Tips to Help You Choose Bulb Brightness and Shade

  • March 11, 2015

Light bulbs come in a wide variety of shades to help customize the mood of the room. You can choose from yellowish, warm, natural daylight white, to bluish white light. Selecting the correct bulb is important as it can help maximize your use of space. 

Bluer light is best for reading areas, and ENERGY STAR recommends cool white, neutral or bright white bulbs for your kitchen or work spaces. 

Since lighting can also be used to boost your mood and attention, it’s important to choose wisely. 

Basics of a Light Bulb: 

  • Instead of watts, look for lumens to measure the brightness of the bulb.
  • When shopping for new lighting, remember that more lumens means more light.
  • ENERGY STAR bulbs come in a variety of colors and shapes. The color of your light bulb is measured on a temperature scale referred to as Kelvin (K). A lower Kelvin number means a warmer or yellowish light, and a higher Kelvin number means the light is whiter, or a cooler, bluer light.

Colors of a Light Bulb:

  • For yellowish to warm light, look for bulbs marked 2700-3000K. 
  • For a whiter light, look for bulbs marked 3500-4100K.
  • For bluer white light, look for bulbs marked 5000-6500K.
  • Most ENERGY STAR certified bulbs are made to match the color of incandescent bulbs at 2700-3000K.

Improve the Mood of Your Space:

  • Poorly lit rooms can cause you to feel depressed and drowsy, according to 1000Bulbs and brighter lights can give you more energy and increase alertness.
  • Use warmer colored light bulbs marked 2700-3000K for your bedroom lamp, or consider dimming your lights as you wind down for the evening. 
  • Need an energy boost? Use a cooler, bluer light bulb marked 5000K because they give off a natural light, increasing your energy levels and alertness

Check out this infographic by Energy Star to help you see the benefits of choosing an Energy Star certified bulb.


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