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Compare the best LED light bulbs

Save money and help the environment by updating your lighting.

Updated

Fact checked

States are slowly phasing out older incandescent bulbs for newer LED bulbs. These efficient bulbs often cost more up front, but they’re more efficient, lasting longer over their lifetime — and saving you money in the long run.

Top LED light bulbs

NameAvg. price
(USD)
Wattage equivalentColorDimmable?Brightness (lumen)Average lifePurchase
Philips LED Scene Switch E27
Philips LED Scene Switch E27
$6.5W / 9WDaylight, Soft white, Warm glowNo80015,000 hours
Feit Electric Vintage Style LED
Feit Electric Vintage Style LED
$4WSoft whiteYes30015,000 hours
Ikea Ledare E26
Ikea Ledare E26
$3.998.6WWarm whiteYes60025,000 hours
Bioluz A19
Bioluz A19
$13.99 6 pack40 WWarm whiteNo45025,000 hoursBuy now
Sunco Lighting G25
Sunco Lighting G25
$29.9940WCool white, warm light, daylightYes45015,000 hoursBuy now
Gordon & Bond Vintage Edison
Gordon & Bond Vintage Edison
$22.99 4 pack4WPleasant warmYes30020,000 hoursBuy now
GE Daylight A21
GE Daylight A21
$24.9975WDaylightNo1,10015,000 hoursBuy now
Torchstar G25
Torchstar G25
$19.9960WWarm whiteYes50022.8 yearsBuy now
Data obtained February 2019. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

What are LED light bulbs?

LED light bulbs — or light-emitting diodes — are designed to last longer and run more efficiently than older incandescent models. In fact, countries all around the world begun phasing out the use of incandescent bulbs in favor of bulbs with lower electricity usage.

Quick stats

  • Average cost per bulb: $3 to $30
  • Power used: 2 watts to 23 watts
  • Brightness: 250 lumens to 1,600 lumens
  • Average lifespan based on three hours of use a day: Around 20,000 hours
  • Typical bulbs replacement over 10 years: One

Pros

Compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, LED lights:

  • Have a lower lifetime cost.
  • Can last decades (based on three hours of use per day).
  • Are up to 90% more energy efficient.
  • Are more environmentally friendly, both in terms of energy use and ability to recycle.
  • Emit less heat.
  • Are more durable and less prone to breakage.
  • Are not made with hazardous chemicals.
Fun fact: While Thomas Edison is widely credited as the inventor of the light bulb, historians believe that as many as 20 other inventors created versions of the incandescent bulb before Edison filed his patent in 1879.

Cons

You’ll find a few disadvantages to LED light bulbs. As with all bulbs, color intensity and light output can decrease over time. Also, some people find the color of the LEDs to appear too blue.

However, many manufacturers now make vintage-style LED bulbs to replicate the look of traditional incandescents.

Downsides to LED light bulbs include:

  • Higher initial price per bulb.
  • Some white LED bulbs can appear blue.
  • Not all models can be dimmed.
  • Sensitive to temperature and can malfunction when exposed to heat.
  • Many LEDs won’t function when installed sideways.
  • Some LED lights can cause radio or electromagnetic interference.

What to look for when buying an LED light bulb

When choosing a light bulb, consider the number of lumens, the temperature of the light and its ability to dim.

  • You can choose from three primary color temperatures for your LED light bulb: soft white, cool white and daylight.
    Color temperatureDegreesDescriptionBest for
    Soft or warm white2,700 KelvinMimics the yellow tones of a sunrise or sunset to result in a cozy feel.Bedrooms, living rooms and dining rooms
    Cool or bright white4,100 KelvinBrighter than soft white bulbs to give rooms a more energetic and awake feel.Kitchens, garages, workspaces and bathrooms
    Daylight5,000 KelvinDesigned to replicate the bluish white of a midday sun.Accent lighting and reading areas

    Dimming. Not all LED bulbs are compatible with built-in dimmer switches. If you have an in-wall dimmer switch, look for LED bulbs that are dimmable.

    Smart lights. Smart lights allow you to control your lights with your phone, tablet or computer. Some smart bulbs allow you to dim the lights or change the color temperature of the bulb using a Bluetooth connection. To control your lighting with voice commands, look for lights that are smart speaker capable so that you can connect them to your Google Home or Amazon Echo smart speaker.

    Bottom line

    LED light bulbs can help you save on your electric bill, because they’re more efficient than older incandescent bulbs. But you might not be a fan of the bluish glow that some types emit. Before switching out the bulbs in your home, compare your options to find the best fit for your household.

    How did we choose these products?

    We considered the price, longevity, wattage and energy efficiency of each product to put together our list of the top LED light bulbs.

    Frequently asked questions

    What are some alternatives to LED light bulbs?
    Incandescent light bulbs are still available in the US. Other types of light bulbs include halogens, fluorescent bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps, mercury-vapor lamps and Edison bulbs.

    What fixtures can can accept an LED light bulb?
    LED lightbulbs can be used almost anywhere, as long as the LED light bulb uses less wattage than your lighting fixture. To replace a tube or other special type of light with an LED bulb, make sure you’re using the correct size and fit. Consult a professional for advice if you’re unsure.

    How firesafe are LED lights?
    LED lights reduce the risk of a house fire, because they don’t get nearly as hot as other types of bulbs. Carefully check the safety of your wiring and fittings, and take other necessary safety precautions to prevent fire.

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