Most homeowners don’t really put much thought into the lightbulbs that they choose for their homes. The truth is the best light bulbs can improve the atmosphere of your home, save you money on your utility bills, and can even be linked to improved productivity. Knowing which light bulb to choose in a specific living space can be difficult if you are not educated about the many options available.
The brightness and color of your light bulb choice can alter the appearance of the living space, even to the point of affecting one’s mood while in the space. We highly recommend purchasing light bulbs for each area of your home instead of a “one-bulb-fits-all” approach to lighting your home.
Light bulbs brightness is measured in lumens. The energy that is required to produce a specific lumen level is measured in watts. Standard home use, incandescent bulbs range from 40 watts – producing 450 lumens to 100 watts – producing 1,600 lumens. Choosing how you use the room, will determine the bulb watt or number of lumens produced. In areas like kitchens or home offices, you will want higher watt bulbs, while in areas like hallways or closes you will want to choose a lower watt bulb.
This is not the temperature that you are thinking about. Modern light bulbs are categorized by “color temperature,” which is measured in Kelvins. Lower temperatures refer to warmer tones. A light color temperature of 2500K to 3000K is considered warm yellow, while bulbs in the 4000K range emit pure, white light. Natural light color temperatures are in the range of 5000K and will simulate daylight.
Color Rendering Index
Color rendering index or CRI refers to how color objects appear under the bulb’s light versus how the same object appears under natural lighting. The higher the value, the truer the color representation. Normal incandescent bulbs used in most homes have a CRI value of 100, the highest possible value. Florescent bulbs range between 50-98 CRI and LED lighting is 80-98. The ideal CRI value is 80 or greater. Bulb selection and the CRI become important where the color and pattern matter most, like bathroom vanity mirrors or art/craft studios.
There are three types of modern light bulbs: halogen incandescent, compact fluorescent, and LED. Light quality is relatively standard across each type, but they can vary greatly in cost and energy efficiency.
Incandescent bulbs have been on the market for more than a hundred years and are the most common type of bulb in your home. The latest advancement is the halogen incandescent bulb comes in a variety of different wattages, shapes, and color temperatures. Their cost offsets their lack of energy efficiency with less than 10% of the energy they require is converted to visible light. Most of the energy is converted to heat which makes them very hot to the touch.
Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs)
Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) are the newly improved version of the long fluorescent tubes you see in stores, commercial buildings, classrooms, etc. The new CFLs are coiled and can fit into a traditional light socket. CFLs use about one-third of the energy than incandescent bulbs while providing the same light levels, and they last up to ten times longer. Their lifespan can be cut short if turned off and on more frequently, or if placed in fixtures where they have limited ventilation.
LED bulbs (light-emitting diode) or LEDs
LEDs are the newest addition to the light bulb market. Being the most energy-efficient option comes with a higher price tag. When compared to an incandescent bulb, LEDs require 6-8 watts of energy compared to the 60 watts of an incandescent bulb. An LED has a lifespan of about 30 times that of an incandescent bulb, and about six times longer than CFLs. AirPro strongly encourages you to use LED light bulbs throughout your home to cut down on your utility bills.
As mentioned above, it is best to use specific light bulb types in the different areas of your home. Each room requires different lighting needs and here is a guide to follow.
Brighter light is best in your kitchen. We recommend 5,000 to 10,000 lumens due to the required lighting during food preparation, cooking, and cleaning. Recessed fixtures or overhead with LED bulbs are an excellent option. Installing under-cabinet lighting can also improve the lighting in many important food preparation areas.
Moderate lighting is a great option for restrooms, with added lighting in vanity areas is a great choice. Bathrooms require a light bulb with a high CRI to make sure that colors are true. Avoid CFLs in your restroom since the light is turned off and on quite often which will cause CFLs to burn our quicker than normal.
Low to moderate lighting levels are typical for these spaces. A ceiling fan with a light kit may work well. Choose bulbs with color temperatures of around 2,000K to 3,000K for warm, soft lighting. Add desk lamps for additional reading light, if needed. For an elegant look, install pendant lights or a chandelier above the dining room table.
Low to moderate lighting is a great option in bedrooms. Avoid cool tones. Bluish light before bedtime can cause some people to have difficulty falling asleep.
Install bright general lighting, with targeted task lighting for workspaces. Cool tones with a color temperature of 4000K or higher can help keep you alert and focused.
Our four decades of experience as a seasoned commercial and electrical contractor AirPro Houston provides you with the skill and expertise to assist you with your light bulb selection process.
We have financing options available with great options with up to 72-month terms with approved credit. Call us today at 281-880-8805 and let us partner with you for all of your electrical repair and installation needs.