Do you have trouble understanding an LED Light label? If you answered yes, you’re not the only one and you’ve come to the right place! If you answered no, then we recommend you still read ahead and get all the facts on the light label straight before you head to buy your new LEDs.

As LEDs become more and more affordable and readily available in stores across Canada and North America, consumers are faced with new questions and information they never had to deal with before. In the past you looked for a 60 Watt bulb and paid no attention to the fact it was incandescent, most of the times you didn’t even have to look at the label. Then came CFLs or “compact fluorescents” and the choices were simple; if you wanted warm yellowish light bulbs you picked an incandescent and if you wanted a slightly more efficient bulb or fixture with a brighter light output, you picked a CFL.

Now you have waning incandescents, CFLs and LEDs as your primary choices and the LED light labels are not as easy to follow as the incandescents ones were in the past – or so it seems.

Why LEDs Are On The Rise:

LEDs or “light emitting diodes” have been showing up more and more at your local hardware store for two reasons:

  1. The most important one- LEDs are more energy efficient, that means they use less energy to produce the same or more light than your old incandescent bulbs, and
  2. Incandescent light bulbs are being phased out. In fact, the Canadian government banned the import and sale of both 75 and 100 Watt incandescent bulbs since January 2014.

That means that whether we’re ready for it or not, we have to jump on the energy efficient wagon right now; the reason incandescents are being phased out is that they simply demand too much energy to produce very little light and we have much better, cleaner and greener alternatives available. Namely: LEDs!

But don’t worry, we got you covered! We’ll help you understand the information on an LED light label arming you with the necessary data to make an informed decision:

Understanding An LED Light Label:

LED light labels display several different items, but by law they must include the following:

Brightness or Light Output (Lumens):

Lumens, denoted (lm), measure the total amount of visible light produced by a light source. In the past when you shopped for bulbs you looked at the Watt number, which is counterproductive because you were selecting your bulbs based on the amount of energy they drew, instead of the amount of light they provided. Lumens on the other hand, tell you exactly how bright your bulb will be and you’ll notice their energy consumption is usually under 15W for most residential needs. From 60W to under 15W per bulb you can imagine the energy and money savings!

Energy Consumption

Number of Watts consumed to produce the bulb’s total light output. It indicates the amount of energy necessary to produce the light you need and ultimately the amount of energy you will pay for.

Lumens per Watts/ Efficacy

Measures the bulb’s energy efficiency. The higher this number the more efficient the bulb is and the less you will pay over time.

Lifespan or Duration

Life of the bulb expressed in the number of estimated hours it will operate when turned on. You will notice that LEDs have very large lifespans, going all the way to 25,000 and even 50,000 hours.

Additionally your label may include the following data:

Estimated Yearly Cost

How much you are estimated to pay in a year for the energy consumed from that bulb. It’s estimated based on a given number of hours -shown on the label- divided by the price of the kilowatt per hour consumed. For example 3 hrs/day at 11¢/kWh total $7.23 estimated yearly cost. Note that a kilowatt-hour measures the amount of energy you use (1,000W per hour).

Light Appearance or Light Color

The most confusing part of the label, for most of our clients anyway, is usually this section of the LED light label or Lightning Fact Label – the bulb’s color. Light color is measured in Kelvins and what you see on the label is the CCT or Correlated Color Temperature. Cool colors have higher temperatures, while warmer colors have lower temperatures. So, the warm yellowish light you might be used to is between 2,700K and 3,000K and the cooler bluish whites, usually used for better task execution, are between 3,600K and 5,500K. We have a full post regarding LED light color and temperatures if you want to learn more.

Color Accuracy

Usually denoted as CRI, or Color Rendering Index, it’s an extra bit of information added to the label to show how the light output will render or reflect on objects. You should be more interested in the Light Appearance or Light Color to find the right match for your needs, since the number of Kelvins is what will actually indicate what kind of color you can expect from your LED bulb.

That’s really all there is to it. LEDs convert most of the energy they get into light and virtually nothing into heat, that’s why they can be more efficient. So efficient that a 450W HID light bulb can be replaced by a 150W LED! They’re also cool to touch, instant on and contain no toxic mercury or chemicals making them the safest in the market. What are you waiting for? Go get your LEDs, pull this post up in the store on your phone and remember to ask for Mission LED’s Canadian LED bulbs.

Is there anything else you find confusing about LED Light Labels or Lighting Fact Labels? We’d love to clear that up for you! Tell us in the comments below!

About The Author

John Keirstead
John Keirstead
Serial Entrepreneur, Technologist and Inventor.
My objective is to develop useful products that have a net positive effect in the lives of those that use them and the environment that we live in.
CEO of Mission LED Lighting Company Ltd.

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