There are many things to consider when buying new lights, especially since the advent of energy-saving lamps and LED lamps. The technical information on light sources has become much more diverse, terms such as lumen and Kelvin have appeared again.
Due to the increasing number of manufacturers and models and correspondingly large differences in quality, general statements have become more difficult. Every lamp has a different effect in every room and subjective perception also plays an important role. Basically, very good quality naturally has its price.
The light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have also made completely new designs possible for lights; In around 80 percent of the new luminaire models, the lamps no longer have to and can no longer be changed, as was the case with light bulbs with great regularity. With a few basic knowledge, buying lights is still easy and clear today.
Buying lamps: the new light sources
While in the past only the wattage (power consumption) of light bulbs and the thread (mostly E14 or E27) were decisive, provided that it was not fluorescent lamps (‘neon tubes’), there are many more options today. Low-voltage (e.g. G4 socket) and high-voltage halogen lamps (e.g. G9 socket) and energy-saving lamps represent the transition to LED lamps. Most halogen lamps will soon be banned and energy-saving lamps will not have a great future either predicted. Halogen lamps, energy-saving lamps, and LED lamps are also available with the classic E14 and E27 light bulb sockets.
Buying lights: technical features
The brightness is now measured using the lumen value, the physical unit of measurement for the luminous flux, with 400 lumens roughly corresponding to the light output of a light bulb with 40 watts and 1,000 lumens roughly corresponding to that of a light bulb with 100 watts (further guide values to be converted analogously).
Another fundamentally important piece of information, the color temperature in Kelvin, describes the light color. Since the light from LED lamps does not contain all the frequencies of visible light, as is the case with incandescent bulbs, the white light from LEDs can have various tints from warm white (up to 3,300 Kelvin) to neutral white (up to 5,300 Kelvin) to daylight white (> 5,300 Kelvin). If you want to buy new lights, you should at least know the following: Warm white light is considered to be cozy, neutral white light is stimulating and daylight white light is considered to increase concentration and performance.
The color rendering index, which describes how natural the colors appear in the illuminated area, is also important when buying lamps. An index of Ra80 is usually sufficient. Those who value colors that are true to the original should buy lights with at least Ra90; the maximum of Ra100 is most likely achieved by halogen lamps.
Another important feature of lights is the beam angle.
Why can’t built-in LEDs be replaced?
Many customers are confused because most of the new LED lights can no longer be changed. You wonder if you will have to throw away the entire lamp after a few years. Normally, luminaires with built-in LED lamps last for many years or even decades if they burn for a few hours a day. Even after that, a large part of the original light output still remains, because LEDs have no wearing parts that can break. However, they are preceded by an electronic component (LED driver, transformer, …) that is located in the housing. This can break but can be easily replaced on most models.
Basics of living space lighting
To illuminate a room, three different elements are combined: the basic or general light (often produced by ceiling lights), zone lighting (e.g. by wall lights and floor lamps ), and accent lighting (e.g. by table lamps and decorative Lighting).
A fundamental distinction is made between direct and indirect lighting; The second is only reflected on the wall or ceiling, making small rooms appear larger and creating a cozy ambiance.
Anyone looking to buy new luminaires should know that LEDs emit directed light instead of shining in all directions like light bulbs; however, this property can of course be compensated for with an appropriate arrangement.