Why Are My LEDs Too Bright? How to Reduce the Brightness

07 Nov.,2022


UL Listed Outdoor String Lights

LED lights have the track record for being obnoxiously bright and blinding to your eyes. You may have had the experience of driving in front of a large truck at night with bright LED headlights blinding you through your mirrors and being very uncomfortable. It is times like these that you may wonder why LED lights are so bright. But, it can also seem that they are too bright when they are in your home and not giving you the warm and cozy vibe that you would like to feel. Having too bright of lights does not mean that you have to immediately ditch the LED lights that you have to solve your problem. There can be many causes and solutions to having excessively bright LED lights. Below are just some of the causes of why your LED light bulbs could just be too bright for you. 

Not Losing Energy

The reason LED light bulbs seem brighter than others such as fluorescent or incandescent is because they are not losing as much thermal energy. LED light bulbs use 75 percent less energy than other bulb types and are more efficient at using the energy they produce. Instead of wasting energy on heat production, LED bulbs put almost all of their energy into producing light. This is why when you put your hand close to an LED light bulb it is much cooler than say an incandescent bulb. Because of this the bulbs themselves seem brighter than other types of bulbs. It can be a major advantage or disadvantage depending on your preferences. 

No Shade

LED lights are very commonly used by themselves to provide the ultimate lighting. But, what can happen when the bulb is exposed is that nothing is there to diffuse the light from the source of the bulb to your eyes. By having the light by itself you could be setting your eyes up for too much light which can be disturbing and alarming. To solve this problem you can simply apply a lampshade or place your bulb in a fixture. This will allow the light to be softened but still give adequate lighting to your space. It should be noted that LED light bulbs should not be placed in an enclosed fixture. As long as the bulb has some area that it is exposed to air and is not completely enclosed it should be safe. A shade or fixture with an open bottom is always a safe bet to provide adequate light and diffusion. 

Incorrect Placement

Sometimes your light could be too bright simply because it is not placed in the correct spot in your home. For example, if your light is very bright and pointing directly at your face or the lamp is right over the seating area you may want to move it. Because the LED lights are so bright it is not necessary to point the light directly where you want it to be well lit. You can place the light or lamp in a corner or turn it around so the light can be scattered across the wall and distributed even to the whole room. You can use the epic illumination to your advantage by placing the light somewhere where it can light multiple areas of a room and be comfortable for your eyes. You may also want to consider if the LED light needs to be so high. If the light is only to guide the way, it could be placed at thigh or knee level so it is not shining directly into your eyes. ?

Too Much Power

The amount of light emitted by a light bulb is measured in lumens. The more lumens a light bulb is, the brighter it will appear. For example, an average car high beam is 1200 lumens. Your LED light may be too bright for you if you chose a bulb with too many lumens. If your light bulb has too much power you may want to consider trying out a bulb with fewer lumens. Do consider that different lumens may be helpful in different areas. If you are putting a light outside or in a very dark area a light bulb with a higher lumen value would work better. A light for inside does not need to be as high, especially if you want the room to be more comfortable and less stark and bright. 

Not Dimmable

Most lights in people's homes simply turn on and off with no say in how bright or dim their light will be. This is fine if you do not mind having it bright all of the time, but if you find that your light is too bright or that you need more control over your lighting you may want to consider investing in a dimmer switch. When choosing a dimmer switch it is important that you purchase a switch that is either universal or specifically compatible with LED lights. LED lights function differently than traditional light bulbs so if they are not compatible it can cause problems with flickering and improper usage. Choosing a dimmable LED is the great way to get the bright lights when you need them and be able to wind down in the evenings. 

Wrong Color Temperature

The color temperature of a light can play a large role in how bright a light may seem. The tone of light has been shown to affect mood and even productivity. Cooler temperature lights have the appearance of being more stark and overly bright. Cool tone lights increase alertness and productivity. While warm temperature lights are more relaxing and do not seem to be as blinding. Your LED lights may simply seem too bright because you have cool temperature LED lights. LEDs are more popular in cool tones, but there are options for warm tone LEDs as well. Choose your color temperature wisely to create the feeling you want in your home and to have proper eye comfort. Changing the color temperature of your LED is as simple as changing out a bulb. 

No Diffuser Foil

Just like using a lamp shade or fixture your problem may be that your light is not being diffused enough. If you are only looking for a temporary solution, using a diffuser foil could be a fantastic option. A diffuser foil is placed around the bulb to diffuse the light and make it appear softer and more inviting. Be cautioned that while this may reduce the brightness of your light it could collect heat and potentially become hazardous. This is why it should only be used for short periods of time and be carefully monitored at all times. So, if you are in a pinch and need to quickly and affordably alter your lighting, a diffuser foil can be an option. 

Bright LEDs are problems for many, but can easily troubleshot with a couple of tweaks. Utilizing the brightness of LEDs should also be embraced where necessary. In your car, headlights, and overhead lighting bright LEDs serve an amazing and important purpose. When inside and in an intimate space it is important that LEDs can be modified to make being around them more comfortable. Consider your needs and ability to be flexible with LEDs. If budget is a concern there are more than one options that are more economical such as moving the location of a portable light or putting a shade over your light. No matter what you decide to do to decrease the brightness of your LED, make sure that it works for you and your family to make your LED usage experience the best it can be.