LED vintage filament bulbs. The eco-friendly benefits of LEDs and the retro style of a filament bulb packed into one neat package. This money-saving powerhouse is the future of lighting, and this guide has everything you need to know to hop on the filament bandwagon.
Half-glass, half-plastic, LEDs can come in more elegant forms as well, namely, the LED vintage filament bulb. The grand glowing filaments and translucent glass casings of these beauties resemble older styles of incandescents. They bring a certain aesthetic to these futuristic bulbs.
This innovation comes at a cost. We’ll be going over the pros and cons of the traditional LED and the filament LED, so you can make a more informed decision for your lighting needs.
LED: what makes it special?
To know what makes LED vintage filament bulbs different from your regular old LED, it’s important to discuss how LEDs work.
“Light-Emitting Diodes” or LEDs, are quickly becoming the hottest contender in modern lighting. Incandescent bulbs typically lacked in lifelong hours, offering an average of 1,000 hours of light. LEDs have set a new precedent, racking up a whopping 50,000 hours of life.
LEDs are a type of solid-state lighting, drastically increasing their life-span. Incandescent bulbs rely on the light produced by heating a filament. Fluorescent lights excite the molecules of gas to illuminate. LEDs however, create light by passing an electrical current through a semiconductor.
The semiconductor process is much more energy-efficient than heating traditional incandescent bulbs. Most incandescents use about 10% of the required energy for light. The other 90% is given off as heat. A bulb that can cut back on any amount of this kind of loss, as an LED does, is going to have a longer life, and be far more efficient overall.
LEDs, in contrast to incandescent bulbs, can’t produce as wide of a light angle since half of the bulb is required for the chip, and heat sinks themselves. That means if you put a sphere around an LED bulb, only half of it would be lit up. A small setback for an amazing bulb, but a setback nonetheless.
LED Vintage Filament: The Difference
What sets a filament LED apart from your average LED?
LED vintage filament bulbs have a stylistic retro aesthetic. Other LEDs are typically housed in a container made only partially of glass, while the enclosures of filament LEDs are made entirely of glass, similar to old-fashioned incandescents. Inside, very small LEDs are placed up and around a glass or sapphire cylinder, mimicking the appearance of a filament.
Filament LEDs usually have multiple “filaments” in them, as a single one would not be enough to produce a practical amount of light. Resultingly, LED vintage filament bulbs will have over four different strands of LEDs inside, mimicking the look of an antique Edison-style bulb.
While regular LEDs might use one large LED or a group of LEDs packed tightly into a small space, vintage filament LEDs spread the diodes along several different lines, or “filaments”. This arrangement means smaller heat sinks (mechanisms to take heat away from the diodes) are also required.
These differences result in LED vintage filament bulbs giving the same range of light as incandescent bulbs. This means they can light up all the corners of a room better than a traditional LED, which only has a 180 degree light angle.
Filament or Traditional LED?
We can’t say for certain what the best bulb is for you, as each type of bulb serves a different purpose. There are pros and cons for each of these bulbs that might help you make your next lighting decision.
LED Vintage Filament: Pros
LED vintage filament bulbs require smaller heat sinks. This means more of the enclosure can be glass, leading to better light exposure. Their style is new and innovative, and champion the vintage aesthetic. Most models are also dimmable, similar to other LEDs.
LED Vintage Filament: Cons
They aren’t without their flaws! LED vintage filament bulbs typically have a shorter lifespan than other LEDs. This can range from 15,000 hours all the way to 40,000 hours.
Traditional LED: Pros
Traditional LEDs have a lifespan of around 50,000 hours. They are heavily used in conjunction with smart lighting, offering remote control from a smart device with more features than filament smart lighting. They come in a variety of colors, with certain models being able to reproduce over 16 million different hues of light.
Traditional LED: Cons
Have a unidirectional, focused light output area. This differs from the multi-directional lighting of filament bulbs due to the large heat sinks needed in traditional LEDs. They also don’t offer the retro aesthetic found in filament bulbs.
Although traditional LEDs offer greater versatility and bulb life, vintage filament aesthetics could be enough to sway anyone. Either way, the applications for LED lighting technology have never been more numerous than they are today.