A BRIGHT IDEA: LEDs are a great replacement for aging incandescent bulbs

Lighting innovation is changing the way we perceive visual space and our surrounding environments, with Lake Of Bays cottages being completely transformed by the use of fixtures and lamps and their bulbs. Because conventional forms of illumination like incandescents have evolved over time to halogen, compact fluorescent, and now to light emitting diode (LED) bulb replacements, manufacturers are steadily producing and introducing LED integrated products, and the future of innovation is firmly pointing towards the LED.

The reason LED bulbs are popular, is because they provide greater lighting flexibility — wall colours and the appearance of furnishings can be altered by the varying selection of light bulbs available — while providing substantial energy savings when compared to conventional incandescent bulbs. Energy savings in your cottage is especially important as manufacturers and the government have strived in recent years to improve energy conservation by eliminating inefficient incandescent A lamps.

Of course, change rarely comes without reservations. Many of us are concerned that the standard medium base A19 bulbs are being discontinued without a suitable replacement for our existing fixtures. No doubt we are in a transition period, but consumers do have choice. As an example, regular A type bulbs in halogen that are more energy efficient, requiring approximately one third the wattage of an incandescent bulb and producing more lumens of output. Halogen bulbs have excellent lumen output, and consume less energy than the standard incandescent bulbs, but do put out more heat.

One of the benefits of the old, inefficient incandescent bulb is that it did provide consumers with good colour output, helping enhance their homes with warmth. In our experience, LEDs are best at mirroring this quality. The problem with compact fluorescent (CFL) technology is that it provides a very bland, washed-out effect of colours and contrast to wall and furniture surfaces. The fact is that its efficient lighting does not produce the same effects as incandescent. Furthermore, fluorescent bulbs do contain mercury and there is no proper and safe method of disposal.

By contrast, LED bulbs provide the consumer with excellent energy saving benefits, and are under continual improvement to produce exceptional lighting effects. Between the alternatives to incandescent bulbs, LED has the highest potential to provide vibrant colour renditions and a very wide range of beam spread options in reflector floods. Furthermore, where incandescents were rigid, LEDs are versatile enough to apply to any lighting applications. The reason is that the colour of an incandescent (usually a warm white glow) gets whiter as the wattage increases. Therefore, producing a bright light requires high energy consumption.  LED, on the other hand, does not function on the same basic principle, and can produce brighter colours without increasing energy consumption, making it an ideal alternative to aging incandescent bulbs.

As LED bulbs are being introduced into the market, there is a large range of different options available, from sub-par quality to high-quality bulbs. Each LED bulb that we carry is subject to several criteria:

1. Colour: It must be a suitable replacement to the bulb it’s intended to replace. As most lamps are incandescent or halogen, they possess a warm colour light; the LED alternative should be able to resemble the same light colour output without too much emphasis on being too white, or cool.

2. Dim ability: Most Muskoka cottages incorporate dimmers to help assist with ambience and mood lighting effects. A good LED bulb should be dimmable in the 90-95 percent range. Choose from a large array of Phillips, Bulbrite, and Sylvania LED bulbs that meet our high standard of quality and functionality for LED bulbs.

As the inefficient incandescent bulb is being phased out of the marketplace, the more innovative LED technology is emerging as the best replacement. Consumers should not be concerned about this change as there is a wide variety of product available to meet any lighting need at a range of price points.