LED light bulbs use 90% less energy than old-style incandescent bulbs – and now they can not only look like old-style bulbs, but also be as bright as them.
Which? testing has revealed five Best Buy LED light bulbs and two Best Buy GU10 spotlights. Two of the light bulbs and one of the spotlights only cost £5 to buy, so will pay you back in energy savings in no time.
There is also a Best Buy filament LED that looks just like an incandescent, and a Best Buy LED that produces as much light as the old-style 100W bulb that many of us used to use in our homes.
In order to become a Best Buy, light bulbs need to be super efficient, pass all of our extensive durability tests and produce high quality light – both when they are brand new out of the box and after we have simulated years of use.
Don’t Buy bulbs will be inefficient, are likely to fail early, and produce inconsistent light.
To see which light bulbs aced our tests, go straight to our .
Should you switch to LED lighting?
Some of the most common complaints about LED light bulbs have now been resolved by LED manufacturers’ innovations. When LEDs first appeared, many people complained of their ugly appearance when switched off. By attaching tiny LED chips to small imitation filaments, you can now get LED bulbs that look just like the old-style incandescent.
Another complaint was that LED light bulbs were not as bright as the old-style bulbs. Thankfully our testing has revealed a Best Buy LED bulb that produces the same amount of light as the old-style 100W incandescent bulb. It is so bright you could light an entire room with just this one bulb.
LED lighting isn’t perfect though. They are still a way behind the least efficient type of energy-saving bulbs, halogens, when it comes to how accurately they portray the colour of an object. Known as colour rendering, the ability of a bulb to accurately show colour is measured in CRI.
Halogen bulbs get a CRI score of 99 or higher out of 100, which means that colours are portrayed almost exactly as they would be if you took them outside and viewed them in natural light. LED light bulbs typically get a CRI in the mid 80s and can display a few errors.
LEDs are improving here as well, though – our testing has revealed one LED with an exceptional CRI score of 91, one of the highest we have ever recorded for an LED. To find out which bulb this is, take a look at our .
How much can you save with LED lighting?
If you replace six 50W halogen spotlights with six of our Best Buy £5 LED spotlights, you will be paid back in energy savings in seven months. After this you will be saving £32 a year on your energy bills, every year. (This assumes the bulbs will be on for two hours a day, every day.)
Although the LED bulbs are more expensive to buy than replacement halogen bulbs would be, the difference in purchasing price can soon be made up by the subsequent energy savings. The LEDs should last a lot longer too – LED bulbs often claim to last between 15 and 20 years, compared to a typical halogen lifetime of two years.
We can’t test the lifetime claim of LED bulbs for as long as 15 years, as the bulbs wouldn’t still be on sale by the time we could publish results. But we see hardly any early failures of LED bulbs after two simulated years of testing – it is relatively common for halogen bulbs to fail in that time.
Some LED bulbs are very expensive though – we’ve tested bulbs that cost as much as £25, and plenty are more than £10. As always, our testing reveals that price bears little relation to quality and there are Best Buy bulbs available from as little as £5. Use our to grab yourself a bargain and bring your energy costs down at the same time.
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