A Simple Way to Read LED Light Bulb Labels
Let’s talk about two intimidating terms on LED packaging: Kelvin and Lumens. They’re not nearly as complicated as they sound and (spoiler alert) you can mostly get away with ignoring them. Here are a couple of word tricks we use to remember what those two mean.
Lumen is a measurement of brightness, or how much light a bulb gives off. (Both L words). Alternately, you can think of it as how much it will illuminate a space. More Lumens = More Light.
Kelvin is a measurement of color temperature, or how warm (yellow) or cool (blue) the light is. The more Ks a bulb has the “kolder” the temperature will be. (Both K words … Sort of!) So, a 4000K bulb is cooler (bluer) looking than a 3000K bulb, while the 2700K is warmer (yellow).
The good news is that most light bulb packaging still includes familiar shorthands. “Lumens” often correlates to a “wattage equivalent,” so if you’re currently using a 60-watt bulb in a fixture, you should be fine putting a 60-watt-equivalent LED in its place (typically around 800 lumens). There are exceptions, like specialty Edison-style LEDs that have a much lower light output. So, it’s helpful to double-check the lumens on the label. Kelvin also has a plain English correlation, and that is to terms like “warm white,” “soft white” or “daylight.”
We invite you to Light Innovations for all your light bulb needs. Our knowledgeable staff will help you sort out which is right for you.
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