Lighting 101

When venturing out to your local hardware store or retailer in search for lighting, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the different types of light bulbs available for your home. From the traditional incandescent light bulbs to the newer LED options, there are a lot of choices when it comes to lighting your home.

Light bulb packaging advertises a lot of information, but there are two important numbers to take note of on the front of the package, the watts and the lumens. Put simply, watts are a measure of energy use. The higher the wattage, the more energy that particular light bulb uses. As bulbs have become for energy efficient, another number on the packaging, the lumens, has become the focus to determine the exact light bulb for your needs. Lumens are a measure of the brightness of the light bulb output. Basically the higher the lumens, the brighter the bulb. The online retailer of lighting, Lumens.com, put together a very helpful chart to show a comparison of wattage and lumens in a variety of bulbs.

Now that wattage and lumens have been explained, what kind of light bulb fits your needs? The most common options are listed below:

  • Incandescent bulbs: the traditional and most common light bulbs that are also easy on the pocketbook. These bulbs emit a warm light that is pleasing to the eye, but are not as energy efficient and typically only last 700-1000 hours.

  • Halogen bulbs: these bulbs emit a more natural “white” light, similar to daylight, than incandescent bulbs. They are slightly more expensive and thus last longer, however, they burn at a higher temperature.

  • Fluorescent bulbs: used a lot in offices and large spaces like basements, these bulbs produce more light than the incandescents and last longer. The light emitted is more of a flat light, however.

  • CFLs (compact fluorescent bulbs): a big step up from incandescents, CFLs can last up to ten times longer and use a fraction of the energy that incandescents use. These bulbs have a warm, inviting light like incandescents, but on the flip side, they are more costly.

  • LED (light emitting diode): even more energy efficient than compact fluorescents, LED bulbs can last up to ten times longer which is far longer than the traditional incandescents. Wattage is usually minimal, but these are the most expensive option.

When choosing the right light bulb for your needs, consider the energy efficiency, cost, and type of light as important factors to keep in mind.

 

For another article on lighting your home, check out the ACM Design blog post, “Lighting Your Home Like a Pro” here: http://www.acmdesignarchitects.com/lighting-your-home-like-a-pro-secret-lighting-tips/


ACM Design is a custom residential architecture and interior design firm in Asheville, NC that specializes in creating spaces that not only reflects the needs and desires of our clients, but their personalities and lifestyle. For information on how ACM Design can help you design your home and/or interiors call us at 828-684-9884.

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