I have been replacing all my lighting with LEDs for a couple of years. They are not all the same. If you want the best light colors, you want 5000K lights or higher. Also known as daylight. I prefer 6500K if I can get them, but they are hard to find. 5000K is the color temperature.
Ignore anything on the package the refers to watts. Watts is how much power a light uses and has little to do with the color of the light or how bright they are. Lumens tell you how much light they put out.
For screw-in standard (US) bulb replacements, I use GE Lighting 63869 LED Brightstik. $
- 5000K Daylight Color Temperature
- Provides 1600-lumens of light output
- The cylindrical shape fits in place of a traditional incandescent bulb, including some sockets where a traditional bulb or CFL doesn’t fit including the internally mounted drill press light.
I have been using halogen bulbs in my house for years. If I replace a halogen bulb in a room with a Brightstik LED, the halogen bulbs appear dark and yellow, where they looked white before.
I have not changed any of my overhead tube type fluorescents out yet because I switched from 8-foot T12 tubes to T8s a few years ago and when I did the math it didn't make economic sense to change unless I could get a lot more light. The bulbs were just too cheap and the fixtures and surface mounted on a 10-foot ceiling. If I need to pull one down to replace a ballast, I'll probably replace the whole fixture.
I looked at the Harbor freight lights in my local store and could find no mention of color temperature or lumens on the box.
If you are handy with a soldering iron and don't mind trying to figure out the Chinese color codes, the LED floodlights work well. I have these in several places. They are designed to go outside and wired into the house wiring. They do did not come with cords or plugs. They are waterproof. At least the ones I have are. I dropped one into an aquarium while it was on. It just kept right on burning underwater.
A 4-foot t5 fluorescent fixture with two daylight bulbs should put out around 5000 lumens. You can get 8000 or more lumens with a better, more expensive bulb. Lots of LED "shop lights" will not get anywhere near this amount of light. I have seen LED fixtures the output 52,000 lumens. All the lights in my shop would not come anywhere near 52,000 lumens.
LED Lighting changes fast, so if you wait six months, you will need to do your research again.