– article written by Elizabeth Gibson –
The US Federal Trade Commission requires new labeling on incandescent, compact florescent, and LED bulbs to assist customers in finding the right light bulb to meet their needs. Similar to the nutritional label on packaged food, these labels are designed to help you compare apples to apples… or rather, bulb to bulb!
Let’s take a closer look:
Brightness: The brightness of a bulb is measured in lumens. This is the key factor when comparing energy efficient bulbs of various types and manufacturers. According to the American Lighting Association:
- To replace a 100-watt incandescent bulb, choose a bulb that gives you 1,600 lumens.
- To replace a 75-watt incandescent bulb, choose a bulb that gives you 1,100 lumens.
- To replace a 60-watt incandescent bulb, choose a bulb that gives you 800 lumens.
- To replace a 40-watt incandescent bulb, choose a bulb that gives you 450 lumens.
Estimated Yearly Energy Cost: This cost is determined by a number of factors. National energy costs, wattage draw of the bulb, and the estimated daily use are factors that determine the cost of use.
Life: The life of a bulb is indicated on the packaging and should help you in determining the overall quality of your selection. Pay close attention to the estimated use per day indicated on the label. For example, on this label the estimated use is 3 hours per day. If the lighting fixture using this bulb will be on for more than 3 hours per day, the bulb will have a shorter life span.
Light Appearance: This is in reference to the color temperature of the bulb, which is measured in Kelvin (K). The average residential consumer in the US prefers the warmer white tones. We most commonly sell 2700K-3000K for residential use and 3000K-5000K for commercial applications.
Note: The term “Daylight” begins at 5000K, which is not recommended for most residential applications, and may affect your body’s circadian rhythm.
Energy Used: This heading is used to describe the amount of power used by the bulb as measured by watts. Prior to energy efficient efforts, wattage was the most telling characteristic in purchasing a bulb. More power, more light, right? That’s not necessarily true anymore!
Still not sure which bulb you need? Stop in and one of our lighting experts will take the guesswork out of your selection!