How to Choose the Right Light Bulb

When it comes to purchasing new light bulbs, nothing beats a little first hand knowledge. Most bulb buyers get information they learned from product packaging, in-store displays or from the manufactures website.

Light Bulbs

What Types of Light Bulbs are Available?

Halogen Bulbs

This type of bulb is basically an incandescent with a small amount of Halogen gas inside. Gas is derived from materials, such as iodine or bromine. Halogen bulbs offer a wide range of color qualities, from bright white to a warm light normally associated with standard incandescent bulbs.

Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

Commonly known as CFLs, these types of bulbs can use up to 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs. Recent improvements have made CFLs available in softer tones and even colors.

LED Bulbs

LED stands for Light emitting diode, a relatively new type of light bulb, it is known for increased energy efficiency, up to 90 percent less than incandescent bulbs, and for its long life, up to 20 years. LED bulbs offer a very good color spectrum range and are incredibly reliable.

Knowing How Much Light you Need

As a general rule, use this formula to calculate how much light you need in a room

Room length X Room width x 1.5 = Amount of wattage to light a room

For example, a 12' x 12' room (144) x 1.5 = 216 total watts., this can be divided by the number of fixtures. For instance, if you have two lamps, each with a 100 watt equivalent bulb, would be more than adequate for the room. You can also split the bulb sizes by using a 150 watt bulb in one lamp, and a 75 watt in the other, but this tends to make one end of the room brighter. Wall, ceiling and even floor colors can have an effect on the brightness of the room. Lamp shades will also have an effect on room lighting as they tend to direct light to certain areas of the room. You may need to experiment to get just the right amount of light.

Find the Right Bulb

Manufactures usually color code packaging by application: general purpose, decorative, indoor / outdoor, specialty or fluorescent. Decorative, fluorescent and general purpose bulbs are good for lamps, ceiling fixtures, under cabinet and closets. Specialty or fluorescent bulbs are great for garages and work shops due to their bright white light. Outdoor light bulbs need to withstand harsh conditions, never use ordinary bulbs in outdoor fixtures.

Lighting can truly make or break a space. Using light dimmers can soften an area that has to much light. Using the information we offer here, you can create an environment that is pleasing in your home.