220V LED lamps: characteristics, marking, selection criteria + review of the best brands

Amir Gumarov
Checked by a specialist: Amir Gumarov
Author: Vladimir Blinov
Last update: May 2019

Incandescent bulbs are a thing of the past. The reason for this was the low efficiency and fragility in comparison with modern lighting sources. Now at the peak of popularity - 220V LED lamps, which have many advantages. It is difficult to understand the huge assortment of LED devices without preparation. Do you agree?

We will talk about how to choose diode bulbs to optimize your home lighting network. In the article we proposed, the varieties and characteristics of LED devices are described in detail. The decoding of the marking is given, recommendations are given that help to find the necessary option.

Features of the device LED lamps

Modern LED lamps are more complex than their predecessors with a filament. For the LEDs to work, a number of electronic components are needed, which are located on the printed circuit board.

All structural elements are compactly hidden inside the case. Light sources themselves occupy the minimum amount of space in the lamp.

Possible variant of the LED lamp
The weak point of inexpensive LED-lamps are capacitors, whose low quality leads to pulsation of light. In addition, they can burn out before the LEDs themselves

The design of a standard LED lamp includes the following components:

  1. Plastic diffuser. Promotes uniform distribution of light flux in all directions around the lamp.
  2. Circuit board with capacitors, voltage converters and other electronic components.
  3. LEDs Their number and operating voltage are in strict accordance with the built-in electronic circuit.
  4. Aluminum radiator designed to dissipate heat in high-power lamps.
  5. Ventilation slots for passive cooling of the board and LEDs.
  6. The base with which the lamp is mounted in the lamp.

Thus, an LED lamp is a device with a complex internal structure. It is demanding on external temperature and power supply parameters.

Types of LED light sources

All LEDs can be divided into two large categories: indicator and lighting. The first type is used in electrical engineering to illuminate dashboards, displays, signal displays, as well as in other devices that do not require a large light flux.

And lighting LEDs are used just in household LED lamps. Such lamps can be classified by purpose, external structure and type of radiation sources.

By scope of use

LED lamps capture more and more technological niches. They are used in consumer electronics, industry, and retail equipment.

LED spotlights of various power
LED floodlights for street lighting are made mainly on the basis of one large LED, so it is not possible to adjust their brightness

The main areas of application for LED lamps are:

  1. Street lighting.
  2. High performance floodlights.
  3. Lighting of industrial premises and apartments.
  4. Agriculture. Lamps with a radiation spectrum capable of initiating photosynthesis are used.
  5. Car lights.
  6. Illumination of products in shop windows.
  7. Lighting of space in explosive atmospheres.

A large number of areas of use of LED lighting is due to differences in the characteristics of LEDs and the spectrum emitted by them. Innovative types of lamps are constantly being developed that allow us to occupy new market niches.

In appearance

One of the reasons for the prevalence of LED lamps is the minimum size of their semiconductor crystals. Thanks to this, fixtures can take on a wide variety of shapes.

Types of LED lamp designs
Powerful LED devices are not recommended for installation in places with limited air circulation - this can cause the LED to overheat

The main designs of LED lamps are:

  1. Classical execution as incandescent lamps with a socle. Such lamps usually contain several multidirectional LEDs.
  2. "Corn". Such a lamp has the form of a cylinder, covered with LEDs on all sides.
  3. Ribbon-shaped LED-lamps, in which individual crystals are sequentially located on a narrow thin substrate.
  4. Spotlights with one large luminous crystal.
  5. Spot lights.
  6. Flat LED panels of round, rectangular or arbitrary shape.

The small size and unpretentiousness of the LEDs to the installation site allows them to produce designer lamps of an unusual shape. A low heating of LED-lamps does not prevent their placement near plasterboard and plastic surfaces.

By type of LEDs

Lighting LEDs are divided according to their physical structure into several types, each of which has its own characteristics and the prevailing fields of application.

LED lamps are made in three main types:

  1. SMD (LEDs for surface mounting).
  2. COB (device on a chip).
  3. Filament (LED thread).

Surface mounted LEDs have low luminosity, but they can be soldered to any surface on their own, without fear of overheating.

Therefore, they are often used in the manufacture of LED strips and portable lights. The emission angle of SMD LEDs is 90-130 degrees, therefore, to illuminate the entire room around the lamp, a radial arrangement of crystals on the base is necessary.

Filament LEDs
The power of an LED lamp with LED threads depends on the number of glass fibers, their length and the characteristics of the crystals placed on them

COB LEDs are high luminosity crystals placed on a metal substrate. It is designed to remove heat generated during operation.

The radiation angle of the devices on the chip approaches 180 degrees, so they are poorly suited for narrowly focused lighting. COB is used in the manufacture of floodlights and premium lamps.

LED strands are a series of miniature crystals sequentially placed on glass fiber. Sometimes other transparent materials are used instead of glass. This structure allows you to make circular lighting uniform.

The main problem of powerful small LEDs is overheating, which reduces their life and the level of light output.

Advantages and disadvantages of LEDs

More recently, luminescent lamps were at the top of popularity, but for several years they were replaced by LED-lamps.

In recent years, LED lighting has gained a lion's share of the market thanks to many consumer advantages, among which the following can be distinguished:

  1. Cost-effectiveness. New LED-lamps consume 9-10 times less energy than incandescent lamps similar in luminous flux.
  2. Durability. The continuous life of good LEDs is calculated over the years, although their luminosity somewhat decreases with time.
  3. High efficiencydue to which the lamps practically do not heat up.
  4. Safety. If the LED lamp is damaged, sharp fragments do not form and harmful substances are not released. There is no UV radiation in the emitted stream.
  5. Possibility of regulation color temperature.
  6. High strengthl LEDs.
  7. Regulation brightness of the glow.
  8. Operability in a wide range of temperatures.
  9. A wide range of. The ability to produce lighting fixtures of arbitrary shape.

The many advantages of LED lamps contribute to the mass transition of consumers to these lighting sources.

LED lamp comparison
To ensure the full benefits of LED-lamps, you should buy models of famous brands that guarantee the quality of their products

However, LED-lamps also have their drawbacks, which should be remembered when buying:

  1. High cost. The cost of cheap LED lamps is 4-5 times higher than incandescent lamps.
  2. The use of frosted flasks worsens the visual effects of crystal chandeliers.
  3. A rapid drop in luminosity with regular overheating.
  4. Light flicker in cheap models, which negatively affects vision and general well-being.
  5. Unidirectional light, which forces the use of a radial arrangement of LEDs.
  6. The electronic components of cheap LED lamps break faster than a crystal burns out, which shortens the real life.
  7. Incorrect operation when connected to a switch with an indicator.

Despite the shortcomings of LED lamps, the population continues to buy them. Real savings are achieved only in 3-4 years and only if all purchased fixtures are operational. Therefore, the appropriateness of their purchase is still worth evaluating.

The choice of LED lamps according to characteristics

The operation of 220V LED lamps is characterized by more than ten technical parameters. Awareness of them will help to buy lamps that will best meet the lighting needs and ensure long-term operation of the LEDs.

Nominal Luminous Flux

It is possible to analyze the luminous flux of lamps both in nominal units (lumens) and in relative (lumens / watts). The greater the power of the LED, the brighter the light beam emitted.

Comparison of the luminous flux of various types of lamps
Fluorescent lamps are sensitive to frequent on and off, so their use in the passage rooms quickly leads to breakage

However, the ratio of luminous flux to 1 W of energy consumed is more important.

It differs from different manufacturers:

  • European, Japanese and branded Chinese - 110-125Lm / W;
  • cheap Chinese - 60-80Lm / W;
  • from the largest international suppliers using COB technology - 180-190Lm / W.

It is recommended to buy LED lamps, having carefully studied instrument characteristics. We recommend that you pay attention to the highest luminous flux per 1 W of power. They are more economical, more durable, and are not much more expensive.

Maximum power consumption

The light emitted by them directly depends on the level of power consumption of LED lamps. Within the framework of one model range, this dependence is almost linear.

Due to the fact that the LEDs themselves occupy a minimum of space in the lamp, its power can be easily increased without changing the shape of the case only due to an increase in the number of crystals.

But since the ultimate goal of buying fixtures is still a sufficient level of illumination in the room, it is sometimes better to buy one reliable expensive LED device than two cheap ones. Their luminous flux will be equal, and the power consumption will differ by half.

Color temperature level

The shade of the light emitted from them depends on the color temperature level of LED lamps. It can range from yellow to white. Each color affects a person differently. Lamps with warm yellow light have a temperature of 2600-3200K and promote relaxation. They are recommended to buy for home.

Color temperature difference
In rooms with yellow walls, it is recommended to use LED lamps with a temperature of about 4000K, so that white light emphasizes the interior elements

Lamps with a temperature of 6000K have a cool white color with a blue tint and increase efficiency. They are installed in offices, industrial premises, as well as at the desktop.

There are also lamps emitting neutral white light. Their temperature is equal to 3700-4200K, and they provide a radiation spectrum as close as possible to daylight.

Type of lamp base

When changing incandescent bulbs to LED, it is important to pay attention to base of the diode device. The most common screw-on versions are E27 and E14, as well as with 2 pins - GU5.3, GU10 and GU13. When buying, it is recommended to take your old lamps to the store, show them to the seller, so that he will suggest suitable LED models.

Types of lamp caps
The purchase of a lamp with an irregular base shape requires a return to the store, registration of the return of the lamp and the purchase of a suitable model

Manufacturers of LED lamps took care of the owners of the old fluorescent tubes. For them are issued replacement LEDsthat have the same sizes and connectors. They can be integrated into the housing of existing fixtures.

Operating temperature range

LED lamps are sensitive to overheating, so it is important to consider their operating temperature, written on the package.

The following factors affect the heating of fixtures:

  1. The lamp has a cap.
  2. Indoor temperature.
  3. The distance from the ceiling to the spotlight mounted on drywall.
  4. The presence of an aluminum radiator in the lamp itself.
  5. Short-term temperature rises in a room, for example, in a kitchen during cooking.

For operation in elevated temperatures, LED lamps of a special design are sold. It is recommended to buy them if you want to avoid the negative effect of overheating on the LED.

Light ripple

The light of good LED lamps should not pulsate at all, because blinking at a frequency below 300 Hz negatively affects human health. There are several ways to determine the instability of the light flux.

Ripple LED on the phone screen
The ripple of the LED lamps on the phone screen can be displayed in the form of horizontal stripes. However, a high flash rate of the camera’s sensor is not recorded

The first method is visual: you need to look at the lamp directly or with side vision. In the second method, the smartphone camera is pointed at the lamp and its blinking on the screen is determined.

Ripple is mainly determined by cheap models equipped with the simplest control unit. Expensive lamps do not have such a drawback.

Degree of housing protection

For the longest time, LED lamps serve that work around the clock.Therefore, the greatest efficiency can be achieved from lamps placed on the street. However, they must be protected from moisture and dust so that their internal electronic components do not fail.

The filling of LED lamps intended for outdoor use should be well insulated from the external environment. For yard lighting will be sufficient degree of protection IP54 and higher. Such lamps can withstand heavy rain and dusty wind.

Light beam scattering angle

LEDs are always attached to a substrate, which prevents light from entering its back side. Therefore, without special devices, one emitting crystal can effectively illuminate only the space in front of itself.

Light scattering angle
When marking LED-luminaires, the value of the angle at which half of the light flux falls is also used. It characterizes light scattering by cap

To increase the angle of illumination, special diffusing caps are used. But there are LEDs on glass fibers or transparent substrates that allow you to evenly illuminate the entire surrounding space.

In flashlights, on the contrary, the LED beam must be narrowed, which is achieved mainly due to a special reflector. Therefore, the choice of the shape of the LED lamp should be carried out only after determining the required angle of the light flux.

LED Tips

When buying LED devices, it is important to pay attention to both their technical characteristics and a number of other nuances.

Light bulb comfort comparison
The best way to choose an LED lamp that is comfortable for your eyes is to turn on several models in the store at the same time and compare their luminosity

The presented tips will help to purchase a high-quality lamp that will last a long time and will be comfortable for the eyes.

  1. On the package of LED-lamps there should be an inscription on the absence of ripple.
  2. The luminous flux should be greater than that of the replaced incandescent lamp.
  3. It is recommended to compare the glow of lamps of the same power in the store.
  4. If there is a switch with an indicator, it is advisable to first verify that the LED lamps work correctly with it.
  5. Ceiling lamps with a small angle of light scattering can blind your eyes.
  6. It is recommended to buy lamps in large stores that provide at least 2 years of warranty.

It is advisable to purchase fixtures only from well-known manufacturers, because products of cheap little-known brands often do not meet the specifications stated on the package.

LED device marking

There is no generally accepted marking of LED lamps. Each manufacturer puts in the model name its conventions.

Marking LED lights
This label applies to all types of lamps and helps ensure compatibility between devices with different operating principles.

But there are a number of common abbreviations that are applied to lamps, regardless of their type:

  1. E27, E14, E40 - screw cap and its diameter in mm.
  2. GU5.3, GU10 and GU13 pin base and size in mm between the contacts.
  3. A, C, R, CA, CF, G, P, S, T - cap shape.
  4. A, A +, A ++ - the degree of profitability.
  5. 2700K-6000K - color temperature.

Also on the lamp housing can be displayed the general technical characteristics inherent in an electric device: voltage and current frequency, operating temperature, power, resource in hours, light output level and other parameters.

Leading LED lamp manufacturers

Manufacturers of LED products with a worldwide reputation value their image, therefore they strive to produce lamps with parameters that fully comply with the declared ones.

The best manufacturers of premium LED lamps are:

Prices for the products of these companies are the highest, but the quality of the fixtures is excellent.

LED Manufacturers
The difference in the cost of the same power lamps of the best brands and cheap manufacturers is only 30-70%, so it is recommended to buy more reliable models

The following companies occupy the average price segment in the production of LED lamps:

These companies strive to use low-cost components in production without severely compromising quality. Often their lamps break in the first days of operation, but are replaced without warranty problems.

Buying LED products from little-known Chinese and domestic brands is not recommended, because their warranty period rarely exceeds 4-6 months. In addition, the brand image is not important to them, which means that it is possible to freely use second-class components in production.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

Comparative reviews are a great opportunity to compare the characteristics of different types of lamps, choose the best solutions.

Video # 1. The device and principle of operation of LED lamps:

Video # 2. LED lamp manufacturer selection:

Choosing a reliable LED-lamp is not an easy task. Poorly versed in their technical specifications, it is easy to buy a low-quality or simply inappropriate model. Therefore, the purchase of LED lamps should only be started after a careful study of their features and familiarization with the parameters indicated on the package.

Want to talk about which LED bulbs you have chosen for lighting your own apartment / office / home? Have useful information on the topic of the article, which is worth sharing with visitors to the site. Please write comments in the block below, ask questions, post photos.

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Visitors Comments
  1. Emilia

    My family and I switched to LED lamps six months ago and do not regret it. The quality of the light is much higher, and the energy savings are clearly visible for our budget. Next time, when buying lamps, I will take into account the recommendations for choosing the best manufacturer and the scattering angle of the light beam. Before, I somehow didn’t think about such details, I just bought lamps as needed.

  2. Vladimir

    I agree with the savings, but for some reason they “burn” with me almost like usual ones. Sometimes you buy, 3 months and throw it away. It turns out much more expensive in the end.

    Can anyone advise an inexpensive and high-quality light bulb? I saw with us Phillips and Osram mainly.

    • Denis

      Here it’s worth not immediately saving and buying a normal light bulb that will last a long time. This is more economical than buying often, but cheap. Phillips are normal, Gauss yet. Plus, you should not forget that there is a guarantee on LED bulbs of normal companies and they can be changed if they burn out ahead of time.

    • Expert
      Amir Gumarov

      From the European countries, just Philips and Osram are normal, there are good Chinese Selecta, Camelion and Estares. Personally, I prefer LED lamps from a domestic manufacturer - Gauss.