your lightbulb choices

Question

When it comes to replacing lightbulbs, there’s so many changes and so many choices. How do you compare watts to lumens? And what type of bulbs are the best to replace the traditional incandescent? Any advice to simplify shopping for light bulbs would be most appreciated!

Answer

We understand your confusion – the lightbulb section of the aisle has tripled in size and choices. But the good news it’s relatively easy to let go of incandescent bulbs because the alternatives really are a positive improvement.

Watts vs. Lumens
Incandescent bulbs are measured in watts, while CFLs and LED bulbs are measured in lumens, and most of their packaging will give you the wattage equivalent.  There is also this chart that compares the standard bulb powers we’re used to:
40 watts = 450 lumens
60 watts = 800 lumens
75 watts = 1100 lumens
100 watts = 1600 lumens

Here’s a great page to learn more about lumens and light quality.

What Type of Bulb to Use in Your Home
The introduction of the CFL bulb was enlightening (pun intended!). Their energy savings and length of service was a vast improvement over traditional bulbs. But we view CFLs as a great placeholder while waiting for the technology and price of LED bulbs to become more user-friendly.

Because the price of LED is now more affordable, we use it extensively in our remodeling projects. And LED technology advancements make it possible to put light everywhere you need it. From ceiling can lights to strings of LED lights under cabinets and inside drawers, it has transformed task lighting.

Best of all is how long LED lights perform before needing to be replaced. The average LED light is rated up to 50,000 hours which equals 12 hours a day of use for 11 years! Imagine not having to change out lights for 11 years and saving money on your electric bills and understand why we wholeheartedly recommend LED lighting to our clients.

And in anticipation of the other big lightbulb question you have yet to ask, here’s a good piece about color temperature.

If you have any more questions or would like help with lighting your home, call the Mosby office at 314.909.1800 or contact us here. And for answers to other frequently asked home improvement questions, visit our Home Improvement Library.