How to choose a perfect candelabra LED bulb? What types are there and what’s the brightest one? Lately, LED bulbs are all over the place. They are energy-saving, gorgeous in design, and highly flexible in use. A perfect fit is all about your choice of brightness, quality, and design. Flame bulbs are a cherry on the cake of LED decoration, varying from real-life fire to futuristic types.
I’m going to guide you all the way through to an ideal choice of a candle bulb. A lot of people seem to get lost and pick the first high-quality product without thinking about details. That’s why I decided to make this guide. We’ll start our journey from the definition and qualities of candle bulbs, go on to choice criteria, and finish with one of the best LED candle bulbs review.
What Is an LED Candle Light Bulb?
An LED candle light bulb is the most popular decorative type for candelabras and other light installations. They mimic the shape and flickering of a real candle flame. Some are simpler in design, while others have flared tips for a more real, dramatic effect. Flares are great for those chandeliers where the bulb itself is on display.
Some bulbs are dimmable, so you can adjust their brightness to your liking, creating a bright show or making a dinner date more romantic. Such candles are usually made of thermoplastic, and their “flame” may be:
- Frosted. These provide softer light with no sharp flares visible.
- Clear. These provide clearer light and create an alternative for incandescent lights.
Usually, such bulbs are used in smaller lighting elements like wall lights. Their base is also smaller, so be sure to pay close attention to its size on the lamps you’re going to buy. A wrong fitting may not work or damage your candelabra and the bulb itself.
Our Top5 Candelabra Bulbs
How to Choose Candelabra Bulbs
LED tech is relatively young, but there are so many types of these lamps that you’ll need quite a lot of knowledge to pick the best fit. Below is a checklist you can print out and use every time a new bulb is needed:
- Think what lamp would look better: standard candle or flared-tip, transparent or frosted, longer and thinner or shorter and rounder.
- Base type and size. Again, check the base of your old lamp and find an equivalent. Even one millimeter may lead to a fiasco. For example, the bulb I’m reviewing today has an E12 base, meaning its diameter is 12 mm (0.47”). If you confuse it with an E11 lamp, prepare to buy a new one.
- Light temperature. Your room’s coziness depends greatly on the light temperature of your LED candle bulbs. The most optimal candles are 2,400K-2,700K. If you need your room to seem brighter and more cooling, 3,000K will be fine, but it won’t look like candle fire anymore. I’ll talk more about this later.
- CRI (color rendering index). The way a lamp renders colors means a lot. No matter how warm white light is, if it shows colors in greyish tones, your desired coziness level will drop from 100 to 10. The optimal CRI for LED lamps is 80 or more. 90 is even better.
- One of the most concerning points and LED technology covers so well – longevity of a good lamp is somewhere between 15,000 and 30,000 hours. Some options have a lifespan of 50,000 hours, which is decades (or a decade if used for long hours) of everyday use. In comparison, incandescent lamps only offer 1,000-2,000 hours.
- Wattage to lumen ratio. More lumens per watt means more energy-efficient choice, and if it matters to you, a more eco-friendly one. LED bulbs offer 80-100lm per 1W, while incandescent bulbs only offer 40-50lm per 1W. I’ll also talk about lumens more later.
- Beam angle. If you need to highlight a certain object, opt for narrower angles (20 degrees and more). But if you need a candle bulb for the main light or wall light, 120 to 360 degrees will be a great choice.
- Dimmable or non-dimmable. Dimmable bulbs are more popular now. They are very convenient since you can change the brightness of your lights at any moment. However, it’s very important that your dimmer is fully compatible with LED bulbs.
- Life expectancy is good, but if the lamp breaks, will its manufacturer replace it? A lot of companies have 1- or 2-year warranties and 30- to 90-day refund guarantees. Don’t hesitate to use these benefits!
If there are any terms you don’t understand, no worries, I’ll cover them later.
What Type of Light Is a Candle?
LED technology offers an infinite number of colors. Generally, warm colors are associated with any kind of fire, whether it’s a fireplace or a candle. While you can play with your multicolor LED strip and find a combination of white, orange, yellow, and red, plain white light bulbs will save you a lot of time.
White LED light can be categorized as:
- Warm (1,000K-3,000K). 1,000K is the warmest but it’s not widely used for regular home settings. Candle lights start from about 2,400K). These are great for bedrooms, living rooms, wall lights, decorations.
- Cool (4,000K-5,000K/6,000K). A balance between “too warm” and “too cold”, these are close alternatives to natural light, given a high CRI. A great choice for restaurants, art galleries, and business centers.
- Cold (6,000/7,000K-10,000K). More suitable for outdoor or workspace lighting, these are fresh and cold colors, very energizing and powerful. Such lights are used on construction sites, outside illumination, in offices, laboratories, etc.
Obviously, if you want to create a warm atmosphere, the first range is yours to choose a LED bulb from.
What Is the Brightest LED Candle Bulb?
The brightness of a bulb depends on lumens – the amount of light emitted by an object per a stable unit of time. Standard lamps deliver 300-500 lumens each, yet they use very little energy.
Take a look at the table below:
|Lumens||Incandescent (halogen/non-halogen)||LED-used watts|
Now, to interesting records:
- Some of the brightest small candle LED bulbs will give you about 806 lumens;
- The brightest LED bulb in warm white color is from a company called SANSI. One bulb emits 3,500 lumens;
- The brightest cold white color LED lamp is by the same company, emitting impressive 5,500 lumens.
These are very powerful lamps, but let’s gain some perspective. Floodlights, for example, can emit 20,000 lumens and more.
Candle LED Bulb – ENERGETIC LED Chandelier Ceiling Fan Bulbs
This ENERGETIC bulb with an E12 base is dimmable and compatible with most LED supporting dimmers. It has a straight tip and is clear, delivering bright light with minimum energy used.
Check out some major features of the bulb:
- Optimal CRI. Color rendering index 80 and over is optimal for bulbs, so no need to worry about the color density.
- Great watt per lumen ratio. This bulb delivers brightness of 550 lumens and uses only 5 watts. Being an equivalent of a 60W bulb, this saves you 90% of energy and reduces electricity bills.
- Warm white. It delivers warm light of 2,700K, which is optimal for a living room and/or a bedroom.
- Adequate longevity. This lamp Is supposed to work for 15,000 hours. It’s not a lot for LED lights, but still 7-15 times more than a traditional bulb.
- 360-degree beam angle. The bulb is omnidirectional, which means it will illuminate the whole room.
- High resistance. Due to high-quality materials, it’s shock- and vibration-resistant.
So, this LED bulb doesn’t imitate fire yet is still deemed a decorative one. If you have wall lights that imitate candles, such a lamp will suit well there and flickering won’t irritate you. In case the light starts to shake, check the dimmer for damages and LED compatibility.
An ENERGY STAR approved and UL listed lamp, it doesn’t contain toxic chemicals like mercury and is completely eco-friendly. Among all, this is the main reason I recommend this one. Everything is balanced here: adequate CRI and lumen to wattage ratio, nice light shade, energy efficiency, and longevity. Nothing is off, like in certain options. I’ve tried some lamps that were supposed to work 30,000+ hours yet worked 3,000 hours because of weak structure.
- UL listed lamp
- Nice CRI
- Adequate longevity
- High damage resistance
- 360-degree beam angle
- Doesn’t imitate fire
Pro Tips: FAQ on LED Bulbs
All additional information that didn’t fit into any other section is here. I have a lot of experience in reviewing and choosing bulbs, so enjoy some extra bits of my knowledge. Hoping the form of an FAQ will work just fine
Why are LED bulbs more expensive than others?
Although they are more expensive, LED bulbs actually save a lot of money. They use 90% less energy, compared to incandescent lamps. Besides, this technology is still new, so as people started buying a lot of LED products, their prices have spiked. This is a classic supply-demand balance. As we got used to such bulbs, their prices dropped by about 80% in 6 years.
Are LED bulbs waterproof?
There’s a thing called IP rating or IP code (Ingress Protection code) that shows water and dust resistance of, in our case, an LED bulb.
It consists of two numbers:
- The first one indicates resistance towards dust;
- The second one indicates resistance towards moisture.
IP of 65 is considered standard for bulbs used in wet areas. Opt for this number even if you don’t live in a region with humid air since a lot of moisture comes out from humidifiers, laundry, cooking, etc. And dust may become a problem in any part of the world.
Can LED bulbs be used with regular fittings?
Almost any incandescent lamp has an ELD equivalent. Be sure to check before buying a bulb, because microwave ones, for example, are yet to get their energy-saving equivalents.
How come LED bulbs use so little power?
The technology behind LED lamps is totally different compared to say, traditional bulbs. They emit light by heating a filament so much that it glows to some extent. In this case, about 90% of the power is wasted to heat it, with only 10% used for the main purpose of such a lamp.
LED lights, on the other hand, emit light as a result of electrons moving rapidly in a semiconductor material. This gives a lot of light and almost none of the heat.
Why do LED lamps flicker sometimes?
Unless it’s their function, like in flame imitation bulbs, the main reason for flickering is an old switch or dimmer. If it’s not compatible with LED technology, is old and needs replacement, or the voltage is unstable, your lights will shake.
Dimmers are more frequently a problem. Even if yours is new and has correct voltage, it might not work well if it’s not LED compatible. When using non-dimmable lamps with a dimmer, this problem might also arise.
Why LED tech is considered eco-friendly?
As we already know, LED lights consume little energy and emit a lot of light, saving 90% of your electricity bill (at least it’s lighting part). Anything that saves energy is already considered eco-friendly. Besides, LED bulbs, candle ones included, are made of non-toxic materials. They don’t contain mercury and other harmful chemicals, which makes them safe and therefore, eco-friendly.
The choice of an LED candle bulb can make your room look cozy and warm or like a Dracula castle. A lot of people don’t pay enough attention to the choice of bulbs’ design, functionality, and color tone.