The use of incandescent bulbs across the US began decreasing the moment Congress decided to pass Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007. This act laid down some strict rules and standards in the energy sector with an aim of making energy greener, cost effective and long lasting. This was done in style in such a way that all inefficient bulbs had to be replaced with more efficient bulbs capable of consuming minimum energy for cost effective purposes. Environmental consideration was also a factor as this act came into effect. These standards meant that all incandescent bulbs and all close relatives were to be phased out if they failed to follow the set standards. This move led to a decrease in the users of incandescent bulbs across the US with time.
This was a change that brought good news in the world of lighting because CFLs and LEDs came and a good number of people fell in love with them because of their ability to consume minimum energy which meant they were cost effective. With these types of bulbs everyone now has a variety of options to choose from. There are very many nice options available in-terms of the best bulbs for lighting which therefore make it a bit challenging when it comes to finding the right bulb. The other factor likely to determine whether a person is ready to do as EISA mandates is the willingness of an individual to move on from old bulbs known for excessive consumption of energy to the new bulbs well known for saving energy hence pocket friendly. Let’s now look at some of the considerations when planning to buy a light bulb.
This is an important aspect that must be considered when buying a light bulb. Don’t be like other people who just buy blindly without considering this important info about light bulbs and fittings. The shape and type of fitting determines a lot when installing a bulb. There are very many options to choose from when it comes to light bulbs and different fittings. Choose a bulb with the right fitting which makes it easy when it comes to installation. You can as well consider your preference when it comes to fitting your bulb. Does the fitting you settle on the best whether indoors or outdoors.
The other factor you must consider when buying bulbs is the shape. The shape of the bulb goes hand in hand with the fitting. We have a representation of the most common shapes you can choose from below. However, you can always do your research to find out the different types of bulbs available in the market. What we have provided here are the most common types of fittings that you are likely to get whenever you want to buy a bulb for your home office or other household needs.
The different shapes of light bulbs available provide different angles and spread of light ranging from a narrow light to a 360o spread of light. Apart from considering the shape and fitting of the bulb when switched on, you also need to consider the other side of the coin especially when the light is switched off. How will the bulbs look when they are not on? This is something you have to consider when buying light bulbs.
Annual Running Costs
There are many CFLs out there which are affordable and bright enough to give your household the best lighting and tone. Although earlier CFLs used to be dimmer, this has changed recently and CFLs have improved in the past few years. Studies indicate that they are about four times brighter than incandescent bulbs. However, not everyone prefers CFLs considering the quality of light they give. Compared to LED bulbs, CFLs are a much cheaper option. The running cost of a lighting bulb is something you need to consider when buying a bulb for your household, kitchen or bathroom.
Go for the best light bulb color and brightness
Before going for a light bulb make sure you know the type of light you need. This therefore means you must understand brightness requirements. This can as well translate into the output of light or wattage. Like in the old days when incandescent bulbs ruled the lighting world, a period when watts were considered while buying a bulb, today you’ll find bulbs which use less energy but produce the quality brightness. Wattage, Kelvin scale and CRI are factors you need to understand as you plan to get the right bulb. Let’s find out how these terms determine the brightness and color of a lighting bulb.
Gone are the days when brightness produced by light bulbs was measured in watts. Wattage was used as a measure of power when nearly every household was filled with incandescent bulbs. The introduction of energy saving bulbs brought a new measure of brightness produced by bulbs. Today the brightness level of bulbs is measured in what is known lumens. The brighter the bulb the higher the number of lumens used.
A bed-sized table lamp with 400 watts would be appropriate for that matter and it is recommended that the suitable bulb for a living room should be able to produce between 1500-3000 lumens.
• Kelvin scale. The Kelvin scale is normally used to measure the color of light. The temperature produced by a light bulb can also be measured by a Kelvin scale. Many manufactures usually indicate the color temperatures on the packaging of a light bulb. Manufacturers indicate the color temperature that a light bulb will emit when switched on.
The color of light produced by a bulb is an important consideration when buying a light bulb because color affects so many things including mood and several items in the room.
• Color Rendering Index (CRI). Most bulbs are normally given a CRI score. CRI can be defined as the ability of a source of light to represent a variety of colors. For instance you want a bulb which produces light that makes your vegetables look green and not some other strange color. Look at the following images for more explanation of good and poor CRI.
• Buy light bulbs as per your needs. Why exactly do you need to buy light bulbs? How can you find out the right lighting bulb as per your needs? Well, you first have to do a detailed research and go through different light bulb reviews and guides. Choose the bulb you need and do a background check to find out whether it meets your requirements. You don’t want to buy a bulb which will cause problems and cost you a lot yet there are very many bulbs which can meet what you expect.
When being manufactured some light bulbs end up with in-built hardware which can block projection of light reflecting it upwards. It is always advisable to go for a bulb that spreads light in all directions. For a person who needs a bedside light for reading or lighting a section in a room it is advisable to consider directionality of the light. Look for a bulb capable of giving 360o light output.
Which type of light do you want between warm and cold?
When buying lighting bulbs especially the LEDs, you must always consider whether you want warm or cold light. The standard temperature of light is normally measured in ‘Kelvin’. When a bulb produces very orange light it means the Kevin number is low. When it comes to indoor lighting, people prefer a slightly yellow glow or sometimes what is known as warm white. Slightly yellow lighting can be good in a kitchen and bathroom.
When these bulbs arrived they were a game changer and other types of bulbs such as CFLs and incandescent found it hard gaining ground. LEDs are cost effective in such a way that they are capable of using only a fraction of the wattage that incandescent bulbs use. The wattage of these types of bulbs is normally between 4W and 22W. Manufacturers approximate that they can be used for 20,000 hours.
LED bulbs do not burn out like incandescent bulbs normally do. Instead of burning out, LED bulbs normally experience a decrease in amount of lumens which makes them dimmer with time. They take long before finally becoming dimmer. They are better than incandescent bulbs because of the low amount of energy they consume.
However, it does not mean that LEDs do not fail or do not have a disadvantage. Apart from their cost, LEDs are actually a better option when it comes to light bulbs.
They came and replaced incandescent bulbs but unfortunately a better option arrived later in the name of LEDs. Although not many people received CFLs warmly due to the white light they produce. People preferred the warm tone produced by incandescent bulbs. Their approximated average life expectancy is 10, 000 hours.
The whitish color that CFLs produce can be described as less pleasing aesthetically as some users claimed back in the days. Some people believe that switching them on and off regularly reduce their life expectancy. There is also this general belief that CFLs normally take a second or two to light fully after switching on.
There has been advancements in the technology used in producing CFLs since 2007 when EISA was signed into law. Today you can find an ‘instant on’ CFL and a variety in color options including dimmable ones.
The most common downside about CFLs is the fact that they do not last for long enough. Using them in outdoor activities is not recommended because they can sometimes fail to turn on when temperatures are extremely down. However, this should not worry you because actually some cold-cathode CFLs can be used in temperatures as low as -10F.
Their wattage lies between 40W and 150W and they can last up-to 1000 hours. EISA actually never banned the use of incandescent bulbs but what it actually did was setting energy standards and explaining the minimum acceptable lumens per watt recommended for a light bulb. The EISA act expected manufacturers to produce more efficient incandescent bulbs. There is actually more room for improvement of incandescent bulbs in-terms of energy consumption.
These are listed under incandescent bulbs with halogens trapped inside. There is also a filament which burns after these halogens recycle tungsten gas to make the filament bright hence producing light. These bulbs can be useful to any individual who is ready to replace bulbs often and users who prefer using incandescent rather than LEDs and CFLs.
Apart from the information which has been covered about light bulbs and what to consider when planning to get the best light bulb, it is also important to settle on a bulb that you’ll enjoy for a very long time. Manufacturers are required to include important information about their product on the packaging of bulbs so that users can find it easy when choosing which bulb to buy.
Federal Trade Commission clearly gave out the right information to be included in packaging of bulbs and any manufacture who defies this requirement will be obviously facing the full force of the law. The packaging of light bulbs should include important information such as color temperature, lumens and estimated costs and any other important information that Federal Trade Commission believes is right.
A comprehensive guide on what you need to know before choosing the right light bulb
Properly designed landscape lighting can keep you safe, secure, and helps you to enjoy your garden flowers and plants for much longer. Whether you want a little warm light to create a safe path, soft mood lighting to have a nice evening with guests, or a pool of lights to highlight certain features, this guide has the answer for you. Regardless of the size of your patio, garden, balcony, or walkways, the right outdoor lighting will help you easily transform your space into a welcoming area that you’ll want to spend a lot of time in.
When it comes to landscape lighting, less is truly more. Lights will make a space special if you allow the play of light and dark, highlighting accents that you do not mention during the day and createing shadows using the plants and forms in your backyard. Think how you want to play with these elements to create drama, and a well-lit area will be a place where you want to stay longer.
Landscape lighting is an important element of your home’s overall design. Even if you have an awesome architecture and beautiful landscape, proper lighting is what really enhances your outdoor space, different objects, and the little details. There are multiple reasons why you should start updating your landscape lighting plan.
Make an Impression - Before your guests reach the front door, they‘re already forming an opinion about your home. All visitors and neighbors will make assumptions about the interior of your house based on your outdoor areas. From landscape lights to decorative lanterns, outdoor lighting can make (or easily break) the look of the exterior.
The perceived value of your house - When it comes to the landscape lighting, it can tell a lot about the perceived value of your home. Choose proper lighting that enhances the curb appeal of your home.
Safety - Properly lit driveways, walkways, and porches make it easy for everybody to securely walk through your garden. Highlight busy areas of your landscape for late-evening use.
Warm Atmosphere - Make your guests feel more comfortable and put them at ease as soon as they enter your property. There is nothing less inviting than a poorly lit entrance.
Outdoor Entertaining - Landscape lighting helps you extend the area for an outdoor gathering with friends. A well-lit space will help keep your party progressing well, long after dark. Many homeowners view their gardens as the main location for summer entertainment and relaxation, thus the functionality, efficiency, and the design of outdoor lighting has become quite important.
Before installing the lights, identify the features that you like. It can be a tree or a pond – highlighting those will make them pop. Besides, think of adding intrigue to places that do not stand out duting the day. A stone wall can get new personality at nigh when lit with proper lights.
A properly planned landscape lighting design with careful preparation can enhance the beauty, security, and safety of your home. There are different lighting options with different functions.
Path Lighting - A well-lit yard is a perfect crime-prevention option, and light fixtures designed for security, such as motion sensors, add extra convenience and protection.
Path lighting is a necessary step to welcome guests to your home. Path lighting enhances safety by illuminating dark areas that could otherwise lead to falls, and they’re a perfectoptionif you want to improve curb appeal. Lighting stairs, pond areas, and walkways help ensure a safe passage for all.
When selecting path lights, be sure to follow these tips for proper outdoor lighting that will be both functional and beautiful.
Proper Height - A nice warm glow can be easily achieved with path light fixtures installed about 15 inches high.
Define All The Edges - Ensure the best safety lighting with lights installed about one foot from both sides of the path.
Ditch The Bargain Bin - Fixtures with sturdy construction, glass lens, and water-resistant finish are a must-have for long-term use. A powder-coated finish can withstand harsher elements.
Go LED - Many believe that the future of landscape lighting will be LED lighting. LED bulbs reduce power consumption by almost 80% and are not hot to the touch. They also last longer than traditional lights.
Warmth is measured in Kelvinsand it varies from one product to the next and affects the visual appeal of your outdoor area. Fixtures with 3,000K (cool temperature) create a nice, warm, and inviting glow in your garden.
Landscape lighting plays a vital role in curb appeal and is a crucial part of any home’s presentation. There are multiple styles of lighting to choose from to match your taste, personality, and design of your home.
Contemporary - Contemporary lights feature minimal ornamentation with clean lines, simple features, angular frames, and bold colors, which is characteristic of the contemporary style. Popular finishes include Brushed Nickel or Polished Chrome.
Transitional - Transitional style lighting maintains the sophistication and warmth of a traditional design, mixed with the brightness of a contemporary style. Transitional lighting has multiple modern details, but maintains a traditional design and often includes casual, simplified details. Sometimes a modern form is abandoned to heighten the elegance.
Traditional - Traditional style lighting is all about familiarity and comfort. Outdoor lanterns with frosted shades, ornate details, and smooth curves evoke a nice, traditional feel. The most popular finishes include Antique Bronze and black.
Craftsman - Craftsman style lighting includes artistic accents that look like they were done by hand. Among the examples are seeded glass, hand painted finishes and classic profiles.
Rustic - Rustic style lighting means organic shapes and textures with innate warmth. Rustic lanterns are naturally stylish, featuring items that have been purposely worn out or repurposed to create beautiful objects.
Industrial - Industrial style lighting means a blend of urban edge with a utilitarian design. Paired with fine materials and nostalgic bulbs, this style usually includes metal or iron parts that take on a rich finish. Some of the most popular styles include cage, gooseneck, and barn lighting.
When thinking of your landscape design, consider the factors below that will ensure a well-established and beautiful landscape. Think about these tips when placing or selecting light fixtures.
Be Cohesive - Landscapes can help create the same overall consistency. When lighting separates areas – such as pieces of architecture, or a tree – the lighting should seamlessly blend together.
Create Depth - For instance, path lights can create interest while your guests are walking on the property. Lighting along driveways and walkways dramatically enhance the main theme of your outdoor area while preventing accidents when dark.
Accentuate Focal Points - Highlight stationary pieces and entryways to create interesting focal points. These focal points will encourage visitors to come closer and look at your architecture. One of the best ways to enhance the texture of different objects is by mounting in-ground lights close to your focal points.
Explore Perspectives - Look at different features of your landscape. Focus on creating a continuous experience from onefeature to the next.
Balance - Lightingfixtureslook perfect when they’re proportional across different areas of your property. Include symmetrical components at different points, such as corresponding bushes and columns. The main goal is to achieve symmetry with the amount of illumination across different areas of your landscape lighting design.
Quality Control - Select light fixtures that will help set a specific mood, such as soft edges and narrow beams or wide beams of light. Direction should refer to the focal point of where the light shines (does the light need to point up or point down).
Illuminate The Deck - Don’t forget to outline the perimeters of the deck railing and the deck, as well as take care of safety for nighttime use on outdoor porches and decks. Use low voltage fixtures to achieve maximum safety.
One of the most common mistakes that many people make when choosing landscape lighting for the front of their homes is choosing small fixtures. Note, that decorative lighting enhances the curb appeal, so you want your visitors to see these fixtures (or at least some of them). Don’t be afraid to choose a bigger size – especially for homes with large facades.
The rule of thumb is exterior light fixtures that are used to illuminate the entryway should be sized in proportion to the door.
The Bigger the Better - Wall sconces by the front door should be anywhere from 1/4 to 1/3 the size of the door itself. Remember, that lanterns will only appear to be half the size from 50 feet away. Always place the bigger lanterns by the front door (versus the garage door, for example).
Get The Right Position - Quite often, outdoor lanterns should be placed at eye level. The main light source should be approximately 6 feet off the ground.