LED light bulb buying guide: How to choose the best lighting for your home or office

Save money on lighting and help the environment by switching to LED light bulbs.

There are more choices than ever when it comes to buying light bulbs and many of the available options have changed in the last decade. Older incandescent bulbs are being phased out for newer LED bulbs. These bulbs cost more than older incandescent models at $3 to $30 per bulb, but the lifetime cost is usually lower because LEDs can last decades. You have three main colour options to choose from and a few useful features to consider, including whether or not the light can be dimmed.

We’ll help you figure out what it all means and sort through the options to find your ideal lighting for your home or office. Read on to find out more about LED light bulbs.

Compare some of the best LED light bulbs

Data obtained October 2018. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

Name Product Average Price (AUD) Wattage equivalent Colour Dimmable? Brightness (lumen) Average life Purchase today
Philips LED Scene Switch E27
Philips LED Scene Switch E27
$11.95
6.5W / 9W
Daylight, Soft white, Warm glow
No
800
15,000 hours
This color-changing bulb allows you to choose between three different light settings.
Feit Electric Vintage Style LED
Feit Electric Vintage Style LED
$15.97
4W
Soft white
Yes
300
15,000 hours
A vintage-style, energy efficient light bulb for indoor use.
Ikea Ledare E26
Ikea Ledare E26
$13.55
8.6W
Warm white
Yes
600
25,000 hours
Ikea's dimmable LED bulb can be used in temperatures ranging from -20°C to 40°C.
Bioluz A19
Bioluz A19
$3.25
40W
Warm white
No
450
25,000 hours
These affordable bulbs are shatter, shock and vibration resistant.
TCP RA40
TCP RA40
$3.25
40W
Soft white, daylight
No
500
20,000 hours
TCP's RA40 bulbs are available in two options: soft white and daylight.
Sunco Lighting G25
Sunco Lighting G25
$4.17
40W
Cool white, warm light, daylight
Yes
450
15,000 hours
Sunco's Lighting G25 uses a non-glare light that is designed to be comfortable on tired eyes.
Gordon & Bond Vintage Edison
Gordon & Bond Vintage Edison
$8.34
4W
Pleasant warm
Yes
300
20,000 hours
The Gordon & Bond Vintage Edison bulb is designed to bring vintage style into any home.
GE Daylight A21
GE Daylight A21
$10.45
75W
Daylight
No
1,100
15,000 hours
GE's Daylight A21 can help you save over $100 during the lifetime of the bulb.
Torchstar G25
Torchstar G25
$12.34
60W
Warm white
Yes
500
22.8 years
The Torchstar G25 comes with a three-year warranty.

Compare up to 4 providers

What are LED light bulbs?

LED light bulbs or light-emitting diodes are designed to last longer and run more energy efficiently than older incandescent models. In fact, countries all around the world have started to phase out the use of incandescent bulbs in favour of bulbs with lower electricity usage. Australians are estimated to have saved more than $5.5 billion dollars on electricity since restrictions were placed on the archaic bulbs in 2009.

Quick stats

Average cost per bulb: $3 to $30
Power used: 2 watts to 23 watts
Brightness: 250 lumens to 1600 lumens
Average lifespan based on three-hours of use per day: around 20,000 hours
Typical number of replacement bulbs needed over 10 years: one

Pros

Studies have shown that switching from fluorescent to LED light bulbs can improve your health.

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 and many can be recycled
  • Emit less heat
  • Are more durable and less prone to breakage
  • Are not made with hazardous chemicals
Fun fact: While Thomas Edison is generally credited as having invented the light bulb, many historians believe that as many as twenty other inventors created versions of the incandescent bulb before Edison filed his patent in 1879.

Cons

There are a few disadvantages to using LED light bulbs. As with all light bulbs, the colour intensity and light output can decrease over time. Also, some people find the colour of the LEDs to look too bluish. However, many manufacturers now make vintage-style LED bulbs to replicate the feel of traditional incandescents.

Some additional downsides specific to using LED light bulbs:

  • Higher initial price per bulb
  • Limited colour options
  • Some white LED bulbs can look bluish
  • Not all models are able to be dimmed
  • Sensitive to temperature and may malfunction when exposed to heat
  • Many LEDs will not 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 if it can be dimmed.

Alternatives to LED light bulbs

As we mentioned earlier, incandescent light bulbs are being phased out all over the world. However, you can still buy them in Australia. Other types of light bulbs include halogens, fluorescent bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps, mercury-vapour lamps and Edison bulbs. Check out our light bulb comparison for a rundown of each type of bulb.

No matter what type of bulb you choose, you’ll probably want a lamp to put it in. We’ve compiled some of the best deals for buying lamps online.


Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Ask a question
Go to site