What is the deal with LED? Is this just a passing craze? I don't know what to do!
You are not alone in your confusion about LED. As more people learn about this amazing technology, it leads to false information and a fear of what is a major change. Most people can remember having a CRT or "Tube" television in their house. As a matter of fact, I still have one right now. When that TV is finished, it will be impossible to get a new CRT television. LCD has completely replaced the CRT. The same will soon be true with incandescent bulbs.
LED stands for "Light Emitting Diodes." The technology has been around since the 1970s, but it has only been in the last few years that it has become affordable for every application. When replacing your old incandescent bulb, there are three main considerations:
1) Bring the old bulb with you to the store. It's the most accurate way to make sure the new LED bulb will fit where your older bulb fit.
2) Focus On the LUMENS. This will tell you how bright the bulb will be. The higher the lumens, the brighter the bulb.
3) Check the LIGHT COLOR. Warmer color light is around 2700K, which is what the older incandescent bulbs were rated. White light is around 4000K, and piercing blue light is between 5000-6000K.
LED bulbs are now available to replace Incandescent, Fluorescent, Mercury Vapor, Metal Halide and High Pressure Sodium. They are available in a variety of bases, and some even have a ballast on the bulb itself which will further increase the efficiency of the existing feature by bypassing the older ballasts already mounted.
It is an exciting time to be replacing bulbs, and the energy savings are outstanding. The best advice I can give you is to go by your local BR Supply and talk with them about your particular LED bulb needs.