I recently read an article in MIT Technology Review (How to Choose an LED Light Bulb) that provides ways to distinguish between the good and not-so-good LED light bulbs on the market. One point of reference was the quality of light emitted. Since light quality is extremely important to us at Leapfrog (it’s our main focus in our LED lamps), I was especially interested in how buyers are advised to assess the quality of light.
Three specification values were specifically cited:
Lumens, CCT, and CRI are undeniably valid metrics in measuring light quality. With recent LED performance improvements, a good ranking of these metrics is getting much easier to achieve than previously. As long the metrics are understood, a simple glance at the box or lamp datasheet will provide all three specifications. However, they paint an incomplete picture when isolated from other information.
What else plays a role in the quality of light? While there are many, many parts that affect light quality, here are three that we pay a whole lot of attention to:
While optics, components, and composition are not available on the box or packaging, they have a big impact on the quality of light and should be factored into any purchase decision. As a matter of fact, even assembly can affect light quality (the better the optical efficiency, the more sensitive it is to correct placement). So be sure to look beyond the specifications—as they alone do not tell the whole story.