As you search the internet for lighting advice you’ll probably read three types of articles. The first will tell you all the reasons you should switch to energy efficient lighting. The second will tell you which energy efficient lighting option is the absolute best. And finally, articles that tell you all about the latest developments in lighting.
While informative and useful, these articles may not help you pick the right lighting for you or your home. So, in an effort to prevent any future irritation, here are three questions to ask yourself before you buy light bulbs.
#1 How Often Will I Use This Light?
In my house, the family room is the center of all activity. TV watching, socializing, reading, eating, and ironing all take place in the family room. As you can probably guess, the high level of activity means the family room lights are on almost anytime someone is home. Therefore when we choose lights we’re looking for the most efficient and longest lasting bulbs.
We choose LEDs for this very reason. They may be more expensive at first, but LED lighting will save my family money in the long run. By contrast, our living room is only lit for special occasions, which means the cheaper but still efficient CFLs make the most sense.
#2 What Are Your Lighting Pet Peeves?
As a lighting company, we hear many of the common complaints about CFLs and LEDs. For instance some CFLs need some time to achieve their full brightness which may be irritating in your bathroom or hallway. Likewise, not all energy efficient bulbs have dimming capabilities. Unfortunately these are thoughts and considerations that usually occur when your decision has already been made, and you’re left with already opened bulbs you don’t want.
To avoid frustration, be sure to check the labels of your lighting. Products like TCP’s TruStart CFLs have no warm up time and are instantly bright and CFLs with warm up time might be ideal in your bedroom to avoid a blinding flash in the morning. If you’re concern about dimming, a light’s packaging can tell you if the bulb is dimmable and its dimming range (0%-100%).
#3 What Light Am I Replacing?
Light bulbs are a lot like wrenches. Every wrench has the same purpose of loosening and tightening. However, if you try to use a tiny wrench to work on your plumbing it’ll become abundantly clear that a larger monkey wrench would’ve been a better choice. In a similar fashion, if you use a light bulb that’s meant for a desk lamp as a recessed light in your living room, the bulb may not seem bright enough or worse could burn out well before its average life span.
Pick the right light for the job by checking the design of the bulb and its packaging. A LED designed for recessed lighting for instance, will be much wider than a torpedo shaped LED meant for decorative lighting. Also, the pictures on TCP’s retail CFLs will indicate why kind of lighting fixtures the bulb was made for.
While it may be easier to blindly grab the cheapest bulbs in sight, you’ll probably be much happier with your purchase if you take the time to ask yourself what you want from your lighting. Combined with a little product investigation you can light your home for less and still create the ideal atmosphere in your home.