It seems like it has been around forever. We never give it a second thought. When night comes we just reach up and flick the switch to turn it on. What I am talking about is the lowly light bulb that has illuminated our nights and symbolized “brilliant ideas” when the “light goes on” in our minds. Nowadays there is much more to it. Understanding watts and 3-ways is no longer enough! I will “shed some light” on the new guidelines and explain the options available to you when considering lighting for your home and office.
There are 2 things you will need to know to select the best light bulb for your needs. All bulb packaging will now have what equates to a nutrition label stating information on its color and lumens. To make a wise choice for your home and office, you will need to learn these terms.
Color – All bulbs give off a color ranging from the familiar golden light of the incandescent bulb to the sickening white of fluorescents that flatters no one. Bulb color is measured in Kelvins. A low Kelvin number, i.e. 2700K, indicates a bulb that gives off a more yellow light. In contrast, a 5000K bulb is considered a daylight color. You can see how important the Kelvin number is in deciding whether you want a yellow or white glow in your room’s décor. It is also important when considering the use of a room. 2700K is considered good for bedrooms and dining rooms. 4100K is used for general lighting and for offices and work areas. To read, a 5000k bulb is recommended.
Lumens – This term indicates how much light is produced by a particular bulb. A 75 watt standard bulb or an 18-25 watt CFL (spiral fluorescent) bulb will both give you about 1100 lumens but the CFL bulb uses one-third of the wattage. Think of the energy savings possible for your home and others around the world just by changing to CFL bulbs!
CFLs or compact fluorescent lamps are being met with mixed results. They do last very long and cost less over their lifetime. I know you are saying they are plain ugly and do not give off bright light. I can now get them for you encased in a bulb like the standard ones we all want. As far as their light output, there are now different “lumens” and “colors” available in CFLs to address every lighting need you may have.
Changes in our environments and lifestyles are never easy. It seems like we have used the standard incandescent light bulb in our homes forever. So, there is some learning and adapting to be done to understand all the new light bulb. This is the start for all of us on this important change that will affect global energy use. It is definitely a move in the right direction.