How To Upgrade Your Lighting To LED

October 10, 2023

Switching to LED lighting is a straightforward process that can significantly enhance your lighting experience while saving energy and money. LED bulbs are highly efficient, long-lasting, and eco-friendly. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to upgrade to LEDs, ensuring a seamless transition.

If you are looking to replace a complete fitting such as an industrial high bay fitting or a batten fitting (often referred to as strip lights) then we will guide you on this process also.

Step 1: Determine the Base and Bulb Type

Before purchasing LED bulbs, identify the type of base and bulb your fixtures require. Most standard lamps in the UK use either a bayonet (B22) or Edison screw (E27) base. To determine the correct base, consult our guide or examine your current bulb. Here are the most common cap types to get you started.

  • Bayonet (B22)
  • Small Bayonet (B15)
  • Edison (E27)
  • Small Edison (E14)
  • Edison (E10)
  • GU10
  • GU4
  • GU5.3
  • G4
  • G9
  • GY6.35
  • S15
  • G5
  • G13
  • R7s
  • GR8

LED bulbs will closely resemble your existing bulbs in size and shape, with slight differences such as being made of plastic and potentially featuring a heat sink. Use the chart below to find the right LED replacement for your current bulb type.

IncandescentGLS (Most lamps)LED GLS
CandleLED Candle
GolfballLED Golfball
CFLReflector (Security)LED Reflector
GU10 (Track or spotlighting)LED GU10
Capsule (Car headlights)LED Capsule
Dichroic (Track lighting)LED Dichroic

Step 2: Choose the Bulb Style

Once you’ve determined the base, consider the bulb style that suits your needs. LED filament bulbs are a popular choice for their aesthetic appeal. For instance, the Castello-Style LED filament bulbs offer a warm and engaging glow, making them an excellent choice for exposed fixtures or chandeliers. Alternatively, you can opt for a straightforward replacement with a similar LED bulb style.

Step 3: Select the Right Brightness

LEDs are known for their energy efficiency, so comparing them to traditional bulbs based on wattage isn’t practical. Instead, focus on the lumen level, which indicates the bulb’s brightness relative to your current selection. Choose an LED bulb with a lumen output that matches your desired illumination.

Step 4: Pick the Ideal Colour Temperature

LEDs offer a wide range of colour temperatures, from warm white to daylight. Select a colour temperature based on your lighting needs. For task lighting, opt for a cooler temperature (around 4000K – 6500K). To replicate the warm glow of incandescent bulbs, choose a warm or very warm white LED bulb (around 2700K – 3000K).

However, colour temperature is subjective to your own preference. As a general rule of thumb, cooler white is generally used more in commercial environments, whereas warmer white is generally preferred within the home as it gives off a warm and cosy feel.

Step 5: Easy Installation

Installing LED bulbs is hassle-free. They fit seamlessly into your existing fixtures and install just like incandescent or CFL bulbs. In some cases, you may need an LED-compatible dimmer switch, as older dimmers can cause high-pitched noises or incorrect dimming. However, most dimmable LEDs work smoothly with your current setup. Alternatively, consider 3-step dimming LED bulbs, which offer gradual light reduction without requiring a special dimmer.

To start enjoying the benefits of LED lighting, begin by replacing the bulbs you use most frequently. Gradually switch out other bulbs as they burn out, spreading the initial investment and maximizing your energy savings. For more information, consult our guide on transitioning from traditional bulbs to LEDs.

By following these steps, you’ll not only improve your lighting but also reduce your energy consumption and contribute to a greener environment. Upgrade to LED lighting today for a brighter and more sustainable future.

Changing Commerical Lighting To LED

The approach to commercial lighting is a little bit different to just changing a bulb in an existing fitting. The main difference between the two is changing the complete fitting and replacing it with a new LED luminaire which will typically have the LED chips integrated into the fittings themselves.

A few examples are High-bays, Low-bays (found in warehouses with high ceilings), recessed ceilings in corridors (the reflective grids with fluorescent tubes in) for example and outdoor floodlights. Some traditional fittings may accept an LED lamp/bulb replacement but it’s important to check how the fittings are wired.

Older High-bay lighting often used SON or Metal Halide bulbs which had specific control gear to run a specific wattage. LED Cornlights were brought to market specifically for converting older fittings of this type. However, many of them require a direct mains 220-240v power supply so the control gear generally requires bypassing. But it’s important to check the specifications before buying.

With today’s LED technology, it’s arguably easier to just replace a complete commercial fitting with a new LED one if you are a skilled electrician of course!