LEDs are becoming an increasingly popular choice with homeowners looking to lessen their environmental impact and decrease their utility bill. With recent advancements in their design, they are quickly becoming the go-to bulb for chandeliers, sconces, and other decorative lighting.
A Bit of History
LED technology traces its beginnings back to the turn of the 20th century, when British inventor H. J. Round discovered the phenomenon of electroluminescence, where a material produces light after an electrical current is run through it. For much of the 20th century, LEDs remained expensive and stayed mostly within the spheres of industry and science. It wasn't until 1994 that the bulb became affordable for commercial use.
LEDs use an electrical current that is passed through semiconductor material, illuminating small diodes
called LEDs. These bulbs stay cool to the touch by absorbing the heat into a heat sink. This makes LED bulbs the perfect choice if you are looking to use a natural beeswax candle sleeve but require a brighter light. The virtually heatless LED bulb will not melt the wax, even at a 40 watt equivalent brightness.
While watt equivalencies can be helpful in determining the level of brightness you will need, the best way to ensure you are getting the right light for your room is to look at the lumens. Below is a guide that can help in the decision making process.
LED bulbs are generally compatible with your existing fixtures. When in doubt we suggest calling the manufacturer to be sure. At Laura Lee Designs, all of our fixtures are LED compatible and we encourage customers to take advantage of this smart, energy-saving bulb choice whenever possible.
We often get the question, "are LED bulbs dimmable?" and the answer is yes. However, a special dimmer is required. This can be purchased easily from your local hardware store and installed by your electrician.
Aesthetics of LED
You may recall earlier versions of LED bulbs as clunky and unappealing. We are happy to report that significant advancements have been made in their design. Whether you want to replace candelabra style bulbs for your chandelier or freshen up your fixture with Edison bulbs, there is now an LED option available. Inquire with us while ordering and we will be happy to guide you through the selection process.
Cost: The Bottom Line
While the price point for these bulbs is often higher than their incandescent and CFL counterparts, they can last 20 years or more, making them a more cost effective choice in the long run. Because they emit little to no heat, you may find your cooling bill reduced, depending on the amount of lights in your home. For larger fixtures with many lights, these costs can add up quickly.