What you should know about LED Filament Bulbs!

As LED Edison bulbs are getting more popular there are some important facts you should know about.

  • Color Temp
  • Wattage Equivalent
  • Lumens
  • Dimmable compatibility

We are not used to checking all those specifications since we never had to.  We did not have choices like we have with LED bulbs.  When you bought an incandescent bulb all you had to worry about was the wattage.

Here is the deal:

With LED Edison bulbs you have a choice of color temperature.  This means you can choose a very warm yellow color to a very cool blue color.  See chart:

Color_Temp_Chart_f9a16fd3-2a36-4013-b273-fed0bf5b0141_1024x1024

Wattage equivalent which seems to be on every Edison LED box I have seen is the most misleading information you’ll get.  The problem with this is every manufacturer is comparing the wattage to a different incandescent bulb.  What I’m trying to say is that Edison incandescent bulbs and standard incandescent bulbs have a very different light output.  A 60 watt Edison bulbs are much dimmer than a 60-watt standard incandescent bulb.  So, some manufacturers compare their LED bulbs to standard incandescent bulbs and some to Edison incandescent bulbs.  That is why you should not pay attention to wattage equivalent and instead learn to use lumens to judge how much light a bulb will give you.

 

 

 

The first and most important one is the UL listing for those bulbs.  This is especially important for those bulbs since UL requires the bulb (glass part) to be coated with a special silicon which makes the glass shatterproof or to be made out of plastic.  No other bulb require this except the Filament LED bulbs.  This includes the standard LED Filament Bulbs and the Nostalgic LED Filament bulbs.  The reason for that is the LED filaments inside the bulb will turn on and work fine even if the glass is broken or missing. Electricity will run through the filaments and if a person touches it accidentally they will get an electric shock.  Unlike the incandescent bulb which will not turn on if the glass is broken, cracked or missing. Once air goes in, the bulb burns.  To date, only UL requires this and unfortunately, we have been seeing may online and retail stores selling Non-UL LED Filament bulbs.  Most of the time they don’t even know about this requirement.

Some of those bulbs are dimmable and some are not!  The dimmable LED Filament bulbs do require special dimmers and they will only dim to 30%.  They do cost 3 to 4 times more then what an Edison Vintage bulbs costs, but they also last 10 times longer and consume about 10% of what the incandescent nostalgic bulb will consume for the same amount of light.  Overall, they are a smart buy if you in the market for those Vintage Edison bulbs.  Let us know what you think in the comments section below!

Update 7/11/17

Now available LED filament Edison bulbs which are fully dimmable with all types of dimmers.  Those new bulbs don’t require the silicon coating on it since they will not work if the glass is cracked or broken.

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