Incandescent era, RIP. Enjoy it or otherwise, it’s a chance to go forward. Traditional incandescent lightbulbs have left-not banned, precisely, but eliminated for the reason that Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), passed in 2007, requires those to be about 25 percent more effective. That’s impossible to obtain without decreasing their luminous flux (brightness), so, instead, manufacturers have moved to more energy-efficient technologies, for example compact fluorescents (CFLs), halogens, and LED Lighting Manufactures.

Needless to say, not many are embracing these next-gen lightbulbs. Some wonder why we need a mandate to make use of them, if they’re so excellent. The fact is, after over a century of incandescents, we’ve become mounted on them. They’re cheap, they dim predictably, and they also emit a warm and familiar glow. Weaning ourselves off them won’t be easy: Just like the 40- and 60-watt phaseout went into result on Jan. 1, about half from the 3.2 billion screw-base bulb sockets nationwide still housed incandescent bulbs.

So, what now? According to a survey by switch manufacturer Lutron, two-thirds of American adults are unaware of the phaseout, only one out of 10 are “very knowledgeable” about replacement options. Most of us will most likely buy halogens without even noticing. At with regards to a dollar apiece they are cheap, and they look, feel, and function almost exactly like traditional incandescents. But they’re just about 25 % more potent-sufficient to fulfill EISA standards. Meanwhile, CFLs, which are inherently flawed and usually unpopular, are steadily losing market share.

That leaves LEDs, which offer the most sustainable-and exciting-option to incandescents. For beginners, they’re highly efficient: The standard efficacy of the LED bulb is 78 lm/w (lumens per watt), compared with around 13 lm/w for the incandescent and approximately 18 lm/w for a halogen equivalent. Yes, LEDs get their shortcomings: Buying an LED bulb doesn’t seem as intuitive as collecting an incandescent from the local drugstore, along with the up-front cost is high. But when you can understand the technology and the incomparable versatility that LEDs offer, you’ll view the demise of the incandescent as an opportunity. Here’s a primer that addresses your concerns so it helps you navigate the dazzling array of choices.

The days in the $30 LED bulb are over. As demand has increased and manufacturing processes have become more streamlined, costs have plummeted. Additionally, utility company rebates have driven the price tag on many household replacements to below $10; in certain regions they cost half that. Sure, that’s a considerable ways in the 50-cent incandescent, but con sider this: LED bulbs consume one-sixth the power of incandescents and last as much as 25 times longer. Replacing a 60-watt incandescent by having an LED equivalent will save you $130 in energy costs within the new bulb’s lifetime. The standard American household could slash $150 looking at the annual energy bill by replacing all incandescents with LED bulbs.

Today all LED Lighting carries the government Trade Commission’s Lighting Facts label, which enables you to compare similar bulbs without counting on watts as the sole indicator of performance. It gives details about the bulb’s brightness (in lumens); yearly cost (depending on three hours of daily use); life span (in years); light appearance, or color temperature, measured in Kelvins (K); and energy consumed (in watts). Remember: An LED bulb’s wattage rating doesn’t indicate its brightness; its lumens rating does. A 60-watt-equivalent LED bulb delivers about 800 lumens, roughly similar to a 60-watt incandescent.

You could view a different label produced by the Department of Energy. Confusingly, it’s otherwise known as Lighting Facts, though it’s geared more toward retailers than consumers. The DOE label doesn’t offer the bulb’s estimated yearly cost or life span, nevertheless it provides information about the bulb’s color accuracy (much more about this later).

The larger the bulb’s color temperature, the cooler its light. A candle glows at the color temperature of 1500 K. That CFL you tried but hated because its light was too harsh was probably running at about 4500 K. LED bulbs marketed as incandescent replacements will often have a color temperature of 2700 K, which is the same as typical warm white incandescents.

But that’s only area of the story. The caliber of a bulb’s light also depends upon its color accuracy, also referred to as the hue rendering index (CRI). The higher the bulb’s CRI, the greater number of realistically it reveals colors. Incandescent lightbulbs use a CRI of 100, but many CFLs and LED bulbs have CRIs within the 80s. Based on a recent study through the DOE, only a number of LED bulbs have CRIs in the 90s, though which will improve as efficacy increases. Keep in mind that the CRI is 51dexrpky always listed on the packaging, so you might need to search the manufacturer’s website for this.

LED bulbs sold as “dimmable” work acceptably generally newer switches. The ideal dim to about 5 percent, though at this level some generate a faint buzzing. Be sure to buy a bulb that has been verified to function properly together with your switch; examine the manufacturer’s website for a long list of compatible dimmers.

If you wish to put in a new switch, buy something specifically engineered to do business with LED bulbs, including Lutron’s CL series or the Pass & Seymour Harmony Tru-Universal Dimmer by Legrand. But be warned: These switches are sometimes greater than older dimmers. Generally that shouldn’t be considered a problem, but when you have an overcrowded electrical box, you may need to upgrade it to accommodate the new dimmer.

Most household LED bulbs follow dimension guidelines for your familiar A19-shaped bulb. Some have got a bulky, space-age-looking heat sink; others incorporate this necessary part more elegantly in to the engineering. So-called snow-cone designs have got a heat sink which takes up the entire lower one half of the bulb. These emit directional light only, which can be acceptable in pendant fixtures but throws unwanted shadows when placed in, for instance, a table lamp using a shade. For this you’ll need an omnidirectional bulb, check the packaging before you purchase. Ready for complete adoption? You’ll find LEDs in floodlights, spotlights, and recessed-lighting formats, as well as in designer formats including the flat panels from the Pixi system.

Wi-Fi-connected LED bulbs, including those from Connected by TCP, might be operated coming from a smartphone. Taking it a step further, platforms like Philips Hue and LIFX combine red, green, blue, and in some cases LED Down Lights to create millions of colors, from bright purples to daylight whites. Most offer stand-alone, plug-and-play functionality, so that you don’t need to buy into a larger connected system. Integrate them into an IFTTT (if the, then that) recipe and their colors automatically adapt to suit, say, the weather conditions, the time of day, or which sports team is winning.