About to upgrade your home lighting to the new LED technology? As much as recommended the upgrade is, there are still a few things you need to be on the lookout for if you do not want to waste money unnecessarily. Here are some mistakes to avoid:
- Not considering the ‘temperature’ – the colour of LEDs can be one of the most complex aspects to get right when buying lights. Fortunately, most physical stores tend to have samples on display for you to judge before purchasing one (you are in a bit of hard luck if you are planning to light globes online, however). The colour of the light produced by LEDs is described in terms of the Kelvin scale, which measures the colour in terms of temperature. The lower the Kelvin value, the closer is the colour to yellowish (i.e. ‘warm), whereas the higher the Kelvin value, the closer is the colour to bluish (i.e. ‘cold’). The average incandescent bulb has a temperature of around 2700K, whereas halogen varieties are at around 3200K. LEDs can go as far as 5000K, and this can be a stark difference (and an abrupt surprise!) if you buy them without prior knowledge. Generally, Asian cultures are in favour of colder colours for their lighting, whereas the West might prefer warmer colours. It is advisable to try out the colours before purchasing them, especially if you are upgrading for the first time.
- Dimmers – if you have installed dimmers to work with your previous incandescent or halogen bulbs for your table and floor lamps sets, you might be in for a rude surprise with LEDs. Many LEDs tend to not work properly with dimmers made for other varieties (and rightly so). The reason has to do with the different technologies, and the LEDs will confuse a low brightness setting and tend to instead flicker. It is a good idea to first try out a bulb to see if they work. Dummy loads, or extras in the form of incandescent bulbs to balance out the load, can also be a good idea.
- Supplier – LEDs are made to last for at least two decades, but that is somewhat problematic as well, because certain customers tend to buy without confirming the supplier. Since LEDs are reasonably expensive due to their longer lifespan, an ill-intentioned supplier can scam customers into buying supposedly well-working LEDs only to have them malfunction within a couple of years. As such, make it a priority to first confirm the identity of the supplier before purchasing LEDs. Buying from well-known and popular LED light suppliers is always recommended, as opposed to new upstarts without much of a history behind them.
- Warranty – do not be mistaken into thinking that a warranty makes a supplier reliable. To begin with, when purchasing LEDs, do not buy from suppliers who do not provide a warranty at all. LEDs should come with at least a five-year warranty tag, but the mere presence of one does not clear the supplier from suspicion. In fact, you should understand that the warranty is voided if the supplier stops to exist – whether that is willful or not.