If every California home replaced just one incandescent light bulb with an LED, we would save $118,484,846 and enough energy to power 120,744 homes for one year. But how do you find the right light for your home among the dazzling array of options?
While most Californians understand the benefits of modern lighting (energy and utility bill savings as well as dramatically increased product lifespans), navigating the dazzling array of choices available on hardware store shelves can feel a bit like entering the twilight zone. Halogens, CFLs, LEDs, watts vs. lumens – the sheer diversity of products that customers must sift through today can leave even brightest shopper feeling a bit dazed and confused.
How to shop for a bulb
Previously, when a light bulb went out, it meant checking the wattage on the old bulb and heading to the store to find a match. Today’s energy-efficient bulbs now come in a plethora of shapes, sizes and colors, including dimmable and 3-way which can lead to a great deal of confusion and uncertainty when searching for the right bulb.
To help illuminate the best lighting options, Energy Upgrade California® shines a light on four easy to remember tips to help make sure you bring home the right light for your needs.
Look for lumens, not watts
Lumens are a measure of how much brightness a bulb puts out; watts are a measure of the energy used. Since newer light bulbs are more energy efficient, it will take fewer watts to get the same amount of lumens as with an older incandescent bulb.
Don’t confuse brightness with color
Light color, or color temperature, is measured using the Kelvin scale. CFLs and LEDs are available in warm colors (low K) to match the yellowish light of incandescent bulbs, but you can also choose cooler colors (high K) with whiter or bluer light which may be more suitable for outdoors. Using Kelvins to get the right color temperature is important because terms like “soft white” and “warm” mean different things to different manufacturers.
Read the label
The new Lighting Facts label is designed to clearly communicate all of the information you need to buy the most energy-efficient bulb for your needs. In addition to including information on lumens and watts, the label also provides information on estimated yearly energy costs, life expectancy, and whether the light emitted will appear warm or cool.
Buy ENERGY STAR® certified bulbsPurchasing a lightbulb with the ENERGY STAR logo is one of the easiest ways to make sure you are buying a quality product. Earning the ENERGY STAR certification means the product meets strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Additionally, ENERGY STAR products meet strict quality and efficiency standards that are tested by accredited labs and certified by a third party so you can be sure the claims made on the box have been verified.
Still need assistance finding the best lighting options for your home?
Give us a call or send us your information, one of our friendly staff will answer all your question, will go through your options to cut the cost of you’re existing utility bill to make your home more comfortable.