CNET's LED Buying Guide makes sense of the light bulb aisleNeed a light, but you're overwhelmed by all of the options? Our handy buying guide has your back -- here are some pointers to get you started.
[MUSIC] So the thing about lightbulbs is that we use them more than just about anything in our homes. It's the first thing you do when you wake up is turn it on. And then you turn it off before you go to bed. But at the same time we don't think about them that much. So when one burns out and we have to. To replace it, we can get overwhelmed in the lighting aisle and end up buying a bulb that doesn't make our home feel right. Now there are LED bulbs, CFL bulbs, incandescent bulbs, halogen bulbs, and they're all different in terms of the way they turn electricity into light So while you're shopping for bulbs, you just wanna think about how you want your home to feel and look. Do you want bright light that's gonna help you read? Do you want light that's gonna ease you to sleep at night and be kind of gentle? Do you want bright daylight white tones to help you focus during the day? Those are all different things you can get and if you know how to look for them you can really customize the way your home feels. So the key to brightness is to remember to look for lumens, lumens are a unit of measure when it comes to light that tells you how bright a bulb is, so if it has more lumens it's a brighter bulb. And what you're gonna wanna remember is that the terms are really changing, we don't really talk about these bulbs in, In terms of wattages any more instead we talk about Lumens for brightness.So the bulb says its a 60 Watt replacement that doesn't mean its necessarily bright enough.It just means its intended to replace an old school 60 Watt incandescent.The other really important thing to remember is that lightbulb packaging now has lighting facts on it. Just like the nutrition facts on the food that you buy. Those are so important to look at. They'll tell you the amount of lumens, they'll tell you the color temperature, they'll tell you how long the bulb will last, they'll tell you how much energy it'll use. All of that information should be right there on the packaging, make sure you check it out. The problem with dimming is that you have so many different kinds of light bulbs and so many different kinds of dimmer switches and dimming hardware And other X factors, like voltage irregularities, that it's tough to guarantee that a given bulb is gonna dim really well on your dimmer switch. If you're really concerned with dimming, my recommendation is to upgrade to smart bulbs, because with smart bulbs you've got dimming mechanisms that are standardized inside each of those bulbs. You don't have a lot of problems that you get with common [UNKNOWN] switches and modern bulbs at electromagnetic interference. You don't have to think about any of that. Aside from that dimming advantage, smart bulbs offer a lot of convenient features and kinda nifty ways to control them using voice or using phone. And they can offer just an upgrade in the way you interact with your light and considering like I said, usually light bulbs So much I think that makes a lot of sense. And prices have come down on some of the best top of the lines smart bulbs, that it's not that unreasonable to make that switch. At the end of the day these new light bulbs last for years, and years, and years, so it's worth ensuring that you get the right ones. Know the numbers and that won't be as hard as you think. [SOUND]