A new era of energy-saving light bulbs has arrived. With pressure and mandates from the government to look to alternative, environmentally-friendlier artificial sources of light, light bulbs become a viable option. There are many aspects to consider before purchasing these bulbs. The average cost of an individual bulb can range anywhere from five to twenty-five dollars, with an average output wattage of four to twenty-two watts, and an average life length of 20,000-50,000 hours. In comparison to incandescent bulbs, one LED light bulb only uses a minute portion of wattage, yet still yielding a high quality of light. The average life length of these bulbs really pays off in the end, as these bulbs can last up to decades, Energy Star ensured. It is important to note that bulbs do not flicker and go out, like their traditional light bulb counterpart; rather they gradually get dimmer over time. With all these positive benefits, it is tempting to go out and purchase these LED bulbs. However, there are several different models and styles that can become confusing. Below is a guide how to help you make the right decision based on your own personal needs.

For any lamp, including pendants, buy the A-shaped bulb. The A-shaped bulb is sold anywhere between 20-120 W, with differing temperature levels to set the tone in the particular area. These A-shaped bulbs come in warm white, neutral light, cool white, and very cool white. If you are unsure of which color the bulb is, simply refer to the lighting facts label on the package.

For recessed lighting, purchase R bulbs. First and foremost, measure the proper diameter of the place you are planning on adding the light source. This is important, because you need to make sure the width of the LED light bulb will fit accordingly to your can or recessed lighting. Take caution when using LED light bulbs with recessed lighting, as the restricted airflow and ventilation may cause the bulb temperature to rise and become hot.

For flood lights and accents, purchase PAR bulbs. PAR bulbs are higher wattage bulbs, and provide the stereotypical bright LED light. For flood lights, make sure you determine the angle of light distribution. On the bulb package, if you see the word “spot,” that indicates a 12-20 degree angle. If you see the word “narrow flood,” that indicates a 25-30 degree angle. If you see the word “flood,” that indicates a 35-40 degree angle. Lastly, some special light bulbs come in the “wide flood” variety, which has a representative light beam distribution angle of 45 degrees and up.

They are quickly paving the way to a more environmentally-friendly future. They are quickly making incandescent, halogen, and CDF bulbs obsolete, and for a good reason. Making the switch will serve you (and your checkbook), benefits in the long run. If you are hesitant about the effectiveness of your new purchase, take note that a majority of them come with the Energy Star warranty, or some other warranty of the sort, ensuring that you are satisfied with your purchase.