How to Change From a Regular Light to an LED

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Changing an incandescent light to an LED light can be as easy as screwing in a new bulb. LED lights save electricity and will last for as many as 10 years, but consideration must be given to the LED expense, purposes for the light, the type of LED lamp and placement of the fixture. For the right situation, an LED light is a good long-term solution.

Things You'll Need

  • LED bulb
  • Ladder (if needed)
  • Consider where to install the LED. If the light will be in a location that is difficult to reach, then an LED may be a good candidate for either an indoor or outdoor fixture.

  • Direct the light downward if possible. LED lights are directional, so don't expect the light to flood a large area. Some LED bulbs are advertised as floodlights, but even those do not distribute light more than at a 45- to 60-degree angle. LEDs to be introduced in late 2010 may overcome this problem.

  • Installing higher intensity bulbs may require PAR 20 or PAR 30 fixtures. These bulbs will contain 36 or more individual LEDs. PAR sizes are measured in eighths of an inch. A PAR 30 bulb, which is 3 3/4 inches in diameter, is good for track lighting or any overhead lighting situation.

  • Producing more light in a standard bulb for the home market is now the goal of manufacturers. By the end of 2010, several LED bulbs will have the equivalent light output of a 60- or 75-watt incandescent bulb. As of May 2010, the highest intensity bulbs are the equivalent of 40- to 50-watt incandescent bulbs.

  • Look for the color of the light when purchasing LED bulbs. Most LEDs are available in white or warm.

  • Buying LED lights can be expensive. Expect to pay $30 to $60 per bulb for modestly bright bulbs. When the new LED lights come on the market in late 2010, the price may come down. Manufacturers are looking ahead to 2014, when the sale of incandescent bulbs will be prohibited.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check the large home improvement stores for the new LED bulbs as they come on the market.

References

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