When good lights go bad
how do I choose the best LED bulbs
It is the long life and the 80%-to-90% reduction in electricity that make LEDs the “great light hope” in the illumination world.
“At the moment, there are good LED products, but at the same time, also bad products,”
“It’s difficult for the customer to make a good choice.”
“We’re entering a world where you will find on the shelf low, very bad, better (and) higher quality lamps . And the quality of what you get will depend on the price you’ll be ready to pay,”
LED lamp quality varies widely across all aspects, including brightness, longevity, heat dissipation, durability and the light’s ability to faithfully render an object’s color.
But do you really want to spend hours wandering through hardware and do-it-yourself stores pouring over the pros and cons of myriad bulb options and finally end up with a light that does not correspond to your needs ? “You as the consumer will get confused, and will be confused for quite some time”.
Good quality LEDs are not cheap. Why ??
Turning an LED into a lamp requires the integration of some pretty sophisticated technologies. Here’s a quick breakdown:
- Components on the circuit board are often assembled by hand because it is still too complicated for factory machines.
- The actual good quality LED wafer can cost as much as $95 per unit.
- The brightest LEDs generate blue light. So in order to get the more natural white glow, manufacturers typically coat the bulb with yellow phosphor, an expensive rare earth metal compound imported from China.
- LEDs additionally require the use of drivers to convert energy into electrical current. This component alone can cost from $5 to $100 for a good quality.
- Although LEDs burn cooler than Edison bulbs, they still need a conducting material to dissipate the heat. The aluminum used to accomplish this can cost from $3 to $250 for a decent designed heat dissipation system.
The stronger the LED-chip is, the more expensive the LED lamp will be.