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How do you find equivalent LED bulbs?

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Quick Answer

Find equivalent light-emitting diode bulbs by comparing lumens instead of watts. While you may be accustomed to buying incandescent bulbs by watts, that figure is actually a measure of energy the lamp consumes and is not a accurate measure of the light it produces. A 60-watt incandescent lamp produces approximately 800 lumens, the same as an 8- to 12-watt LED bulb, depending on the manufacturer.

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LED lights are capable of creating many different colors of light. Most consumers prefer lamps that replicate light that is about the same color as an incandescent bulb. White LED lamps are available in bright, soft and warm white. Bright white is similar to the lighting in retail stores, while soft and warm white are closer to the typical lighting in a home.

Some LED bulbs are not compatible with traditional dimmer switches. If replacing an incandescent light that uses this type of switch, you must choose a dimmable bulb or change the switch to a leading edge dimmer.

While LED lamps produce less heat than incandescent, they require ventilation to dissipate the heat they produce. Use in recessed or enclosed fixtures reduces the lifespan of normal LED bulbs significantly. For these fixtures, look for special bulbs that the manufacturer designs to last in the warmer environment.

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