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Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
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Top Of The Best Full Spectrum Bulbs Reviewed In 2018Last Updated November 1, 2018
№1 – 10 Pack–40 Watt T10 Full Spectrum Fluorescent Bulbs
№2 – Create Bright Led Grow Light Bulb, 28W Plant Bulb Full Spectrum Led Grow Bulb E26 Grow Plant Light for Indoor Plants,Hydroponics Greenhouse Organic,Pack of 1
№3 – ALZO 27W Full Spectrum CFL Light Bulb 5500K, 1300 Lumens, 120V, Pack of 4, Daylight White Light
After lumens, the next concept you’ll want to understand is color temperature. Measured on the Kelvin scale, color temperature isn’t really a measure of heat. Instead, it’s a measure of the color that a light source produces, ranging from yellow on the low end of the scale to bluish on the high end, with whitish light in the middle.
An easy way to keep track of color temperature is to think of a flame: it starts out yellow and orange, but when it gets really hot, it turns blue. You could also think of color temperature in terms of the sun — low, yellowy color temperatures mimic the tone of light at sunrise or sunset, while hotter, more bluish-white color temperatures are more akin to daylight (sure enough, bulbs with color temperatures like these are commonly called “daylight” bulbs). This is also why a lot of people prefer high color temperatures during the day and lower color temperatures in the morning and evening.
Generally speaking, incandescents sit at the bottom of the scale with their yellow light, while CFLs and LEDs have long been thought to tend toward the high, bluish end of the spectrum. This has been a steady complaint about new lighting alternatives, as many people prefer the warm, familiar, low color temperature of incandescents. Manufacturers are listening, though, and in this case they heard consumers loud and clear, with more and more low-color-temperature CFL and LED options hitting the shelves. Don’t believe me? Take another look at those two paper lamps in the picture above, because they’re both CFL bulbs — from the same manufacturer, no less.
Sylvania often color codes its packaging. Blue indicates a hot, bluish color temperature, while the lighter shade indicates a white, more neutral light.
As you’re probably aware, light bulbs come in a fairly wide variety of shapes. Sure, it’s easy enough to tell a hardware store clerk that you want “one of those flamey-looking lights,” or “just a normal ol’ bulby light bulb,” but knowing the actual nomenclature might save you some time.
Are pricey candelabra LEDs a smart upgrade for your chandelier?
Let’s start with the base of the bulb, the part that screws in. In the US, the most common shape by far is E26, with the “E” standing for Edison and the “26” referring to the diameter of the base in millimeters. You might also see E2bulbs from time to time, which is the European standard. Those should still fit into common American fixtures, but keep in mind that voltage ratings are different in the two regions, with American bulbs rated for 120 volts compared to 220-240 volts in Europe. For smaller sockets, like you might find with a candelabra, you’ll want to look for an E1base.
As for the bulb itself, the typical shape that you’re probably used to is an A1bulb. Increase that number to A2or A23, and you’ve got the same shape, but bigger. Bulbs made to resemble flames are F-shaped, which is easy enough to remember, as are globes, which go by the letter G. If it’s a floodlight you want, you’ll want to look for “BR” (bulging reflector) or “PAR” (parabolic aluminized reflector). Those bulbs are designed to throw all their light in one direction only, which makes them useful for spot lighting, overhead lighting and the headlights in your car.
Your automated-lighting options
It used to be that if you wanted your lights to turn on and off automatically, then you had to rely on a cheap wall socket timer, the kind you might use to control a Christmas tree. These days, with a modest boom in smart lighting currently under way, it’s easier than ever to dive into the sort of advanced automation controls that can make any home feel modern and futuristic. Use the right devices, and you’ll be able to control your lights in all sorts of creative ways, and make your life a little bit easier in the process.
The most obvious way to get started with smart lighting is with the bulbs themselves. You’ve got plenty of intelligent options from brands both big and small, and to find the one that’s best for you, you’re going to need to understand what sets them apart.
Connect with these 3IFTTT-friendly smart devices (pictures)
The first thing to look at is how the bulbs communicate with you. Some offer direct connections with your smart phone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, which makes setup as simple as screwing the thing in and following in-app pairing instructions.
Others transmit using a distinct frequency like ZigBee or Z-Wave. Bulbs like those might be a better fit for bigger smart home setups, as it’s typically a little easier to sync them up with things like motion detectors and smart locks. Setup can be slightly more advanced, as you’ll need a separate hub or gateway device capable of translating that distinct frequency into a Wi-Fi signal your router can comprehend.
Some smart bulbs come with their own gateway. Others, like the Cree Connected LED, require a third-party control device, like the Wink Hub.
If you’re looking for a little more color in your life, then be sure and take a look at a product like the Philips Hue Starter Kit. Aside from being fully automatable via a mobile app and control hub, the Hue LED bulbs are capable of on-demand color changes. Just pull out your phone, select one of millions of possible shades, and the light will match it. And if you’re into voice control, Hue bulbs hit the compatibility trifecta — they’ll work with Siri, Alexa, and the Google Assistant.
Because Philips opened its lighting controls to third-party developers, you’ll also find lots of fun novelty uses for Hue bulbs, like changing the color of your lights in rhythm with whatever music you’re playing. There’s even an app that’ll sync your Hue lights up with certain TV programming.
Hue lights are also directly compatible with the popular web service IFTTT, with recipes already available that will change the color of your lights to match the weather, or to signal a touchdown from your favorite football team, or even to indicate when your stocks are doing well.
Pros & Cons of LED Light
LED stands for light emitting diode, which are semiconductors that produce light when charged. LED bulbs have an average lifespan of over 50,000 hours, compared to a little over 1,000 for conventional incandescent bulbs. As a LED ages, the amount of light it gives off dissipates over time.
Pros & Cons of CFL Light
CFL stands for compact fluorescent lighting, which is simply a smaller version of a fluorescent tube. CFL bulbs contain a mercury vapor that lights when it is energized. Because CFLs contain mercury, they must be disposed of carefully, at designated drop-off site (Home Depot, Lowes, recycling centers, etc). An average CFL bulb should last 7,000 hours.
Pros & Cons of Incandescent Light
Incandescent light is an electric process that produces light with a wire filament that is heated to a high temperature by an electric current which runs through it. This is the type of lighting which was the standard in homes up until the 1990’s. Due to its poor energy efficiency, it is being replaced with the newer technology of LED and CFL bulbs. Incandescent bulbs last roughly 1,000 hours.
Pros & Cons of Halogen Light
Similar to incandescent light bulbs, halogen bulbs use a similar electric-filament technology with one important difference; with incandescents the filament degrades via evaporation over time whereas, with halogens, filament evaporation is prevented by a chemical process that redeposits metal vapor onto the filament, thereby extending its life. Halogen bulbs have a lifespan of roughly 3,000 hours.
Color Temperature & Lighting Color temperature is a characteristic of visible light. The temperature of light refers to its warmness or coolness, or hue. This temperature is measured using the Kelvin scale, which for most use ranges from 2,700°-7,500°K. Incandescent and halogen lighting are the most limited in the temperature range at 2,700°-3,000°K. LED and CFL have each expanded their color range to now offering warmer options. Most task lighting, however, benefits from cooler lighting options which include LED, full spectrum, and CFL.
Understanding Lumens & Brightness is a measurement of light output from a lamp, often called a tube or a bulb. All lamps are rated in lumens. For example, a 100-watt incandescent lamp produces about 1,600 lumens.
The distribution of light on a flat surface is called its illumination and is measured in footcandles. A footcandle of illumination is a lumen of light spread over a one square foot area.
The illumination needed varies according to the difficulty of a visual task. Ideal illumination is the minimum footcandles necessary to allow you to perform a task comfortably and efficiently without eyestrain or fatigue. According to the Illuminating Engineering Society, illumination of 30 to 50 footcandles is needed for most home and office work. Intricate and lengthy visual tasks — like sewing — require 200 to 500 footcandles.
1,000-1,400 Lumens is a commonly accepted range for most applications of task lighting. An average of 50 Lumens per square foot is a common measure. efficacy. Efficacy is the ratio of light output from a lamp to the electric power it uses and is measured in lumens per watt.
Demystifying LED Light
When comparing the raw lumen output of traditional lamps with the lumen output of many LED lamps, it may seem that LEDs deliver less light than the conventional counterparts. These comparisons, however, are inaccurate and misleading, since they fail to account for the amount of wasted light in conventional lighting.
Therefore, lumen output is a poor measure of the suitability of a lamp for a given task. The better measure is delivered light — how much light a fixture delivers to a surface, as measured in lux (lx) or footcandles (fc). You can make comparisons between conventional and LED lighting fixtures on the basis of delivered light, as it measures how much of a light source’s raw lumen output reaches a surface or area you are lighting.
Determining the amount of a conventional lamp’s raw lumen output reaches as area, you must discount any light lost in the fixture housing (at times over 30%), as well as the light lost as a result of shading, lensing, and filtering. Since incandescent and fluorescent lamps often emit light in many directions, you must also discount any light cast away from the target area.
Reading area or den
The reading area should have a bright task lamp. A bright desk lamp can prevent eye strain which is helpful in preventing eye damage in the long run. With bright task lamps in the reading area, you can keep headaches away. Thus, you will surely enjoy reading as well as other activities like writing letters or completing puzzles.
Your kitchen is another part of the home that requires task lighting. The dangerous nature of the activities you do in your kitchen is reason enough to get additional task lighting. More importantly, you need enough light to read recipes and to see the ingredients as they cook as well as other practical things. For kitchens, common task lighting fixtures are under cabinet lights that provide extra illumination to supplement the ambient light.
White Light and Blue Light products in the UK
Although the light emitted by the sun appears to be white it is actually made up of the full spectrum of colours. This becomes apparent when sunlight shines through rain and it is split into the full spectrum of colours creating a rainbow.
Seasonal Affective Disorder Blue Light Therapy
The theory behind conventional Full Spectrum (White Light) light boxes is that they effectively replicate sunshine. As a result they give the user a positive response when they are lacking sunshine.
Historically only Full spectrum light boxes were used to treat light deficiency disorders. However, advancements in research and technology have shown that a particular bandwidth of blue light is also effective in treating Seasonal Affective Disorder.
SAD.org.uk recommend both White Light and Blue Light products in the treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder.
There are many studies in to the effectiveness of White Light and Blue light therapy and it is a clinically proven technology for the treatment of SAD. SAD.org.uk recommends the use of traditional White Light therapy devices as well as the newer Blue Light Therapy devices.
LED SAD Lights Vs Traditional SAD Lights
In the last few years LED light boxes for the treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder have been proven to be just as effective as traditional tube bulb SAD Light devices. SAD.org.uk recommends the use of LED Lightboxes as well as traditional tube bulb light therapy devices.
LED vs. CFL vs. Halogen
Now that most incandescent lightbulbs are pretty much a thing of the past, consumers now must choose between LED (light-emitting diode), CFL (compact fluorescent), and halogen bulbs to light their homes. But which is the best option? It all depends on your needs. We’ll take you through the various kinds of lighting, and the benefits that each offers.
LEDs vs. Incandescent Bulbs
Traditional incandescent bulbs measured their brightness in watts; if you wanted a brighter bulb, you bought one with a higher wattage. However, with the advent of LEDs and other types of lighting, that yardstick has become meaningless, and as a result, a bulb’s brightness is now listed as lumens, which is a more accurate measurement of how bright it is, rather than how much energy it consumes. Below is a conversion table which shows how much energy, in watts, an incandescent bulb and an LED typically require to produce the same amount of light.
Other Lightbulb Alternatives
EISA will also stop the manufacturing of candle-and globe-shaped 60-watt incandescent bulbs (the types used in chandeliers and bathroom vanity light fixtures). However, the law doesn’t affect 40-watt versions of those bulbs, nor three-way (50 to 100 to 150-watt) incandescent A1bulbs. So, those will continue to be an option for you, as well, in fixtures that will accommodate them.
LED Lightbulb Options
Traditional bulbs for table and floor lamps are known by their lighting industry style name “A19,”while floodlight bulbs made for track lights and in-ceiling fixtures are dubbed “BR30.” Your best long-term alternative to either style is extremely energy-efficient LED technology.
The LED equivalent of a 60-watt A1bulb consumes only between and 1watts, and provides about the same light output, measured in lumens. A 40-watt equivalent LED bulb consumes only to 8.watts. And a 65-watt BR30 (floodlight) replacement LED bulb consumes only to 1watts.
Moreover, an LED bulb’s lifespan is practically infinite. Manufacturers typically estimate a bulb’s lifespan based on three hours of use per day. By that measurement, an LED bulb will be as good as new for at least a decade, manufacturers say. Under the same conditions, an old-fashioned lightbulb may work for only about a year before burning out.
For example, GE’s equivalent LED bulb has a rated lifetime of 15,000 hours or 13.years. Philips’ equivalent LED bulb has a rated lifetime of 10,000 hours or 9.1years.
LED bulbs will continue to light up even after their rated lifetimes expire; however, brightness may drop or the color cast of the light may change.
GE, Philips, Sylvania, Cree and other brands (including IKEA) all offer LED bulbs that output the most popular “soft white” light, at retailers including Home Depot, Target and Walmart. In addition, GE ‘s Reveal lineup of color-enhancing lightbulbs (a coating filters out yellow tones to enhance colors lit by the bulb) with LED replacements equivalent to 40-watt and 60-watt A1bulbs and to a 65-watt BR30 bulb.
IKEA Tradfri Gateway Kit
Even IKEA is getting into the smart lighting game. Its Tradfri line includes several bulb types, including an A2(essentially an A19), GU10, as well as a remote control, dimming switch, and a motion sensor. These bulbs also require a gateway hub to connect to your smartphone via Wi-Fi. While they currently do not work with any other smart home system, Ikea announced that the lights will work with Alexa, Google Home, and HomeKit by the fall. Not all of the Tradfri lights are available online, so you’ll have to go to an IKEA store for some; be sure to stock up on Swedish meatballs while you’re there.
Growing weed indoors comes with a number of potential red flags…
It’s crucial to ensure the light your plants receive is properly regulated. Getting the temperature spot-on can be the difference between a bumper crop and a spoiled grow. Throw an extremely strong scent and potentially nosy neighbors into the mix and you might be wondering whether growing your own weed is worth the hassle.
One ingenious way to cover all these bases and keep your crop perfectly contained and growing under optimum conditions is to invest in the best grow tent.
Fortunately, we compiled a grow tent reviews guide some time back. Check it out and choose from of the very best grow tents money can buy.
Keep your weed contained and get the very most out of your seeds with a grow tent.
Now you’ve got your seeds and growing method nailed down along with some of the best inexpensive LED grow lights, how about giving your plants a helping hand?
One thing to bear in mind…
Do not go over the top with these chemicals. Less is definitely more.
As with grow tents, we’ve already dealt with nutrients and fertilizers for cannabis in detail so, rather than repeat ourselves, check out the article here.
We’ll just leave you here with a shotgun summary of the NPK that you see front and center on packs of nutrients…
If you are growing using the best affordable LED grow lights, don’t be tempted to press a cheap LUX meter into commission to measure light levels. While you can easily get hold of the best LED grow light cheap, you won’t be able to gauge the lumens per square meter (LUX) using one of these pieces of kit.
You can save money in many areas but using a cheap and shoddy light meter is false economy.
Check out these great digital light meters and make sure you keep an accurate handle on the light levels of your grow. If you want the best LED grow light on a budget, you need to make sure it’s giving your plants the light levels they need to flourish.
Grow Room Sunglasses
One of the things many growers often overlook in the excitement to harvest that weed is the importance of protecting your eyes as you grow.
Grow lights, whether LED or HPS, can kick off harmful light which is not really mitigated by wearing regular sunglasses. Normal shades simply don’t offer enough protection against the UV spectrum of light emitted by grow lights.
In addition to safeguarding your eyes against UVA, UVB and UVC rays, wearing the best grow room sunglasses also enables you to see the precise color of your plants clearly so you can identify any potential pest problems.
Method Seven make a range of grow room sunglasses to suit a variety of needs. Check out these glasses here.
A Complete Tool Kit for a Grow Room Owner
Now we’ve drilled down on the backbone of your grow room, how about a few nifty extras to really get the most from your growing environment?
Exhaust Fans: Properly circulated air and adequate ventilation are crucial for any grow room. A rock-solid exhaust fan is absolutely indispensable
Zip Ties: The zip ties often used by police as makeshift handcuffs are the perfect solution for securing the trailing cords on your grow lights and making sure you don’t end up with any trip hazards in the grow room
Twist Ties: Twist ties are a great way to train your fledgling weed plants. Use them gently to avoid damaging your marijuana
Dehumidifier: We’ve outlined already the importance of properly regulated levels of humidity. If you live somewhere with a volatile climate or the wrong amount of moisture in the air for your growing needs, there’s no substitute for a decent dehumidifier. Don’t use it too much though or the THC levels in your plants can suffer if you suck too much moisture away and conditions become too dry
Nutrient Pumps: Pouring the gunk directly from nutrient bottles can be messy and imprecise. Get yourself some nutrient pumps so you can keep things organized and dispense your nutrients with precision
Mister: Misters offer you a finer mist than you’d get from a spray bottle. You can fine-tune the spray better too for a double-win
Syringe: A superb way to measure any liquid you need for your growing operation is to use an industrial syringe. You can also apply that liquid with accuracy and ease. If you’re looking to work with pH levels or any other task where precision is paramount, you simply can’t beat a syringe
Tape: Scotch tape is handy for all kinds of quick fixes from broken equipment to a snapped stem on your plant. Keep a few rolls to hand at all times
Denatured Alcohol: If you have a grow room stuffed with resinous buds, keeping things sterile and clean can be a real headache. Denatured alcohol deals with this stickiness fuss-free so you can concentrate on your grow without worrying about contamination
Odor Control: As we all know, weed crops reek. Whether you opt for a cheap odor neutralizer or go all-out with a carbon filter, it’s well worth your time making sure the stench of your crop doesn’t give you away
Before we round out with some handy pointers about LED grow lights, what about the light cycles necessary for growing the best weed?
Natural Light Cycles
Outdoor weed plants, whether growing wild or deliberately cultivated, enter the flowering stage toward the end of summer then continuing flowering on through to the end of fall. It’s the change in light that provokes the different growing stages essential for your plant to make it through to harvest. As the hours of darkness increase and the amount of sunlight drops away, the plants take this signal to begin flowering rather than focusing their energy on vegetative growth.
How to Avoid Common Problems with LEDs
Here are some common issues with LED lights and how to prevent them from ruining your grow…
Insufficient Light: Think carefully about how many plants you’ll be growing and don’t sell yourself short with inadequate lighting. Take the time to think about the number of lights and their luminosity before purchasing your LEDs
Overheating Your Crop: If you spot the leaves closest to the lights turning brown, you know you’re overdoing it with the LEDs. Take action promptly if you see any thin outlines forming on the leaves
Incorrect Placement: If you put your LEDs too close or too far away from your plants, you’re inviting disaster. As a general rule of thumb, set them up at a distance of between 1and 1inches from your crop for best results
Faulty Spectrum Selection: Your plants need different light for different stages of growth. Blue light is better for the vegetative stage so if you fire in too much red light at this point, you’ll stunt the growth of your plants
Failure to Adjust Your Lights: If you don’t fine-tune the height of your lighting as the plants grow, you are highly likely to end up burning the leaves of your precious marijuana plants
LED Grow Light Brands You Can Trust
Before we wrap up and let you explore the rest of our site, we’ll give you a shotgun summary of the best LED grow light manufacturers so you can see at a glance which might fit the bill for your grow op…
Advanced Platinum: Platinum LED Grow Lights offers the Advanced Platinum Series to cater for all your growing needs. As you can see from our reviews, you can choose from a broad spread of LEDs so there’s something for all shapes and sizes of grow rooms. Advanced Platinum are certainly not the cheapest LED lights but the best things in life are seldom cheap
California Lightworks: Brutally expensive but ruthlessly efficient, California Lightworks offer top-tier LEDs that would not look out of place even in a professional set-up. This company pours large amounts of cash into research and development ensuring you get the most pioneering lighting solution so you can enjoy a bumper crop of prime weed every single time
KING: KINGLED are an LED light specialist with half a decade of know-how with a factory in China just like many light manufacturers. With first-class facilities and production lines, you can enjoy fairly inexpensive LED grow lights that punch above their weight
Mars Hydro: A highly reputable Chinese manufacturer, Mars Hydro offer a massive selection of highly effective LED lights alongside just about everything else you could need from grow tents through to accessories. The added bonus is that their LEDs are among the cheapest options on the market without sacrificing quality
Roleadro: While their website looks pretty basic, don’t let that fool you Roleadro are yet another Chinese LED light supplier offering 300-watt and 600-watt LEDs at highly competitive prices
TaoTronics: Unlike many of these LED light specialists, with TaoTronics, you benefit from an electronic giant with the bankroll to engage in endless R&D leading to the most pioneering LEDs for your grow op at an almost throwaway price. These lights are best for the home hobbyist rather than for professionals looking to grow on a large scale
VIPARSPECTRA: VIPASPECTRA is owned by Shenzhen Bailou Technology Co Ltd and they’re also based in China. They offer some of the best cheap LED lights without compromising on quality
We hope you have enjoyed this look at the very best LED grow lights on the market.
We’ve just overhauled our site to reflect some new products worthy of inclusion on any shortlist.
If you honestly analyze your growing needs then take your time reading plenty of user feedback and reviews, buying the best LED grow light shouldn’t be too tough.
There are four important factors when considering the effectiveness of a light box: (1) Has the product been clinically tested? (2) Does it provide 10,000 lux of light, a brightness equivalent to being outside on a clear spring day shortly after sunrise? (3) Does it deliver the light in a downward angle? and (4) Is the light diffused evenly over the entire surface of the lamp?
All products purchased from The SunBox Company may be returned within 4days from date of purchase for a full refund (less shipping costs) if returned in good condition. We ask that you keep the original shipping materials to reuse in case of return, as this is the best way to ensure that the unit will not be damaged in transit back to us.
From time to time, additional time is necessary to determine whether one of our products will be helpful to you or not. If this is the case, please contact us to discuss the situation; the 30 day return policy is not set in stone, and we are happy to make reasonable exceptions to this policy.
Several safety components should be incorporated into any light therapy device you use. These are (1) the absence of UV wavelengths, (2) a proper diffusing screen, and (3) UL listing.
Unlike some of our competitors, who may take up to weeks to ship orders, we ship within days of receiving your completed order. In fact, most of our orders ship the same business day. Our standard shipping method is UPS Ground for the lower 4(U.S.) states, and U.S. Mail to Alaska and Canada.
We do ship worldwide, but do not have standardized fees for international shipping charges. Therefore, if you are placing an order to be shipped outside the U.S.A. or Canada, we will contact several carriers to obtain a quote before shipping your order. You will need to provide the following information before we can obtain the quote:
Full Spectrum Lighting Myths
More Energy-Efficient. Actually, full spectrum bulbs use more energy than comparable non-full spectrum lamps due to the amount of phosphors used.
Higher Quality Light. While full spectrum lighting excels at color quality, there are other factors to consider such as contrast, uniformity, and glare.
Healthier Lighting. There is no evidence that full spectrum lighting provides any health benefits, however light box therapy, which is not necessarily full spectrum, is a proven medical treatment for SAD.
Causes of SAD
Circadian rhythm/internal clock Reduced sunlight in fall and winter may cause winter-onset SAD. A decrease in sunlight may affect your body’s internal clock and cause feelings of depression.
Lower Serotonin levels. Decreased serotonin, a neurotransmitter that affects mood, may play a role in SAD. Lack of sunlight can cause a drop in serotonin that may bring on depression.
Lower Melatonin levels. Seasonal change can disrupt the balance of the body’s melatonin levels, which may play a role in sleep patterns & mood.
Risk factors of SAD
Females. SAD occurs more often in women than in men, but men may exhibit more-severe symptoms. 75% of diagnosed SAD cases involve women.
Age. Young people have a higher risk of winter SAD, and winter SAD is less likely to occur in older adults. SAD onset is most likely in those age 18-30.
Family history. People with SAD may be more likely to have blood relatives with SAD or another form of depression.
Clinical depression or bipolar disorder. Depression symptoms may worsen seasonally if you have these conditions.
Distance from the equator. SAD is most common among those who live beyond 30° north or south of the equator.
Getting to know full spectrum lights
Otherwise known as “daylight” lighting, a full spectrum light has a very high color temperature, approximately the kind that you see on a bright and sunny day. It ranges from 5000K to 6000K and can be a very pronounced blue. It used to be lighting that is considered too harsh for the indoors but there are already variations that are good enough to be installed in homes and offices.
Determine approximate lumens
The lumen is the measure of the total amount of light that is emitted by a source. This is often used along with wattage to determine the luminous efficiency of a light.
More lumens, the brighter the light source is. Full spectrum lights can range from 2000 to 2500 lumens.
The amount of daylight varies across the country. In some regions, the length of daylight changes quickly. Here in Oregon, the day will be three minutes shorter tomorrow than it was today. That means supplemental lighting requirements will change fairly rapidly from month to month. One of the best ways to manage those changes is with an automatic light timer. A timer will help you easily adjust to changing daylight lengths as well as save energy and bulb life.
If you chose to use any type of florescent lighting, you will need to account for plant growth. Florescent lights perform best when positioned very close to plants. As plants grow into the light, it is important to raise the fixture. Generally only the plants touching the lights will burn, but be prepared because they grow quickly. Adjustable hangers are a good solution. These hangers move easily allowing you to make quick adjustments.
Whether you just want to give a special plant a boost, or you plan to grow right through the winter, grow lights are a great option in a greenhouse. For supplemental light, grow lights operate for only a few hours a day. Once you have the fixtures and the bulbs there is little cost, but it is an investment to get started. When purchasing a system it’s a good idea to think about your goals and how you may want to change in the future. Do you want to start seeds and get a jump on the season, or do you want to create a year-round oasis? Keep in mind as you’re planning; as plants grow, so do your ambitions. Nothing feeds the soul in the dead of winter quite like walking into your greenhouse and being greeted with beautiful, healthy, thriving plants!
Michelle Moore is a member of Garden Writers Association. Michelle studied business and communications at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. After graduation, she completed a Fulbright Scholarship then earned an International MBA from Thunderbird, The Gavin School of International Management. With nearly 20 years of experience working with greenhouses,
Verilux HappyLight Deluxe 10,000-Lux Sunshine Simulator
If the Day-Light Classic Plus is unavailable or goes up in price, or you’re willing to pay more for a smaller lamp, try the Verilux HappyLight Deluxe 10,000-Lux Sunshine Simulator. It has many of the same features as the Day-Light Classic Plus, including 10,000 lux of UV-free light up to inches away from its surface and a large, 200-square-inch face. Unlike with the Day-Light Classic Plus, you can’t adjust the HappyLight by height, but you can adjust the angle by extending a foot at the base of the lamp. Although the HappyLight has the large surface area needed for maximum benefits, it’s still a less cumbersome light and much easier to set up out of the box compared with the Day-Light Classic Plus. The HappyLight’s glow is also a much cooler white (6,500 Kelvin) compared with that of our top pick (4,000 Kelvin), which you may prefer to the warmer hue of the Day-Light Classic Plus.
Disclaimer: This guide is not a replacement for an official diagnosis of SAD by a physician. While many of us might catch a case of the blahs when the weather gets colder and the days longer, that’s far different from a clinical case of SAD, which should only be diagnosed and treated by a medical professional. (See below for more on these differences.) You should use a SAD lamp or light box only under medical supervision, as it is, in fact, a medical device. That said, if we were going to try one out, here’s what we’d buy.
How we picked
There are a few important factors to consider when shopping for a SAD lamp to ensure you receive the full therapeutic benefits of the light. Since we are not qualified or equipped to test SAD lamps for efficacy, we focused instead on how easy they are to use, how much space they take up on a tabletop, and whether they met their stated specs. We considered all the points below and selected our three top picks for hands-on comparison.
We do not recommend using them without a physician’s guidance.
First, know that the FDA does not test, approve, or regulate light-box devices. As such, we do not recommend using them without a physician’s guidance. We based our picks on research, product specifications provided by manufacturers, customer feedback, and conversations with experts who study and prescribe these units.
A light box should deliver between 2,500 and 10,000 lux. Lux is a unit that measures lumen per square meter. The more lux a light delivers, the less time you need to spend sitting in front of it. For most 10,000-lux lights, 30 uninterrupted minutes should suffice. (You could go longer, but for some people, that can cause side effects such as eyestrain and headaches.)
The larger the surface of the light box, the better. In
Winter Blues, Rosenthal notes that the lights “used in almost all research studies … have an illuminated surface that is at least about one foot square.” For that reason, and the fact that smaller therapeutic lamps have not undergone the same kind of rigorous study that their bigger cousins have received, we strongly recommend light boxes with the largest surfaces.
Be sure to look for safe light wavelengths. “My recommendation is cool white fluorescent lights in a light box protected by a Plexiglass diffuser that absorbs ultraviolet radiation,” Lewy advised. Ultraviolet waves are potentially harmful to the eye and do not seem to be effective in alleviating symptoms of SAD.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
The Day-Light Classic Plus is unwieldy and (some would argue) unattractive. If you don’t like the way it looks, you may prefer the simpler designs of our other picks.
The Day-Light produces 10watts, making it hotter to the touch than our runner-up and other picks (which put out 3and 7watts, respectively). Like any heat-producing device, the lamp should be used in an open, ventilated space (a company spokesperson recommended avoiding putting it on a desk with a hutch, for example).
Runner-up: HappyLight Deluxe 10,000-Lux Sunshine Simulator
The HappyLight Deluxe sets up in minutes but lacks a stand for more versatile positioning. Photo: Caleigh Waldman
The Day-Light Sky by Carex is nearly identical to our runner-up. Both have a long neck and swivel head for custom positioning. However, this lamp has historically been more expensive than our top pick and hasn’t received the same expert recommendation.
The Aura Light is one of many small SAD lamps on the market today. We chose not to test it because its light panel is smaller than the recommended size. (And, at the time of publishing, it was unavailable.)
The Travelite and Luxor, also by Northern Light Technologies, were both dismissed for their smaller light panels and lesser reviews, respectively.
Light-therapy devices that work differently from SAD lamps and aim to treat other health problems—such as trouble waking in the morning, which is what dawn simulators like the Philips Wake-Up Light purport to do—were also excluded.
Allison Aubrey, Intense Light Still Best Treatment for Winter Blues, NPR, December 21, 2006
RW Lam, AJ Levitt, RD Levitan, EE Michalak, AH Cheung, R Morehouse, R Ramasubbu, LN Yatham, EM Tam, Efficacy of Bright Light Treatment, Fluoxetine, and the Combination in Patients With Nonseasonal Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized Clinical Trial, JAMA Psychiatry, January 1, 2016
What to Look for in Dawn Simulators: A Buying Guide, CET, June 1, 2014
Nicole Praschak-Rieder, Matthäus Willeit, Treatment of seasonal affective disorders, Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, December 1, 2003
Canadian Consensus Group on SAD, Canadian Consensus Guidelines for the Treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder
CI Eastman, MA Young, LF Fogg, L Liu, PM Meaden, Bright light treatment of winter depression: a placebo-controlled trial., Archives of General Psychiatry, October 1, 1998
RN Golden, BN Gaynes, RD Ekstrom, RM Hamer, FM Jacobsen, T Suppes, KL Wisner, CB Nemeroff, The efficacy of light therapy in the treatment of mood disorders: a review and meta-analysis of the evidence., American Journal of Psychiatry, April 1, 2005
RW Lam, AJ Levitt, RD Levitan, MW Enns, R Morehouse, EE Michalak, EM Tam, The Can-SAD study: a randomized controlled trial of the effectiveness of light therapy and fluoxetine in patients with winter seasonal affective disorder., American Journal of Psychiatry, May 1, 2006
RE Strong, BK Marchant, FW Reimherr, E Williams, P Soni, R Mestas, Narrow-band blue-light treatment of seasonal affective disorder in adults and the influence of additional nonseasonal symptoms., Journal of Depression and Anxiety
Bright Lights, Big Relief, American Psychological Association, June 26, 2006
Michael Craig Miller, Seasonal affective disorder: bring on the light, Harvard Health Blog, December 21, 2012
AJ Lewy, TA Wehr, FK Goodwin, DA Newsome, SP Markey, Light Suppresses Melatonin Secretion in Humans, Science, December 1, 1980
Roni Caryn Rabin, A Portable Glow to Help Melt Those Winter Blues, The New York Times, November 14, 2011
Susan Rinkunas, Can a SAD Lamp Really Make You Happy?, New York Magazine, January 26, 2016
Lauren Schwartzberg, 2Mood Lights to Keep You Happy, Relaxed, or Focused, New York Magazine, January 29, 2016
Christian Jarrett, Why Your Brain Actually Works Better in Winter, New York Magazine, February 14, 2016
AJ Lewy, MD, PhD, director, Sleep and Mood Disorders Laboratory at Oregon Health and Sciences University, interview
LED bulbs contain no mercury
One of the hurdles to broad consumer acceptance of energy-efficient CFL bulbs is the presence of a small amount of mercury in the bulbs. Consumers are concerned that they may be adding mercury to the environment when the bulb is disposed. If a CFL bulb is broken, consumers are advised to treat the broken bulb as a hazardous material.
The mercury issue with CFLs is confusing because manufacturers reason that actually less mercury enters the environment when CFLs are used to replace incandescent bulbs. A power plant will emit 10mg of mercury to produce the electricity to run an incandescent bulb compared to only 2.4mg of mercury to run a CFL for the same time. The net benefit of using the more energy efficient lamp is positive, and this is especially true if the mercury in the fluorescent lamp is kept out of the waste stream when the lamp expires. However, this reasoning only applies if your electricity comes from coal-fired sources.
The presence of mercury in CFL bulbs is a real issue with consumers. At Eartheasy’s online store, we have discontinued selling CFLs because of customer concern over the presence of mercury in CFL bulbs.
LED bulbs contain no mercury, so there is no special concern with handling or disposal of LED bulbs.
LEDs give instant light, and many LED bulbs are dimmable
When turning on CFLs and tubular fluorescent light bulbs, there is a slight hesitation before brightness is achieved, and some bulbs may flicker during warm up or even during operation. Unlike fluorescents, LED bulbs, like incandescent bulbs, reach full illumination as soon as they are turned on. This is a real advantage over CFL bulbs in areas of the home where lights are frequently turned on and off. Also, LED lights produce a steady light which does not flicker.
Earlier versions of LED bulbs had the disadvantage of not being dimmable. Today, many LED bulbs are designed to work in dimmable switches which are provided in many lamps and home lighting fixtures. Just be sure to check the package to ensure the bulb you have selected is dimmable.
LED lights last a long time and unlike other light bulbs, they do not burn out, but rather dim over time.
LEDs won’t contribute to heat buildup in your home
This summer has been the hottest on record, and homeowners are increasingly interested in measures which can help reduce the amount of heat generated within the home. Electric lighting is one of the main culprits. Incandescent lights produce ideal illumination in terms of brightness and quality of light, but they also produce a considerable amount of heat.
A 100 watt incandescent bulb produces 100 watts of power. From an energy point of view, it puts out 100 Joules of energy per second. In a small closed room, m (12ft) x m(12ft) x m(9ft) or 4m³ with a single 100w bulb:
Insects are not attracted to UV-free LED bulbs
Many LED bulbs (but not all) do not give off ultraviolet light, which is known to attract flying insects. Check the package label for UV information if you are interested in this feature.
There are also specialty LED bulbs which have yellow lenses or bulbs, which are designed for outdoor use in carports, decks or on patios. These yellow bulbs will not attract the bugs and moths which seem to cluster around ordinary white bulbs. These bulbs produce adequate light for the intended area; they just don’t attract bugs.
Choose LED bulbs which are UL Listed, not UL Compliant
A light bulb package marked “UL Compliant” is no assurance that the LED bulb has been tested or approved by the Underwriters Laboratory. It only means that the manufacturer has followed recommended UL guidelines in production and technical aspects. A “UL Listed” LED bulb has passed stringent tests put forth by UL, and consumers are advised to look for the UL Listed mark.
In the race to garner a share of the emerging LED market, manufacturers may use the UL Compliant mark to help sell more light bulbs, but this is no guarantee of bulb quality. Consumers should be wary of new LED bulbs which are priced very low, are sourced from unknown suppliers, or have unrealistic product claims.
As said, full spectrum lamps are made to emulate the full electromagnetic spectrum of light which is very similar to natural midday sunlight. Nowadays full-spectrum bulbs come in a variety of wattages, voltages, sizes, finishes, and base types. The function of a full spectrum lighting largely is associated to the type of lamp being used to produce the light and hence it is hard to provide one solid definition for full-spectrum lighting. Speaking in much generalized terms, full spectrum lighting falls within two main lighting types:
Full spectrum incandescent lamps utilize a neodymium glass enclosure to filter out some of the more dominant “warm” colors. These lamps appear purple when turned off.
Chromalux full spectrum bulb
Full spectrum fluorescent lighting is based on a combination of phosphors to reach wider ranges of the Kelvin color temperature scale. They appear as a lot “whiter” and seemingly closer to emitting daylight than conventional fluorescent lamps. When turned off, lamps look white, not too different from typical fluorescent bulbs. Also, they are made to represent colors more accurately; their Color Rendering Index (CRI) mainly falls within the scale from moderate to high.
Incandescent bulbs: These inexpensive bulbs are probably what you’ve been buying for years, but they’re about to undergo some changes. Forget buying a 100-watt incandescent bulb—they’re being phased out for environmental reasons. While consumers can still purchase incandescent bulbs, federal law requires that they be produced using 30 percent less energy. They’ll emit the same warm light, but even with the federally required changes, these bulbs will still use more energy than some of their greener counterparts.
Compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs): These bulbs are good for the environment and your wallet: They often last to times longer than incandescent bulbs, and experts say they use 7percent less energy. These bulbs generally cost more up front, but you can break even quickly, thanks to the energy savings. The major downsides: You can’t use them with dimmers, and they take a few seconds to power on. And while they contain a very small amount of mercury, it’s sealed in glass tubing so it’s not released if the bulb is broken. Manufacturers are working to improve these bulbs; for example, they no longer emit an annoying buzzing sound and they’re available in different colors, like cool, neutral, or warm. These bulbs are particularly effective when used in places where the lights are left on often, like a hallway, porch, or kitchen.
Things to Consider
Make sure that you don’t choose a lightbulb with a higher wattage than your lamp allows. It can be tricky with the lower wattages to know what is the right wattage in CFLs or halogens. Energy Star has very helpful charts to help you figure out what bulb is best for you.
If you’re choosing a lightbulb for outdoors, make sure that it’s in a fixture that protects it from getting wet. Many CFLs and LEDs can be used outside, but they can’t get wet.
Incandescent light bulbs produce little glare, enhance color definition, and provide a uniform level of light throughout their lifespan. That lifespan, however, is relatively short — only about 200-1200. Incandescent bulbs are well-suited to ambient lighting applications, but for most task lighting purposes, incandescent lighting is less than ideal.
Halogen light bulbs give off bright, crisp lighting that eliminates shadows and reduces glare and eystrain. Thus, halogen lamps are excellent for task lights. Halogen bulbs also work well for general lighting, thanks to their 1000-2000 hour lifespan and energy-efficient nature.
Fluorescent lights are very efficient, brighter than incandescent lighting, and operate in a cooler range of colors than incandescent. Very useful for task lighting, fluorescent bulbs last up to 10,000 hours, but have their own drawbacks. They tend to be more expensive than incandescent bulbs, and most require a bit of time to warm up before they reach their maximum light output. You can tell a fluorescent bulb is nearing the end of its lifespan when it begins to flicker or dim.
Energy Efficient Desk Lamps
Energy consumption is a big concern these days, and with specially-designed energy-efficient lamps, you can do your part to minimize your impact. These models are becoming more and more prevalent, so whether you’re looking for general or task lighting, chances are you’ll be able to find something with a low energy draw.
Three-Way Incandescent/Fluorescent Clamp-On Lamp, 40″ Reach, White
Aquaponics is one of the most interesting systems used to grow plants. It is also one of the simplest. By using an aquaponics kit, an aquarium is easily converted into a living ecosystem, where plants and fish co-exist in symbiotic bliss.
The only pitfall of this product is that
Save energy and increase your crop’s performance with this incredible light. This product has been manufactured and tested in the United States with the highest quality standards. You will experience a truly new way of harvesting when using the MarsHydro Mars 300.
There are some excellent features on this product. They include:
The good side of the HyTech led grow light include
The not so good features of the led grow light from HyTech Garden are:
Use this amazing light to grow your cannabis and other medicinal plants. It is easy to install and you don’t need much to put it to work. It will let you grow your plants efficiently, as it is designed to grow plants with flowering phase. It brings the right frequencies to your plants.
Among the good things of the Vintage Grow HIGH YIELD Dual Spectrum Hydroponics 45W LED Grow Light Bulb Lamp, we have:
Colour and colour temperature
Warm white, cool light, daylight: choosing a ‘simple’ white lightbulb can be more complicated than it seems.
The colour temperature of a bulb makes a big difference to the kind of light it emits and is denoted by a 4-digit number followed by the letter ‘K’ (which stands for Kelvin).
The colour temperature of most bulbs is between 2000K-6500K. A 2000K bulb would give off a very warm, yellow light, suitable for cosy living rooms or bedrooms, while a 6500K one would be what is known as a ‘Daylight’ bulb, as it is supposed to recreate exactly that.
If you’re shopping for a warm white lightbulb for the home, look for anything around 2500-3000K, while anything over 4000K would give you a nice cool light.
Alternatively, you can find a wide variety of coloured or colour-changing lightbulbs. These will be labelled quite clearly with their colour. ‘RGB’ bulbs allow you to pick from a variety of different colours.
Watts and lumens
Do not use a bulb’s wattage to determine its brightness.
The ‘lumens’ rating gives a more accurate indication of how bright a lightbulb is. This is especially important when choosing LED lightbulbs as they can give out the same brightness as an incandescent bulb using much less power. For example, an LED lightbulb that uses only watts (W) of power emits around the same brightness as a traditional 50W bulb (see to find out how we know this).
Bulbs for general household use will typically have a lumens rating (lm) somewhere between 300-500lm. The lumen output of golfball and candle bulbs may be lower, as they’re designed for use in smaller lamps, while high-powered outdoor floodlights could emit in excess of 20,000 lumens.
The wattage of a bulb should still be taken into consideration to make sure it’s compatible with your fittings. The low wattage of LED lightbulbs gives you a lot more flexibility, but you should still not exceed the stated wattage of any light fixture.
If you’re still not sure about the difference between watts and lumens, find out more
LED lightbulbs are incredibly long lasting compared to their incandescent counterparts. The average rated life of a product will tell you roughly how many hours life you should get out of it before it fails. Importantly, though, don’t mix the rated life up with the manufacturer’s warranty period, as the two may not always be the same.
If an LED bulb fails within its manufacturer’s warranty period, you are entitled to a replacement bulb. If it fails outside of this period, you are not, even if the bulb has not reached the average rated life stated on the product.
The manufacturer’s warranty should be stated clearly on any product. Contact us for help if it is not.
Other technical details
The following points aren’t the most important factors in buying a lightbulb, but may help you find the perfect one for your needs.
If you’re buying spotlights, the beam angle may be something to think about. Measured in degrees, the beam angle of a light determines how wide or how narrow the beam of light is that the bulb emits. A 40° beam angle, for instance, would have a very narrow, focused beam suited to retails displays, while a 100 degree beam angle would cast a wider light more suitable for lighting corridors or larger rooms.
Some lightbulbs come with a CRI (Colour Rendering Index) rating. This tells you how well a bulb reproduces the colours of the environment around it. High CRi bulbs are useful for photography studios, where capturing the natural colour of objects is really important. If you’re just buying a bulb for general use in the home, this is not something you need to worry too much about.
Headlight Bulb Light Output Color
Headlight bulb manufacturers tend to charge more for bulbs that are brighter and whiter. Brighter bulbs with higher light output, and a higher color temperature tend to cost more, so if this is important to you, be prepared to spend a little more.
Also, halogen headlight bulbs that claim to be whiter and brighter also tend to burn out quicker. Manufacturers are able to provide more light output, but that additional intensity burns them out at a faster rate than a normal headlight bulb.
The way that manufacturers accomplish this is by coating the outside of the bulb glass with a semi-transparent film. In most cases this is a blue film. As the light passes through the glass/film, it changes the color of the light, just as if you were looking through tinted sunglasses.
The problem with this is as soon as there is any film or coating on the glass, you lose light output. You may get the color you want, but you might not be able so see very well at night. So as you are shopping around, keep this in mind.
Incandescent lights work by using electricity to heat up a filament inside a container with inert gas, which produces light after a certain degree. The major drawback to this is its efficiency. Only 2.2% of all energy used produces light or lumens, with the best being still a measly 5%. The rest is converted into heat, which eventually heats up its surroundings.
Halogens work almost the same, only with the addition of a halogen gas inside. The halogen gas redeposits the tungsten evaporated from heat back into the filament, extending its lifespan. This has two downsides, however. First, the tungsten generates UV light which will slowly damage any color pigments it comes in contact with. Furthermore, they are extremely hot. So hot that they are at times used in ceramic cook top stoves! As such, not only do they not increase efficiency, the added heat and UV light make these horrible home lights.
Fluorescent bulbs work by passing electric current and energizing the mercury vapor inside the tubes. The vapor then produces short-wave UV light that causes the phosphor coating to glow. They are much more efficient than Incandescent and Halogens, having a 15% efficiency at best. However, they still generate high amounts of heat (not as much as the Halogen though) and UV light.
To start if off, this LED bulb has a CRI of 80+. Sadly, however, there is no mention of Rrating. It is UL listed as well, so it has some backing.
The TIWIN A1come in only varieties, but it makes up for it on lumens. Both the 2700K and 5000K output 1100lm, and both use 1watts at max power. The high lumens make these a perfect 80w Incandescent replacement for those looking.
According to the manufacturer, these LED bulbs are not suited for full enclosures as the voltage regulator heats up a little too much. They will, however, do fine in semi-closed enclosures.
SGL Inch Downlight
Onwards we go, with this bulb having a CRI of 80+. This bulb is ENERGY STAR and UL Listed, using up to 1watts at max, making this an efficient LED.
These LED bulbs come in versions, 3000/4000/5000K, with lumens being as follows: 3000K: 1050lm, 4000K: 1080lm and 5000K: 1150lm. With their high lumens, this downlight is perfect for an 80w Incandescent replacement.
On another note, this LED bulb boasts an amazing dimmability of 100% to 1%, making it the best dimming LED bulb on this list.
This bulb is rated for enclosed fixtures as well, due to its requirement of a recessed can. While these LED bulbs are dimmable, sadly no percentage is given and as such, should be assumed to be 100-50%. Lastly, this LED light bulb is also rated for outdoor use, making this appealing to those wanting a recessed patio bulb.
Coming with a choice of glows, the 2700K outputs: 630lm, 3000K outputs 650 and the 4000K outputs 670. Every glow also consumes the same wattage, 14w.
As such, they are on the dimmer side in terms of lumens, mostly due to the smaller size and increased attention to CRI. Overall, however, these are an amazing replacement for 60 watt Incandescent bulbs, but will fall behind as 80 and 100-watt bulb replacements.
LOHAS Torpedo LED
As one of the smallest LED bulb around, the LOHAS Torpedo LEDs fall shorter on the spec side. However, these still manage a CRI>80, making them on par with others here on this list. And due to their size, take the least around of watts, maxing out at watts on 100% brightness. Sadly, however, these are not UL-listed, so keep this in mind.
In terms of lumens, the LOHAS fall under with the 2700/4000/5000K all outputting 550lm. As such, these LED bulbs are best used to replace a 40-watt Incandescent, not a 60 watt as advertised. However, due to its design, this LED is marketed as a 360° bulb. As such, when placed in certain fixtures, they may seem brighter than one might expect.
Something that must be noted, is some of the design issues. People have reported issues with the base not fitting all the way and thus making these LED bulbs worthless to them. This is because the base is on the shorter side, making the bulb not fit in every socket.
LEDMO LED Candelabra
Like the LOHAS, these bulbs fall shorter than others. But they are on level fields, with a CRI>80 just like the others. They do, however, take an extra watt on the way, maxing out at watts. These LED bulbs are not UL-listed nor Energy Star
On the lumens side, these are brighter than the LOHAS, with the 3000K and 6000K both outputting 630lm. Unlike the LOHAS however these only have a 270° beam angle, and as such, cover less area compared to the other.
Tube LED Bulbs
A quick note: *most these require ballast bypass as per instructions given by HYPERIKON.
To start it off, these tube LEDs boast a CRI of 84, making them better than most other tubes. Though they are one of the most power intensive, drawing in 1watts. This LED bulb is not ENERGY STAR qualified, but it is DLC qualified. As such, it still is an efficient bulb and has some credibility.
Something to note though: all of these LED tubes are clear, so they
There is some similarity spec wise between this set of LED tubes, and the ones above. And as such, this tube draws 1watts. The lumens are the same all across the glows, with 3000/4000/5000/6000K all outputting 2200lm, just like the double ended. Lastly, this bulb also comes in at a CRI of 84, so this choice is mostly out of which works on your fixture.
Best of all, the TP-Link bulbs don’t require any sort of smart hub to function, so there’s no need to buy a starter kit or pay extra for a hub – once you buy a bulb, that’s it, making these an especially good choice for anyone who only wants one or two smart lights, and not a whole house worth.
All of the bulbs other than the cheapest LB100 model also come with energy monitoring, so you can see how much energy you’ve used and plan your usage accordingly.
Connectivity is reliable, with only one brief network drop in our testing time, and our biggest complaint is that at just 800 lumens these aren’t the brightest bulbs around – but they should be enough to suit most uses.
Lightwave is a smart lighting solution that’s a bit different to the others in this round-up, since it requires you to replace your light switches rather than the light bulbs themselves. It is ideal for homes with multiple spotlights that would otherwise be incredibly expensive to individually replace, and also means that when one bulb blows you can just buy a regular replacement.
To set up Lightwave you need to purchase the £89.9Web Link hub, which manages your various Lightwave kit, and you can then add on as many or as few Lightwave devices as you like. Each light switch costs from around £3(see the full range at Maplin, but shop around for best prices).
The Web Link will also manage other smart home devices from the company – you can set up devices that control your hot water and individual room heating, motion detection, and the opening and closing of blinds or curtains. You can also install smart switches on your plug sockets that allow you to turn on and off power when required.
Lightwave has a companion app through which you can turn on and off the switches from your phone or tablet, and through which you can set up schedules or timers that are ideal if you are going on holiday.
It also integrates with IFTTT, which allowed us to control the system through both an Android Wear watch and Google Home.
Hive Active Light
Rating: then you can also pick up individual bulbs.
The Hive Active Light Colour changing bulb is an easy and smart way to introduce lighting into your smart home environment.
The coloured bulb is arguably more of a gimmick and something you might not use day to day, but the Cool to Warm White bulb is easy to recommend, as being able to change the colour temperature of the light is a very handy feature.
The Elgato Avea might look fairly ordinary, but the Avea is a smart LED bulb you can control with your iPad or iPhone. Plus Android support was added in early 201You can control up to of them from your phone, creating different mood lighting for every room in the house.
This 7W LED screw-fit bulb has a class A energy rating. You can set a static colour or choose from one of seven themes, which slowly flow through preset colours.
The Avea also functions as an alarm, turning on at a scheduled time. Rather than blinding you with light and forcing you to hide under the covers it’ll gradually brighten just like a natural sunrise.
The Elgato Avea is a good and affordable buy if you want a single Smart LED bulb. You can add to the system too, but the app is a little basic for our liking.
Belkin Wemo LED Lighting Starter Set
Unlike other smart lightbulbs the Belkin Wemo doesn’t change colour to suit your mood; it’s meant simply as a direct replacement for existing 60W incandescent bulbs, or the energy saving fluorescent equivalent.
The kit includes two bulbs: you can choose between bayonet or screw varieties. Each is rated at 800 lumens, which may not be as bright as your old-school incandescent, but it’s still impressive compared to many competing LED bulbs. You also get a Wemo Link in the pack, which acts as a bridge between the bulbs and your Wi-Fi router.
You create ‘rules’ for the lamps to work and these can be for them to turn on and off at sunset and sunrise, or at times you choose. They can be individually named and controlled, and you can even set a dimming period so the lamp fades in to your set brightness over a few minutes (or even up to 30 minutes). You can also define a sleep period, so the bulb will turn off after a set time, just like a TV or radio.
The Wemo LED Lighting Starter Set is a good introduction to smart lighting. The app is easy to use and lacks only geo-fencing, and the Link plug has Wi-Fi so doesn’t need to be connected directly to your router unlike Philips’ hub. We’d like to see the price drop, but if you know you’ll benefit from the smart aspects or have other Wemo sensors or gadgets, this is a good choice.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Full Spectrum Bulbs wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Full-Spectrum Bulbs
- №1 — 10 Pack–40 Watt T10 Full Spectrum Fluorescent Bulbs
- №2 — Create Bright Led Grow Light Bulb, 28W Plant Bulb Full Spectrum Led Grow Bulb E26 Grow Plant Light for Indoor Plants,Hydroponics Greenhouse Organic,Pack of 1
- №3 — ALZO 27W Full Spectrum CFL Light Bulb 5500K, 1300 Lumens, 120V, Pack of 4, Daylight White Light