Have you taken a close look at your light bulbs lately? If most of the lamps and fixtures around your house are still fitted with old-fashioned incandescent bulbs, it’s time to make the switch to LED lighting. Transitioning to energy-efficient LED bulbs is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce your energy usage and costs.
This comprehensive guide will walk you through the top LED bulbs on the market and provide helpful tips on exactly how to choose the right LED bulbs for your home. We’ll look at the major benefits of LEDs, review the most popular bulb types and brands, and discuss what to consider when shopping for new lighting.
By the end, you’ll be fully equipped to upgrade the bulbs throughout your house and start reaping rewards like lower electric bills, less maintenance, and better quality lighting. Let’s shine a light on LEDs!
Why LEDs Are the Best Bulb Option
Before we get into specific products, it’s helpful to understand what makes LED bulbs such a game-changing leap from traditional incandescent options. Here are some of the biggest benefits that explain the rise in LED popularity:
- Energy Efficiency – LED bulbs use at least 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs. This translates into dramatically lower electricity costs. An LED that replaces a 60-watt incandescent can save you $50+ in energy bills over its lifetime.
- Durability – With no fragile filaments or glass enclosures, LEDs are far more durable. The average LED bulb lasts anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 hours, compared to just 1,000 hours for incandescents.
- Brightness – You get increased light output with LED bulbs that shine brighter with less energy. Brighter bulbs also allow you to use fewer fixtures to light up a room.
- Light Quality – LEDs produce a clean, crisp light with accurate colors thanks to high color rendering indexes of 80 to 90+. No more dull yellow glow.
- Cool Operation – LEDs give off very little heat compared to other bulb types, making them safer to handle and use in enclosed fixtures.
- Variety – From omnidirectional A19 bulbs to recessed can lights, spotlights, holiday lights and more, LEDs offer the widest variety of options.
- Smart Capabilities – Many modern LED bulbs have integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity for voice and app controls.
- Eco-Friendly – With no toxins to dispose of, LEDs are much more environmentally friendly. Their incredible longevity also keeps bulbs out of landfills.
With all of these advantages over incandescent, halogen, and CFL bulbs, it’s easy to see the appeal of LEDs for both residential and commercial applications. Now let’s look at some of the top LED products on the market in 2022.
The Best LED Light Bulbs You Can Buy
Philips LED Non-Dimmable A19 Bulb
The Philips LED 810 Lumens A19 is an energy-saving LED bulb that replaces a traditional 60-watt incandescent. It’s designed to provide a bright 800 lumen light output while consuming just 9 watts. Over the lifespan of the bulb, you can expect to save over $50 in electricity costs.
With its high efficacy and ENERGY STAR certification, the Philips A19 LED lasts over 15 years (15,000 hour rated lifespan). It has an omnidirectional light pattern, so it works well in table lamps, overhead fixtures, and anywhere a standard bulb socket is used.
The light appearance is a soft white 2700K color temperature, which matches the tone of old incandescents. The CRI is 80 for accurate and natural looking colors. Cool features include an integrated LED circuitry that prevents flickering, humming, and buzzing.
This Philips LED bulb has a solid 4.6 out of 5 star rating on Amazon based on over 3,000 customer reviews. Many praise its bright light, high efficiency, and extremely long life. If you’re looking for an affordable and eco-friendly LED bulb to use throughout the home, this is an excellent choice.
Cree Lighting 60W Equivalent Soft White Dimmable LED Bulb
Here’s a dimmable LED from Cree Lighting that offers high-quality omnidirectional lighting perfect for table lamps, floor lamps, pendant fixtures, and open overhead lights. It has an 800 lumen light output equivalent to a traditional 60-watt bulb but only consumes 9 watts of power.
The Cree bulb has a soft white 5000K daylight color temperature that provides a clean, inviting glow. With a CRI over 90, it produces accurate natural shades and tones. Expect it to last a lengthy 25,000 hours with typical use. As an ENERGY STAR certified product, it meets strict efficiency guidelines to cut energy consumption.
A smart dimming feature allows this Cree LED to pair flawlessly with most standard dimmer switches. You can adjust the light levels from 100% brightness down to 10% for the perfect ambiance. Installation is simple with the standard A19 medium screw base that fits any fixture.
This LED bulb comes with a 5-year warranty from Cree. Over 20,000 customer reviews average to an impressive 4.7 out of 5 stars. Its excellent dimmable performance and high light quality make it one of the best LED options for general home lighting needs.
Philips Dimmable BR30 LED Floodlight Bulb
The Philips BR30 floodlight LED is designed to provide focused accent lighting in recessed can fixtures and track lighting heads. It has an extra wide 120-degree beam angle that casts light in a wide cone-shaped pattern, ideal for general area lighting.
Rated at 650 lumens, this Philips LED can replace a 65-watt BR30 incandescent floodlight while slashing energy usage. It only draws 9 watts but still manages to generate a bright omnidirectional light. The soft white 2700K color temperature is perfect for lighting living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms with its warm natural tones.
With a CRI of over 90, expect exceptional light quality and color accuracy. Rated to last for 25,000 hours of lifetime, you’ll get over a decade of reliable performance. It’s also dimmable to allow light level adjustments down to 10% brightness.
The Philips BR30 LED is designed to resist humidity with an IP54 rating, meaning it’s protected from dust and splashing water. Recessed can lights are notorious dust collectors and can see moisture buildup, so this is a useful feature to have. Rated at 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon, this is one of the best LED floodlights for recessed lighting applications.
Feit Electric Vintage Style LED Filament Bulb
Here’s a fun LED option that combines energy efficiency with a cool retro aesthetic. This Feit Electric bulb uses visible LED filaments to mimic the look of Edison-style incandescent bulbs with exposed glowing wires. The LED filament design creates a beautiful ambient glow that provides ambient lighting with tons of character.
With a CRI of 90+ these filament bulbs produce light with vivid colors and warm tones. The soft white color temperature gives off a familiar 2700K yellow-tinged glow at 500 lumens of output. You get the classic ambiance and shine of an older incandescent combined with advanced LED efficiency.
The bulb has an E26 medium screw base so it works in any standard table lamp or overhead fixture. It’s dimmable and emits no UV or IR rays. With a lifespan of over 15 years, this is a durable bulb that will provide cozy lighting to your rooms for years on end.
Over 15,000 Amazon reviews average to a 4.6 out of 5 star rating. Customers love the attractive filament design and warm light quality. If you want LED bulbs that don’t look like LEDs, this is a great choice. The visible glowing filaments add character and charm to any room.
GE Relax LED Light Bulb
Here’s an LED from GE Lighting designed to promote relaxation and wind down time before bed. It casts a soothing warm amber glow at 650 lumens to help ease eye strain and regulate sleep cycles. The unique hue results from a customized yellow phosphor formulation.
This GE LED bulb works great in table lamps and overhead fixtures in bedrooms thanks to its omni-directional light distribution. It produces a tone and shine similar to the sunset’s last light. Turning this bulb on signals your brain to begin producing melatonin and unwind.
Rated to last over 13 years, this is a bulb you can rely on for the long haul. It has no annoying hum or buzz either. Just a helpful warm glow to transition peacefully into sleep mode. Customers love this LED for its ability to create a tranquil environment. With nearly 5,000 4.7 star ratings on Amazon, it comes highly recommended for nighttime use.
How to Choose the Best LED Bulbs for Your Needs
Now that you know some of the top LED bulb options available today, let’s go over what features and specifications you should look for when shopping for LED lights. Consider the following criteria when selecting bulbs:
- Lumens – Lumens indicate the brightness of a bulb. Compare lumens instead of watts when choosing an LED equivalent to traditional bulbs.
- Light Appearance – Select soft white for a cozy warm tone, bright white for crisp neutral lighting, or daylight for an energizing blue-hued glow.
- Dimmable – Dimmable LEDs pair with dimmer switches to adjust light levels. Ensure compatibility before installing.
- Beam Angle – Floodlights, spotlights, and recessed cans require specific beam angles like floods (>90°) or narrow spots (10°-25°).
- Lighting Base – Match the bulb’s base style to the fixture. Common types are A19, BR30, GU10, etc.
- CRI Rating – A CRI of 80+ means the LED will produce accurate and vivid colors. 90+ is ideal for task lighting.
- Warranty Length – Look for at least a 2 to 3 year warranty covering LED lifespan and defects.
- ENERGY STAR – Choosing certified ENERGY STAR LED products ensures optimal efficiency.
- Brand Reputation – Stick with major brands like Philips, GE, and Cree for performance and reliability.
- Price – Expect to pay $5-$15 for an LED bulb depending on its features, but remember that LEDs save money over time!
Keep these factors in mind when selecting LED bulbs for your lighting needs. Doing a little research beforehand ensures you end up with the perfect bulb for each fixture in terms of brightness, light quality, color, beam angle, and style.
Finding the Right Light Color for Your Room
Beyond just brightness, one of the biggest considerations when choosing light bulbs is the color temperature. This refers to the hue of light that a bulb produces. Different lighting colors have a significant impact on ambiance and serve various purposes. Here’s an overview of the most common options:
Soft White (2700K – 3000K)
This is the warmest shade that best replicates the tone of an incandescent. The yellowish-white glow is comforting and relaxing. Soft white LEDs are ideal for bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms, and dens. Use them in table lamps, floor lamps, pendants, and chandeliers to set a welcoming mood. The familiar warmth feels cozy and peaceful.
Bright White (3500K – 4100K)
For crisp, clean illumination, opt for LED bulbs rated bright white. This neutral white light has only a hint of yellow, appearing almost clinical and ice blue in tone. Bright white is recommended for kitchens, bathrooms, and workspaces since it promotes concentration and complements decor well. It’s also dynamic for display lighting.
Daylight (5000K – 6500K)
The most energizing hue, daylight LEDs emit an intense bluish-white glow like natural sunlight. These are best for reading nooks, grooming areas, workbenches, and anywhere you want sharp visual accuracy. But tread carefully in living zones, as prolonged exposure to harsh daylight bulbs can strain the eyes. Use these to illuminate specific tasks only.
Experiment with bulbs of varied color temps to see what works best in your home. Keep reading for recommendations on lighting up specific rooms.
Choosing the Right Bulbs and Fixtures Room-by-Room
The lighting needs of a kitchen differ greatly from a bedroom. Here are some room-by-room suggestions on picking the perfect bulbs and fixtures:
Living Rooms and Dens
Create inviting layered lighting in living rooms with a central overhead fixture, strategically placed floor and table lamps, and accent lighting on display shelves and in corners.
Use soft white 2700K LEDs in all fixtures to establish a warm welcoming glow. Go with dimmable bulbs if possible to control the mood. Don’t forget lighting in closets, which can also utilize soft white bulbs for visibility when picking out outfits.
Kitchen lighting should be functional and conducive to cooking, so opt for bright white 35000K – 5000K LEDs. Recessed can lighting, under cabinet lighting, and LED track heads provide bright focused illumination for food prep and clean up.
Puck lights inside cabinets and shelves provide visibility inside without casting shadows. Use Daylight LEDs over sinks for tasks like washing dishes. Install a dimmer switch on overhead lighting to adjust brightness as needed.
Bathroom lighting needs to be bright, crisp, and shadow-free for grooming. Swap out old vanity fixtures for wall-mounted Hollywood LED strips that brightly illuminate mirrors with no shadows or glare.
Recessed can lights paired with daylight LEDs also work well for even glare-free lighting. For a touch of warmth, use bright white LEDs instead of harsh daylight. Use waterproof fixtures like shower recessed cans and moisture-resistant strip lighting.
Soft white 2700K LEDs help cultivate relaxation in bedrooms. Use smart bulbs in bedside table lamps for custom scheduling and dimming to slowly brighten lights before alarms. Install wall sconces for soft ambient mood lighting at night.
Overhead fixtures should also emit a warm white glow for comfort, so use omni-directional A19 soft white LEDs. Smart bulbs can even shift from energizing daylight in the mornings to unwinding soft white in the evenings.
Focus and productivity call for cool bright white or daylight LEDs rated at 3500K and above. Desk lamps and overhead lights should provide crisp comfortable illumination for reading and computer work without casting shadows.
Smart bulbs allow you to program lighting schedules to help maintain steady circadian rhythms even when working late. Place floor lamps in corners to eliminate shadows and let you easily adjust lighting angles as needed.
Task lighting, like bright LED arms clamped to desks, provides direct glare-free illumination for precision work.
The Benefits of Smart Lighting
Beyond just efficient LED bulbs, today there are smart lighting options that open up exciting possibilities for home illumination and automation. Smart bulbs connect directly to home Wi-Fi networks and integrate with smart home platforms.
Look for LED bulbs that work with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, and other ecosystems. Core smart lighting features include:
- Voice Activation – Control lights with spoken commands.
- Remote Access – Manage lights when away from home.
- Automation – Program lighting scenes and schedules.
- Groups – Link bulbs in rooms for unified control.
- Dimming – Adjust brightness levels.
- Color Changing – Tunable white and full RGB color options available.
- Energy Monitoring – Track usage over time.
- Multi-Purpose – Set lighting modes for different occasions.
Smart LED bulbs provide unmatched convenience and flexibility! And connectivity opens up more advanced options like…
Choosing LED Strip Lights, Can Lights, and Fixtures
The lighting options go far beyond just screw-in LED light bulbs. Some other types of energy-efficient LED lighting include:
Pendant Lights – Hanging ceiling fixtures that direct light downward in a dramatic focal point. Use pendant lights over kitchen islands, dining tables, bathroom vanities, and bedroom lounging areas.
Sconces – Wall mounted fixtures that typically project light upward for ambient glow or downward for task lighting. Use sconces in hallways, bedrooms, bathrooms, and living spaces.
Under Cabinet Lights – Strip lighting installed under kitchen cabinets and shelving to indirectly illuminate countertops and working areas below. Creates helpful task lighting.
Recessed Can (Downlight) Lights – Cylindrical fixtures installed into ceilings to provide focused beams of light. Used heavily in kitchens, hallways, bathrooms, and offices.
Track Lighting – Adjustable spotlights mounted on tracks that can be positioned and angled as needed. Often used to spotlight artwork, counters, shelving, and display cases.
Accent Lighting – Small decorative fixtures like mini pendants, wall sconces, and picture lights that add detail. Used to highlight art, architectural elements, and furnishings with pools of light.
LED technology allows for lighting suited to nearly any need imaginable around the home, both indoors and outdoors. The wide range of fixture types paired with the advantages of LED brightness, efficiency, and quality allow you to completely transform the way you illuminate your living spaces.
Let There Be (Efficient) Light!
Hopefully this guide has illuminated the possibilities of upgrading to energy-efficient LED lighting. It’s truly one of the best investments you can make in your home for maximum savings and quality.
Here’s a quick recap of the core benefits of switching to LED bulbs:
- Slash energy usage and electricity costs
- Gain more brightness with excellent light quality
- Enjoy long-lasting bulbs that last years with little maintenance required
Choose from a wide range of color temperatures and styles to suit any room
- Take advantage of smart lighting integrations for advanced features
- Reduce environmental impact with eco-friendly LED technology
When shopping for new LED bulbs, be sure to pay close attention to lumens, light appearance, beam angle, base type, and dimmable capabilities. This ensures you pick the perfect solution for each lighting application. We covered the leading LED bulb options and the ideal types for kitchens, bedrooms, offices, and more.
Upgrading your most frequently used lights first is recommended. Start with main overhead fixtures in rooms you spend lots of time in. As the bulbs in lamps and ceiling fans burn out, replace them with LEDs. Before long your home will be glowing with efficient lighting.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the options, just take it one room at a time. Do your research and find quality LED products that fit your fixtures from reputable brands. The long-term savings will be well worth the initial investment. Your eyes and wallet will thank you!
Hopefully you now feel empowered to upgrade the lighting in your home. Let us know if you have any other questions. We’re always happy to shed more light on the subject! Be sure to check back as we keep this guide updated with the latest and greatest LED innovations.