What Makes a Light Bulb a Light Bulb?

Choosing the right light bulb for different areas throughout your home can enhance the atmosphere, save money on electric bills, and even increase your productivity. If you’re not aware of your options choosing the right bulb can be a challenge. Isn’t a light bulb just a light bulb? Yes and no. There’s more to light bulbs than size and color. Brightness and temperature effect light bulb performance

Light Bulb Performance

Light bulb brightness and color can alter the appearance of a room and even impact the mood. It’s not a great idea to buy a whole case of the same light bulb and think they’ll be equally good for every room. Here are some things to consider when buying light bulbs for different areas of your home.

Brightness – the brightness of a bulb is measured in lumens. The amount of energy it takes to produce a given lumen level is measured in watts. Standard incandescent bulbs range from 40-watt bulbs, with produce 450 lumens, to 100-watt bulbs, which produce 1,600 lumens. For rooms that require bright light like kitchens or offices, choose bulbs with higher lumen levels.

Temperature – bulb labels refer to “color temperature,” which is measure in Kelvins. Lower temps indicate warmer tones. A light color measurement of 2700K to 3000K is comparable to the warm yellow or white tones of incandescent light bulbs. The best light bulbs to mimic natural light are 5000K bulbs that emit a cool tone.

Types of Light Bulbs

There are three main types of bulbs you’ll see in the store today: halogen incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent bulbs, and LEDs. Light quality is fairly standard across all three types, but cost and energy efficiency vary.

Incandescent bulbs – have been around for more than a century. Today’s halogen incandescent bulbs come in a variety of shapes and colors. They emit a warm, ambient light. However, they are not very energy efficient, as less than 10 percent of the energy they consume is converted to visible light. They also run hot. But they remain the least expensive option.

Compact fluorescent light bulbs – (CFLs) operate just like those long fluorescent tube lights you see in classrooms and stores, but they are coiled to work in traditional fixtures. Energy Star-rated CFLs use roughly one-third the energy of halogen incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times as long. Some CFLs will not work with dimmer switches, so be sure to check for compatibility.

LED Bulbs – (light-emitting diode) bulbs are the newest light bulbs to hit the market. They are the most costly, but they are also the most energy-efficient. LEDs emit little to no heat and use just 6 to 8 watts of energy to produce the same brightness as a standard 60-watt incandescent bulb. The last six times longer than CFLs and over 30 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

Omaha Residential and Commercial Electrician

Thanks for taking the time to learn your light bulbs. If you’re in the Omaha or Lincoln area and need an electrician give us a call. We can service both residential and commercial structures. If your home or building is old, you may want to start with an inspection to see if you have anything that needs to be updated or repaired for safety.

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