How to choose the right LED lamps

LEDs are the most efficient form of lighting.

LEDs use much less energy to provide the same amount of light as other forms of lighting, meaning they are much cheaper to run.

  Old style
incandescent

Mains voltage
halogen 
CFL/LED
Light Output 
(Lumens)
 
Power
(Watts)
Cost
($/Yr)
Power
(Watts)
Cost
($/Yr)

Power
(Watts)
Cost
($/Yr)

LED light
220 
25 $7.70 18 $5.50 5-6 $1.50-
$1.80
LED light
420
40
$12.30
28 $8.60 7-9 $2.10-
$2.80
LED light
720 
60
$18.40
42 $12.90 11-13 $3.40-
$4
LED light
930
75 $23 52 $15.90 13-15 $4-
$4.60
LED light
1300
100 $30.70 70 $21.50 18-23

$5.50-
$7.10

Long life lights

LEDs are currently relatively expensive to purchase, but the good news is that they are becoming cheaper. Good quality LEDs can last for a very long time – at least 25,000 hours, which makes them more cost-efficient than most other lighting types, as they don’t need to be replaced as often.

What to ask for when purchasing LEDs

There are some practical issues you should be aware of when replacing incandescent or halogen lamps with LEDs. To ensure that you are happy with your new lighting, consider the following points:
What is the light output of the new lamp? The LED packaging will usually show you the equivalent wattage to the incandescent or halogen lamp being replaced.
What is the expected lamp lifetime? A good quality LED should last for at least 25,000 hours, compared to 6-8,000 hours for a CFL and 1-2000 hours for an incandescent lamp
Are there a range of colours? Yes, there are warm and cool white available. Warm white (yellowish light similar to an incandescent globe) is generally preferred in the main living areas and bedrooms, but cool white is usually acceptable in kitchen and bathroom areas
Can the lamp be used on a dimmer circuit? Standard LEDs may not be suitable for use with lighting dimmers, but special dimmable LEDs are available.
Are you replacing a 12 Volt downlight? Make sure that the size and shape of the replacement LED lamp is compatible with your existing fitting.
Before you buy a complete set of LED replacements, buy one lamp and check that it works properly in your existing fittings and that you are happy with the light output, colour appearance and warm-up time.

More information

Find out more about energy efficient lighting with our other how-to guides.