How to Choose a Light Bulb

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Now that light bulbs are getting more varied, choosing one is sort of like reading a food label. It’s good to know what the ingredients are before making a choice. So…

Brightness
Described in LUMENS. A Lumen is a unit of brightness. More lumens=brighter.

Dollars
Described as “Estimated yearly cost.” The cost of using this bulb vs another bulb. Remember, a higher cost to you is also a higher cost to the electric company and to the environment.

Years
Described as the Life of the bulb, and refers to how long it will last. A longer life means savings for you and the environment.

Looks
Described as Light Appearance. Light is rated on a scale of warm to cool. “Warm” lights have a more yellow appearance and “cool” lights are slightly more blue-ish.

Energy Used
This tells you how much energy, or natural resources are required to operate this bulb. This unit of measurement is WATTS. More watts equals more energy needed.

lumen-watt-graphic-bgWhen comparing the wattage of the different types of bulbs below, you can see that a lower wattage bulb can be just as bright has the higher wattage one, which is why using the lower wattage bulb saves energy. For example, a 20 watt LED bulb shines just as bright as a 100 watt Incandescent bulb. Take a look at the rest of the examples:

Incandescent bulb
100 watt
75 watt
60 watt
40 watt

Halogen bulb
72 watt
53 watt
43 watt
28 watt

CFL
23 watt
20 watt
15 watt
10 watt

LED
20 watt
14 watt
12 watt
8 watt