Choosing the Right Bulb
Have a Plan Before You Go Shopping for Light Bulbs
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- The room to light and the purpose of the lighting
- Amount of brightness you desire (Lumens, not watts, is the measure of brightness)
Light color—color temperature (Kelvins)
Slightly blue (cool) to slightly orange (warmer)
- Accuracy of colors in a room (look for a Color Rendering Index greater than 80)
- Distribution of the light: non-directional—best for area lighting (CFLs or halogens) or directional—best for task or directional (downlights, narrow spots to wide floods) lighting (LEDs)
- Review the True Cost of a Light Bulb. Keep in mind efficacy or Lumens/watts as a means of energy efficiency and look for ENERGY STAR® approved bulbs.
- Take the Shopping Guide to the store with you. Also make sure you read the information on the product box to ensure the light bulb is the "right fit" for your desired application.
Learn How Lumens Can Help You Choose the Right Bulb
Choose the Right Bulb for the Right Socket for Any Room in Your Home
LEDs for reading lamps, area lighting (reflector floods) and 3-way table lamps.
LED directional downlights for recessed cans or track lighting for food preparation areas (distribution of light can vary from wide floods to narrow spots).
LEDs work best for downlight floods in recessed cans and spots for track lighting. LED candle lights work best in chandeliers. Dimmable LEDs for dimmer switches.
LEDs for table lamps and overhead fixtures.
Globe-shaped LEDs for vanity lighting and LEDs for overhead fixtures.
Standard LED bulbs to reduce heat output.
LED downlight floods for inside and outside the garage or deck area. Make sure selected LED bulbs are rated for outdoor use.
Note: If the bulb is to be used in an enclosed fixture with a dimmer switch or for outdoor use, make sure that it is rated for that application. It should be noted on the product box.