With the advancement of the aesthetic, function and efficiency of the common light bulb, it’s important to understand your options especially as you’re planning for a remodeling project.
Understanding Watts and Lumens
When buying lightbulbs, the packages have codes on them for the watts and lumens. However, many homeowners don’t understand what these terms mean. Lumens are the amount of light that is emitted from a bulb, or simply put the more lumens the brighter the bulb will be. Watts refers to the amount of energy required for a bulb use. In general, the lower the watts, the less energy that is used.
Light Bulb Color
Color temperature is a way to describe the light’s appearance which is typically measured in degrees of Kelvin on a scale from 1,000 to 10,000. A Soft White light bulb is 2,700-3000K while a Bright White/Cool White is 3,500-4,1000K and Daylight is 5,000-6,5000K.
Types of Light Bulbs
You can rarely find incandescent bulbs now, but they are typically the least expensive light bulb. Halogen are a variation of the incandescent and offer the closest to “natural daylight” or “white light”. They’re slightly more energy efficient than incandescent but cost more money and energy to utilize. Fluorescent lights give a flat and sometimes bluish light and work well for large areas such as basements. Compact Fluorescent bulbs use about ¼ the energy of incandescent and last up to 10 times longer. And finally LED (light-emitting diode) is the most long-lasting, energy efficient of the bulbs.
The Future of Light Bulbs
Lighting has come a long way not only in efficiency but also in appearance. You can choose frosted globes, filament LED bulbs, metallic-tip bulbs, simple small bulbs and unique filament bulb shapes. There are also tech savvy innovations such as lights with a speaker to motion sensor to battery backup for power outages.
Many of us simply flip a switch without giving thought to the light produced. But hopefully this knowledge will illuminate the possibilities and allow you to better create the mood you desire for your spaces.