LED (light-emitting diodes) lights are a smart solution for lighting our homes, and the best LED bulbs help us save energy (and therefore money) in the long term.
LED lights consume far less energy than traditional light sources (such as incandescent or compact fluorescent light bulbs), but they are able to emit the same brightness. This is because of their excellent thermal efficiency, removing heat through heat sinks to prolong the life expectancy of the bulb.
Their versatility means you can integrate LED bulbs into your Smart home tech, use them to create an intimate party atmosphere and use them as night lights for your children.
These are five of best LED bulbs available whatever your requirements.
Best LED Bulbs
1. TP-Link Kasa Smart Bulb (KL110)
The best dimmable bulb
Brightness: 800 lumens | Bulb fitting: E27 screw | Energy rating: A+ | Hub required?: No
The best dimmable LED bulb around, the TP-Link Kasa Smart Bulb connects to your home’s Wi-Fi through the free Kasa app - from there you can easily manage your lights with your smartphone or tablet.
You can dim or raise the brightness (from 1% to 100%), and the quality of the white bulbs are superb - they are compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant and Cortana. You can also buy a colour changeable bulb.
The only negative is that it has no remote controls available, so the main method of using the lights is the app.
2. AmazonBasics LED Bulb
There's nothing basic about this LED bulb
Brightness: 806 lumens | Bulb fitting: E27 screw | Energy rating: A++ | Hub required?: No
This is a super efficient LED bulb from Amazon, which uses just 7 watts of energy and costs just £1.07 per year to operate.
It provides vivid white colour and requires no waiting time to warm up to full brightness. You won’t have to worry about replacing these bulbs any time soon either. With a lifespan of 15,000 hours, the bulbs will last over 13 years (based on three hours of use per day).
Buying in bulk is a great way of setting the bulbs up around the house and not worrying about replacing them for a long time.
3. Philips Hue White and Colour Ambiance Starter Kit
A standout product for your smart home
Brightness : 806 lumens | Bulb fitting: B22 Bayonet | Energy rating: A+ | Hub required: Yes
Phillips’ smart LED bulbs can be used to overhaul your entire lighting system to make it internet connected, offering good integration with HomeKit, Google Assistant other home assistants.
The Philips Hue White and Colour Ambiance Starter Kit is a leading product to transform your smart home. You can play with 16 million colours to create the perfect atmosphere in any room.
While it works out of the box via the Philips Hue Bluetooth app, it's worth paying separately for the Philips Hue Bridge which lets you sync your light with your music, movies and games. You'll also need the bridge in order to connect to Alexa.
4. Genixgreen C7 LED Bulb
The best night light
Brightness: 50 lumens | Bulb fitting: E14 screw | Energy rating: A++ | Hub required: No
This amber LED bulb from Genixgreen helps to create a relaxing atmosphere and works brilliantly as a night light. It’s perfect for toddlers, relaxing in bed, or setting mood lights.
It is also extremely economical to run, featuring a long life span that provides over 25,000 hours of brightness and low power consumption.
It also comes with short-circuit protection and over temperature protection to give you peace of mind when your children are asleep in the next room.
5. Integral LED 11w Classic Globe
One of the best all-rounders
Brightness: 1060 lumens | Bulb fitting: B22 Bayonet | Energy rating: A+ | Best for: Living rooms, hallways, kitchens
For a cheap LED bulb you can use in living rooms, hallways and kitchens, you won’t find much better than Integral’s Classic Globe GLS (General Lamp Shade) LED bulb.
It is quite simply a powerful white light, with a brightness of 1060 lumens which is thermally efficient and includes multiple everlight LEDs. The only slight downside is that it is not dimmable.
How to Choose the Best LED Bulb
Before you begin to shop for an LED bulb, it’s important to consider which rooms you want to install them in, and to review the specifications of bulbs to make sure they’re suitable for your home.
The brightness of LED bulbs is measured in lumens, or Lm. The higher the number of lumens, the brighter the bulb. This measurement exists because LED energy-efficient bulbs use considerably fewer watts than traditional light sources, so the lumens measurement helps to solely review brightness.
As a rough guide, around 350-450 lumens would be suitable for a bed-sized table lamp, whereas for a larger-size living room you’d be looking for between 2,000 and 3,000 lumens.
LEDs are available to fit most fittings, but you’ll need to shop around if the bulb you want does not come in your required fitting.
LED lights can cost more in the short-term, but they’re a far more cost-effective investment in the long-term. Not only will they help to reduce your energy costs, but using LED lights cuts carbon emissions through using less energy than you would with incandescent or compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) bulbs.
More Best Buys and Smart Home Tips
Jack is News Editor for Homebuilding & Renovating, and strives to break the most relevant and beneficial stories for self builders, extenders and renovators, including the latest news on the construction materials shortage and planning reforms. Having bought his first home in 2013, he and his wife have renovated almost every room and recently finished a garden renovation.
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