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Selecting energy saving light bulbs

Do you have ugly lighting?

You like being energy efficient, and you like the energy savings that the compact fluorescent bulbs offer, but the light they put out is ugly. Everything looks too warm, or too cool with the new CFL bulbs. At least they don’t flicker like the old fluorescents, but things just don’t look right. Too yellow or too blue.

I can help you select the right bulb. When you purchase compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL’s) look for the CRI (color rendition index) on the packaging. Most bulbs have it listed with the watts (power the bulb uses) and color temperature. To enjoy the best quality of light you should select a bulb with the CRI greater than 80. Most bulbs will have a CRI greater than 80.

Even more important is the color temperature. Look for a bulb with a color temperature between 2850-3100 degrees K (Kelvin). Kelvin is the color temp. of the light, how yellow or how blue it appears to our eyes. This is more difficult to find in the optimum range of 2850-3100 K, but for best looking results, stick to this range. If the bulb doesn't have a color temperature then you probably should pass on that purchase.

Incandescent bulbs have a CRI > 90 and a color temp. about 2750K. Halogen bulbs have the same CRI and a color temp. between 2850-3000K. CFL’s can look as good as any incandescent light while using 75% less energy and lasting up to 7 times longer. What could be better? Make sure to buy the correct bulb for the most pleasant light.

Light Emitting Diodes (LED’s) use 10% of the incandescent energy and have a lifespan from 20-50 years. They are poised to take a large share of the lighting market, as soon as they develop an attractive light quality. They aren’t there yet, but they probably will be in the next 5 years. They are also breathtakingly expensive, but with increased in sales the cost will come down, and the energy savings are tremendous.

If you are looking for compact fluorescent bulbs that meet these criteria and you can’t find them locally (this is highly likely) I suggest you go online to www.1000bulbs.com and look at their selection. They even have dimmable compact fluorescents.

Remember, CRI 80++, Color Temp 2850-3100K = good light, long life, and energy savings. A very good investment.