When you want to replace your older light bulbs or light fixtures with newer LED’s, there can often be many options to choose from. Having been in the lighting business for almost 25 years, I’ve seen many technologies come and go. One thing that has been a steady, consistent option is the standard Edison screw-in base.
When compact fluorescent bulbs became popular in the 1990’s many people changed out or retrofitted their fixtures to accommodate compact fluorescents. Once those plug-in bases were installed, there was only one option for a bulb that could be used. Only the color of the lighting could be changed, but they did provide a good energy savings and longer life.
The Edison base gives you many options for replacing your light bulbs. With a screw-in base a consumer can replace a bulb with an A shaped bulb, a reflector, a globe shaped bulb, a tubular bulb, etc. Not only does this allow for a variety of shapes and different color preferences, but when the bulb burns out you can easily just put a new bulb in.
Conversely, there are fixtures that have LED panels built-in which can be installed and last 10 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs and five times longer than compact fluorescent bulbs. This type of fixture saves a lot of energy and has a long life span, but the disadvantage is that when the LED panel inside burns out, a new fixture will have to be installed. If it’s in a home, such as a ceiling kitchen fixture, or somewhere in which the user is not comfortable wiring in a new fixture like an office fixture, an electrician will have to install the fixture, creating an additional cost. Because of the increased life of the fixture, this may not be an issue. These fixtures are estimated to last from 5 – 10 years depending on the usage.
In my opinion, companies need to start working on a standard for LED light panels, so that there is a way to easily replace the panel when it burns out, with some sort of standard plug. Unfortunately, this doesn’t benefit the industry which wants to sell you new fixtures every time. My preference is to stick with your good old fashioned, standard Edison base and use a screw-in LED bulb, as long as you still like your existing fixture. This allows you to easily control your options.
For more information on picking out LED bulbs, please visit my page: Choosing LED Light Bulbs.