession, faster than the eye can detect. LEDs draw a lot less energy, so they don't always work well with dimmers like that. (Here's a handy guide that goes a little deeper into the reasons why.)

The first thing to do if you're buying LEDs that you want to use with a dimmer switch is to make sure that you buy bulbs that are, in fact, dimmable. Most manufacturers offer nondimmable LED bulbs with no onboard dimming hardware whatsoever, and while those are fine if you want to save a buck or two on a bulb intended for a nondimmable fixture, they're the last thing you want if you like the lights dimmed down low.

My second recommendation? Start with a single bulb from a major manufacturer and hang onto the receipt. Try it out with the dimmers in your home, and if it works, feel free to buy as many as you need. If not, most major retailers will be happy to let you return the bulb and exchange it for something else. At some point, you might also consider upgrading your dimmers to newer models designed to work with LEDs. Big names like Lutron and Leviton are your best bet there.

One last point: If dimming is truly important in your home, then you should really consider smart bulbs. Most use their own, built-in mechanisms to handle dimming, so you don't need a dimmer switch at all. Dimming mechanisms like those are great because they won't flicker or buzz, and you'll usually be able to sync things up with a voice assistant like Siri or Alexa, which opens the door to commands like, "set the lights to 20%."

You probably know that LED bulbs run a lot cooler than their incandescent cousins, but that doesn't mean they don't produce heat. LED bulbs do get hot, but the heat is pulled away by a heat sink in the base of the bulb. From there, the heat dissipates into the air and the LED bulb stays cool, helping to keep its promise of a long life.

And therein lies the problem: The bulb needs a way to dissipate the heat. If an LED bulb is placed in an enclosed housing, the heat won't have anywhere to go, sending it right back to the bulb and sentencing it to a slow and painful death.

That's why it's fine to stick with incandescent, fluorescent and halogen bulbs for enclosed fixtures. LEDs will work, too, but in some cases, the heat buildup inside the fixture will reduce the bulb's lifespan.

Light bulbs. Everyone uses them. And there are plenty of options when it comes to what kinds of light bulbs to use in your home or apartment. Read this guide to learn how to choose the right light bulbs for your home.

Daylight light shows off colors and details, and is great for reading, craft rooms and workshops, and accent lighting. Fun fact: Popular in workplaces, Daylight bulbs are thought to increase productivity.

The second way is to purchase a corresponding hub like the Philips Bridge to set up the smart bulbs. A smart hub acts as the middle man between your bulb and wireless router. All you have to do is connect the bridge to your WiFi router. Once the three lights on the bridge appear, you can finish up the setup process by downloading the Philips Hue app. Note that the exact setup process may differ by brand.

Since all smart light bulbs are LED (light-emitting diode), you can expect these light bulbs to last much longer than your old incandescent bulbs. And because LED bulbs are 90 percent more efficient than incandescent light bulbs, you may even see a reduction in your energy bill with enough smart bulbs on the premises.

Also, many companies make smart lighting starter kits that include bulbs, switches, hubs, and other necessary accessories to get you set up. By purchasing a bundle, you may be able to save some money. If you are looking for a starter kit, we found the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit Gen 3 has the best smart bulbs. Why? Our testing found that it is easy to set up, offers a large list of helpful features, and is compatible with an intuitive app to help you control the whole system.

Looking to add a pop of color to your space? Smart light bulbs can help with that. For example, take the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 Starter Kit. You can set the bulbs to a certain color to help wake you up in the morning, go to bed at night, and it's compatible with Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant.

Colorful smart home bulbs also let you change the tone based on your mood or an event such as a birthday party. You can set some smart light bulbs to change color (and switch back) at certain times via a compatible app.

Whether your place of residence was built over 100 years ago or is newly-constructed, you can use smart light bulbs to bring some convenience into your everyday life. Smart light bulbs can be used in lamps, installed in pre-existing light fixtures in the home, and, really, anywhere you would install a traditional bulb.

An incandescent 60-watt bulb, for example, gives off 800 lumens of light. And LED bulbs, which are more energy efficient than their incandescent counterparts, can deliver the same amount of light using as little as 10 watts.

The Environmental Protection Agency says that if every household replaced just one incandescent bulb with an "Energy Star"-rated LED or CFL (compact fluorescent), Americans would save close to $700 million per year in energy costs.

When we asked for your questions about light bulbs, we got an earful. So we called in Noah Horowitz, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's Center for Energy Efficiency, to answer your most frequently asked questions.

As not all CFLs are created equal, only buy those that have the Energy Star logo on them. Those bulbs are not only efficient but also meet the Environmental Protection Agency's rigorous performance requirements and must pass various tests including longevity. Switching your CFL on and off frequently may shorten its life. Additionally, CFLs may not turn on or reach their full brightness in really cold temperatures. 041b061a72

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