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LEDs that offer the same glow as banned incandescent bulbs

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Most types of incandescent bulbs are now obsolete, but you can still light your place with a warm glow

It’s now official — LED bulbs are in and incandescents are out. As of Aug. 1, a ban on making and selling most standard incandescent bulbs went into place. This means consumers will have to choose LED alternatives to most standard bulbs they currently use in lamps and other light fixtures in their homes. 

Although LED bulbs have been available for years, many people still chose standard incandescents for their soft, warm glow. However, understanding the Kelvin rating of LEDs will help you choose the perfect bulbs for inviting illumination.

Why is the incandescent bulb ban going into effect now?

The goal to eliminate incandescent bulbs in order to save energy began 16 years ago with the support of both sides of the political aisle. The ban was put on hold over the years as administrations changed and had differing opinions on the matter. The rule is now in effect.

While some consumers may find the ban inconvenient, there are good reasons for switching to LEDs. According to the Department of Energy, LED lighting uses at least 75% less energy than incandescent and doesn't produce as much heat. It lasts as much as 25% longer too.

Banned vs. still available

A bulb’s brightness is measured in lumens. Standard incandescent bulbs get around 15 lumens per watt. This inefficient light source wastes energy, which is why the government has banned incandescent bulbs. In contrast, LED bulbs can emit 75 lumens or more per watt. A minimum of 45 lumens per watt is now required. 

Although most standard incandescent bulbs used in household lighting are banned, some types of incandescent lighting are available.

  • Bulbs for appliances.
  • Floodlights.
  • Lights intended to kill bugs.
  • Colored and infrared lamps.
  • Black lights.
  • Various specialty and industrial lights.

How to choose LEDs that glow warm

It's important to understand LED color temperature when choosing this type of lighting. Kelvin represents the measurement of temperature, and the Kelvin rating of LED light determines its hue.

While this type of light often has a reputation for being bluish or stark, it's ratings of 5,000 K produce cool tones. LEDs rated between 3,000 and 4,900 K have a bright white appearance. And if you want LED bulbs that will emit a warm glow mimicking incandescent light, look for those with a rating of 2,000 to 2,900 K.

Keep in mind that many LED bulbs with a Kelvin rating that equals warm light are often referred to as soft white. 

Best LED lights that produce a warm glow

Philips LED Bulbs

Made by one of the most popular brands in lighting, these LED bulbs produce a bright yet warm glow that is almost indistinguishable from incandescent lighting. Also referred to as soft white, the bulbs have a rating of 2,700 K which is perfect for those who want to continue enjoying warm light even though most incandescent bulbs are no longer available.  

Sold by Amazon 

Sylvania LED Smart Light Bulbs

These light bulbs stand out for offering a spectrum of light options to fit any mood. They have built-in smart technology that you can pair with your smartphone so you can control your lighting via an app. If you don't need an option of multiple light colors, they are also available in soft white that’s warm and inviting.

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TCP LED Light Bulbs

If you're looking for warm LED bulbs at a budget-friendly price, this pack of six is an outstanding option. At 2,700 K, they will illuminate your place with a glow that's similar to that produced by incandescent bulbs. Although affordable, they are also long-lasting to give your savings a boost. 

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Great Eagle Lighting Corporation Soft White LED Light Bulbs

This pack of four long-lasting LED light bulbs is another affordable bundle that will save you money on your purchase and your electric bill. They're available in soft white with a 2,700 K rating. The result is a yellowish glow that will give your room a warm atmosphere. 

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Cree Lighting Connected LED Smart Bulb

If you need a smart light bulb, you'll love that Cree's version pairs with various smart hubs as well as Alexa devices. It's a smart-home-friendly bulb that's dimmable and emits soft white light that offers an incandescent-like glow. 

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Philips LED Vintage Light Bulbs

Bulbs that set a cozy mood are possible even if they are LED. Not only do these unique bulbs have a vintage design, but they shine with just 2,000 K and are amber in color. Their stylish appearance makes them ideal for showing off special lamps and light fixtures. 

Sold by Amazon 

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Jennifer Manfrin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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