The Main Types of LED Lighting for Making the Switch

by John Rieselman | Apr 7, 2021 4:09:12 PM

Homeowners everywhere are making the switch to LED light bulbs and fixtures for more efficient, longer-lasting lighting.

We understand why! Incandescents just can’t compare— but before you go shopping, it helps to know what LED type to look for.

Here are some common forms of LED bulbs, including the most popular lighting colors and special features to narrow down your selection.

Common LED Bulb Types

First thing’s first: choosing the shape of your bulb.

  • Standard. Your everyday run-of-the-mill LED bulb shape is great for many home purposes, including overhead lighting, spotlights, reading lamps and normal fixed lighting. That’s because it disperses light at a wide-angle and isn’t directional.
  • Can. This type of LED has a wider shape like a floodlight and contains bulged reflectors. These features make them ideal for recessed areas or downlights where you want wider illumination spread.
  • Flood. These kinds of LED bulbs are often used in an outdoor setting, with the intention of producing a bright yet narrow beam of light for brightening a specific area, like in front of your garage or shed.
  • Globe. Globe bulbs are just like they sound— round. Because of their unique shape, these LEDs are omnidirectional and often used over bathroom counters or inside of classic pendant lights.
  • Candle. These LED bulbs are oblong and slender, like a skinny version of a traditional light bulb. They are designed to mimic the look of the light produced at the end of a candle wick and are chosen for their sleek form to accent decorative fixtures. They even look stylish as accent lights.
  • Tube. These LED bulbs are shaped like a short lightsaber, often used in industrial-style decor. Because of their manufactured look, they often end up in kitchens or offices, giving the room a more formal, productive appearance.
  • Edison. For a more vintage look, some get the Edison bulb-shaped LEDs. These give off an old-school ambiance, perfect for cozy spaces like living rooms or home bars— and are even used outdoors for patio lighting.

LED Bulb Color Temperatures

Next, you want to consider the mood the LED lighting will create in your home by choosing the right temperature tone for your space.

Depending on the brand you choose, the temperatures are grouped by the following hue range, defined by the Kelvin (K) used:

  • Warm white. This color falls more on the orange/yellow hue and is usually your standard color in LED bulbs. It’s much like your usual incandescent color, creating a cozy, comforting feeling that’s often used in family and dining rooms or bedrooms.
  • Neutral or soft white. Cool white is somewhere in between the red and blue scale, creating a more neutralized look. It’s bright without whiteness and is often seen in offices, garages or areas where you might want a more lively energy like a kitchen.
  • Daylight. Daylight has a slightly grayish tone vs. the brown undertone of the previously mentioned shades. These bulbs produce a more natural white light with a hint of coolness. While this hue is often used in retail spaces, some homeowners like the cool, bright look in their living rooms or bathrooms as opposed to a warmer yellowish light.
  • Crystal white. Some LED brand providers offer a super white glow. This shade is exceptionally clear, giving you a cool look without true blue undertones. Some homeowners with very modern spaces like these LEDs for white-heavy spaces like kitchens, laundry rooms, bathrooms, etc. to truly bring out the whiteness in the space.

LED lighting color temperatures range from 2300K to 6000K, so some brands have more granular options than the four listed above.

Special Features of LED Bulbs

In addition to the color temperature selections, LED lights may also include other features, such as:

  • Dimmability. While not all LED bulbs come with dimmable features out of the box, you can upgrade to lights with the ability to lower and raise the intensity of light. This is ideal for creating softer moods, such as low light in the morning or evenings as you wake or unwind— but bright light when it’s needed most.
  • Smart bulbs. Imagine being able to turn on your lights from your phone— or being able to switch them to funky colors like purple or red. Some manufacturers make LEDs that connect with your WiFi or Bluetooth for convenient remote control and complete customization. 
  • ENERGY STAR ratings. Many bulb manufacturers boast that their LEDs are efficient, but don’t believe them unless they have ENERGY STAR-approval. According to their website, “earning the ENERGY STAR certification means the product meets strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the US Environmental Protection Agency” and guarantees you’re using less energy. Plus, it helps to ensure your color control and vibrance.

Looking to Make the Switch to LED?

Think of how many bulbs you have all throughout your house. Wouldn’t it be easier to have a professional electrician consult you on the best shapes, temperatures and features and replace them for you?

Explore our Residential Electrical Services to request LED upgrade assistance, today.

Subscribe Now

Additional Reading