Day 132: Light Bulb Moment!

by MJ Gourd


Day 132 of 365 Days of a Happy Home!

We are frequently asked "What is the best light bulb to use?"  I thought this would be a great opportunity to show you how the proper light bulb can change your mood from sad to glad, thus making a Happy Home!  

Thank you House Logic for posting this great graphic on when to use different bulbs!

Thank you House Logic for posting this great graphic on when to use different bulbs!

Just because a light bulb is on sale doesn't mean you should buy it!  Thanks to the FTC the mystery surrounding the wattage of the new light bulbs has been solved and is printed on the bulb packaging!  The new jargon for light bulb brightness is "lumens"!  The higher the lumens, the brighter the light!

Another important term to know is "kelvins" (K).  This references the color temperature.  To me, there is an inverse to the number of kelvins.  The lower the number the warmer the light!  Where candlelight is around 1000K and natural daylight is around 5500-6500K.  A clear blue sky would be 10,000K

Still another term to look for on the packaging is CRI for color rendering index.  This will tell us how well you will experience color and texture on a scale from 1 -100.  In other words, how satisfied or happy you will be in the space.  That will depend on using the right bulb for the space!  Here are a few suggestions:

  • LED's are good to light a path (think hallway!) or for task lighting (under your cabinets in the kitchen).  If you have an opportunity to light your ceiling with cove lighting, this is a good place for them, too! 

This chandelier is using halogen Edison style bulbs.

This chandelier is using halogen Edison style bulbs.

  • Looking to dim the lights and create a soft mood?  Think about a halogen bulb.  It renders color and texture beautifully.  Think about using them in your recessed lights in the ceiling of your great room or your dining room chandelier! 

West Elm Pelle table lamp

West Elm Pelle table lamp

  • Table lamps are a great place to use CFL's.  If you are just looking for light, try these.  But quality varies by brand. You may have to try a few different manufacturers before you find the one you like. 

  • The best light in a bathroom is "cool white" or "day light" 3500K – 6500K.  We used Pullman style vanity lighting above with cool white bulbs in this bathroom.