"What kind of bulbs do you use in your home?"
It's not a common question, but it's one worth thinking about. The use of old-school incandescent bulbs in on the decline, and for good reason: they're simultaneously energy-inefficient, expensive, a bit dangerous, and delicate. In fact, most countries around the world have some plan in place to officially phase out the use of incandescent bulbs.
If incandescent bulbs are out, though, what type of light bulb should you use? The answer is simple: LEDs.
LED benefit #1: LED lights last longer
There is a reason that there's a joke (or a thousand of them) about replacing light bulbs. If you use incandescent bulbs, you replace them — a lot. Once thought to be a replacement for the standard light bulb, halogen bulbs have a lifespan just barely longer than incandescent bulbs: around 2,000 to 4,000 hours compared to incandescent bulbs' 750 to 2,000 hours. CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) bulbs, also considered an alternative, have a much longer lifespan at 10,000 to 20,000 hours.
But LED has them all beat: LED lights, including Philips Hue smart lights, have a lifespan of 25,000 to 50,000 hours. Depending on how much you use your bulb, you may never have to replace it.
LED benefit #2: LED bulbs don't create (as much) heat
Ever burn yourself on a light bulb? That's because incandescent bulbs can get hot — very hot. In fact, only 5% to 10% of the energy used by an incandescent bulb is converted into light; the reminder is lost as heat.
With an LED bulb, however, 90% of the energy used is converted into light. That means that only 10% is lost as heat — the complete opposite of an incandescent bulb.
Because incandescent bulbs produce so much heat, they are often cited as a fire hazard. This is most often an issue when people pair a fixture with a bulb whose wattage exceeds the recommended wattage of the fixture. When the bulb overheats, the fixture can catch fire.
LED benefit #3: LED bulbs can be smart
Because LEDs generate much less heat than traditional incandescent bulbs, they can be smart — the technology can withstand the minuscule amount of heat created when the bulbs are used as recommended. Though originally thought to be only for techies and computer nerds, smart LED bulbs are growing in popularity for everyday homes.
Why would you need a smart bulb, though? It's just one of those things you didn't know you needed: you can switch your lights on and off with an app or voice commands and dim instantly without rewiring, but there are a lot more benefits to a smart lighting system.
You can control your lights while away from home, set routines and timers, and use smart accessories such as motion sensors to further automate your home lighting. You can even set your lights to come on randomly while you're away to make it look like you're home when you're not.
LED benefit #4: LED bulbs are most cost effective
If your home is still equipped with old-fashioned incandescent lights, then you're paying a lot for your light. Since LED bulbs need less wattage to shine the same amount of light as an incandescent bulb, they use far less energy to light up the room.
Smart LEDs have numerous controls — smart accessories, voice-controlled smart home assistants, and even away-from-home control — making it simple to remember to turn off all the lights to save those extra few dollars on your energy bill. Customize a smart accessory to turn off all the lights with a single touch as you walk out the door, use an app when you're away from home to be sure your lights are off, or just give your smart home assistant a simple voice command: "Turn off all the lights!"
LED benefit #5: LED bulbs can be colorful
With most everyday light bulbs, you're stuck with just one color of light. LED lights, however, often feature a wide range of colors. Philips Hue White ambiance bulbs feature warm-to-cool white light, ranging from cool daylight to the warm, golden tones of sunsets. The White and color ambiance line of smart LED bulbs offers the full color spectrum with 16 million colors to choose from.
The best part? You can use color LED lights to complement your home's decor. Use bright, fun colors to paint the wall with light for your next get-together or soft pastels after a long day to help you wind down and relax. With such a big variety of colors to choose from, you can change your home's look as often as you'd like!