Let there be Light!

News flash……LED lighting is pretty darn cool.  It ain’t cheap, but doesn’t have to be really expensive either.

We had this outside front porch light, incandenscents kept burning out.  So out comes the ladder every month, then reaching above my head, on top of the ladder, unscrewing the old light fixture to get to the bulb….which I got so frustrated with, I bought a replacement, incandescnet style, LED bulb…..and the output of the light was so lame with that bulb, that one night my wife is out front, and a coyote just walks right on by her literally feet from our front door……we have a small dog that needs the potty time out front, bad lighting…..Ok…….time to get a whole new light so we all can see what we are doing.

So the light I locked in on, about $120, is simple, mount it, and you are done.  There is no changing bulbs, it has no bulb.  The light fixture is also the light bulb!  I took an “inside” photo of to show you, it’s one funky high tech looking thing, and the light output is just totally amazing. You can see our house from miles away :).

Some things I have learned as well in terms of lighting and light output that I’d like to share:

First, don’t think lower wattage is better.  It may be cheaper to operate, but I can all but guarantee you, the output of light will be lame.  What you want to focus on is LUMENS.  This basically is how well the light….er, lights.  Quality fixtures and bulbs, no matter the type of bulb, will have a lumen rating.  As a gauge, 500 lumens isn’t very “bright”, and 1000 is pretty bright.  Our porch fixture, is 1150 lumens, and if I had to complain, is it’s really almost too bright.

Second and perhaps as important as lumens is K……the Kelvin rating of the bulb/light output.  If you took high school physics or beyond, you might remember (I am going to oversimplify this) that light temperature as perceived by the eye is rated in Kelvins.  So is a higher or lower number better……yes and no.  It’s in the eye of the beholder.  Here’s what I prefer…..4000K which tends to be more towards blue-ish or bright white hues.  1500K, is really yellow to me and I think most folks probably would land in the 2kK to 3kK range of hue/preference.  If you happen to have a darker area in your house, man cave, basement with no windows, garage, go find some 4,000K bulbs in whatever variety you desire, and you’ll see what I mean, it will just light up everything that much more regardless of the watt or lumen rating of the bulb.

BTW……this light fixture, when I took it out of the box, was well made.  Solid materials, heavy, it just felt really good and well built.  Not all fixtures are anywhere near well built, this one is…….and it’s made in China of course……….I’ll be candid, I drive most of my buying decisions on where things are made, and I tend to stay clear of Chinese manufactueres of any durable goods we buy, but in this case I applaud the efforts to make this light, it’s just darn good quality……