Tricks of the Trade

How to choose the right LED bulb brightness & color

Heather Mahr, a Ferguson author

by Heather Mahr


It’s said that a tradesperson is only as good as the tools they have to work with, and when it comes to LED lighting this is especially true. Finding the right brightness and lighting color emitted by an LED lamp is critical for ensuring safe and productive working conditions. LED bulbs are versatile and come in a variety of color and light options that are better suited for different applications. A poorly lit space can lead to loss of productivity, headaches, fatigue and even injury. Get the information you need to help you find the right LED bulb brightness and color for every job.

LED bulb brightness

Many people consider wattage when selecting a bulb, but the number of watts does not indicate how much light the bulb will emit. Look for a bulb’s lumen output instead of looking for watts to determine the bulb brightness. A lumen is a unit of measure that indicates the amount of light a bulb emits, whereas a watt is the amount of energy required to power a bulb. The higher the number of lumens, the more amount of light the bulb gives off.

Bonus tip: Obtain bright lighting while ensuring energy efficiency by looking for an LED bulb with the highest lumen output and the lowest watt usage.

Brush up on your LED lighting terminology to help you buy LED bulbs like a pro >>

LED bulb color

LED lamps are available in a range of color temperatures because of how they’re manufactured. Red, yellow, green and blue LED lights are combined together on the inside of a bulb to give off different shades of light. Different combinations cause some LED bulbs to emit a warm color and others to emit a cool color. Color temperature is measured on the Kelvin temperature scale where 1,500K is the same color of light as a candle and 8,000K is the same color of light as the clear blue sky. A 2,700K LED bulb gives off a warm white color. LED bulbs of this color temperature make a suitable replacement for applications in which incandescent bulbs are used, like in residential buildings, because they are similar in color temperature. If you are lighting a space that requires cool-colored light, such as in retail environments or office spaces, look for an LED bulb with a 4,100K color temperature. This color of light is closer in shade to natural light at midday than an incandescent bulb.

Get the right light with our stock of LED bulbs >>

Heather Mahr, a Ferguson author

Heather Mahr

As a writer, Heather is dedicated to providing readers with valuable information. She is passionate about helping people find the answers they need to make their life easier with her words.