Atmospheric light, daylight, or extra-warm light? The packaging says everything, but what should you pay attention to? You can also see the lights on in many stores. Make use of that. Watch the tips in our video.
Which fitting do you need?
The largest and most common round screw socket for lamps in and around the home. The E stands for Edison.
A fitting for spotlights. The lamp base has 2 thick short pins. You insert them into the fixture and turn the lamp a quarter turn.
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This fitting for spots has 2 thin pins that you insert into the holes of the fixture.
Other common fittings include:
R7s: for linear/rod lamps
G9: capsule lamp
G4: low voltage bulb. The lamp base has 2 thin pins
GY6.35: this one is similar to G4, but they are not interchangeable
Spot or round lamp?
An ordinary bulb gives light on all sides. A spot (or reflector lamp) only shines at a certain angle. This way you can illuminate things or create an atmosphere. For spotlights, pay attention to the beam angle stated on the packaging. The smaller the angle, the smaller the area that the lamp illuminates.
Lumens and Watts
The amount of light from old incandescent lamps was expressed in watts (W). In order to be able to compare different types of lamps, we now express the amount of light in lumens (lm). Usually, the lamp packaging also contains an indication of a comparable light bulb wattage.
The number of lumens divided by the number of watts of a lamp determines how energy-efficient the lamp is. The most economical lamps have an A++ energy label on the packaging. Halogen lamps are labeled D. These are not energy efficient. Not even if it says ‘Ecohalogen’ on it.
Please note: from September 2021 the energy label for lamps will change. The most economical category then gets ‘normal’ A, without pluses. But the requirements are also getting stricter. A new label A is better than an old A+. The old and new label will temporarily be on display in stores at the same time. You can recognize the new energy label by the QR code on it. Learn more product tips with idea for buying
How many lumens do I need?
The light color determines how pleasant you experience the light. This is expressed in color temperature (Kelvin). If the number is higher than 2700K, the lamp gives ‘colder’ light. The lower the number, the more atmospheric the light.
The color rendering indicates how faithfully a color is reproduced. Many LED lights are not good at displaying red colors. Then they come across as less lively. Not everyone will notice the difference, but this is important for, for example, highlighting paintings, skin colors or the appetizing appearance of strawberries, tomatoes and red meat.
Some LED lamps emit a relatively large amount of blue light. This can affect your biological clock. With some LED lamps you can choose the light color with a remote control or via an app.
Lifespan & Dimming
LED lamps have the longest lifespan of all lamps. They can withstand turning the lamp on and off well. The expected lifespan is stated on the packaging of a lamp. This is an indication, there is sometimes a less good copy. It is therefore a good idea to keep the receipt and packaging.
According to European legislation, an LED lamp must last at least 6,000 hours (with average use that is 6 years) and after 6 years it must still have at least 80% of the original light output. But in the new requirements that apply from September 2021, the minimum number of burning hours has been deleted.
Through the European consumer interest organization BEUC, we fight to ensure that these legal quality requirements are not weakened but strengthened.
LED lamps do not tolerate heat very well. It is, therefore, preferable to use stronger LED lamps in an open fixture. Then they can lose their own heat well.
Dimming LED lamp
Dimmable LED lamps often do not work with any dimmer. There are now also LED lamps for sale that you can dim with an ‘old-fashioned’ (leading edge) dimmer for incandescent lamps. But many other dimmable LED lamps do better with a newer (trailing edge) dimmer or a special dimmer for LED lamps.
Older dimmers sometimes require a fairly high minimum power (wattage). Much more efficient LED lamps cannot achieve this. That is why LED lamps often blink when you connect them to a dimmer that previously contained a halogen lamp.
In a multiple lamp fixture, the following trick may work. For example, replace 4 of the 5 halogen lamps with an LED lamp and leave the last halogen lamp in place. This way you get the threshold power of the dimmer and you still save a lot of energy.
Different types of lamps
LED lamps are now the standard for almost all types of lighting: they are energy efficient and last the longest. They immediately give full and bright light. Popular are ‘filament’ lamps, clear LED lamps where the LEDs are suspended as filaments.
energy saving lamp
Energy-saving lamps are hardly sold anymore. They mainly have disadvantages compared to LED lamps. They need to warm up a bit before giving them full light. They also do not do well as outdoor lamps in the cold. They contain mercury, so don’t drop them and hand them in separately.
Halogen lamps are special light bulbs. They are very inefficient and get very hot. 230V halogen spots and round-shining halogen lamps may no longer be marketed. Stores are still allowed to sell out old stocks.