Does your home have areas that are dull or have bad lighting? Often not given attention, lighting can make or break the feeling in a home.
Understanding how a light bulb affects your home is challenging. By the end of this article, you’ll be racing to the hardware store eager for an upgrade or hiring an electrician to come and change your light fittings!
Light Bulb Performance
Light bulbs have different temperatures, brightness, and colour rendering indexes. A light you use in an office has a different number of lumens compared to a bedroom.
It’s common to get confused and buy 6 of the same bulb. Once you’re home you realize something’s not quite right.
Here are a few technical terms simplified:
Temperature is a common term used on light bulb packaging. This refers to the colour temperate. Measured in units called Kelvins (K), the more Kelvins means a warmer temperature.
A 5000K light bulb is one of the brightest and is best for natural light looks. Bulbs with 3000K have yellow tones to them.
For a white look, aim for 4000K.
Lumens are the measure of brightness. Watts is the amount of energy required to reach the desired lumens. If you need more light, choose bulbs with more lumens (1600). For low light areas such as wardrobes and pantries, up to 800 lumens will suffice.
Color Rendering Index
The colour rendering index is not as common as we won’t go into too much detail. The CRI is a measure up to 100. The higher the number, the more true representation of colour.
Types of Light Bulbs
You’ve likely heard all about LED bulbs. These are the most energy-efficient and can create a much brighter environment with fewer watts.
Incandescent bulbs have been our main choice of lighting since…a long time ago. These are the halogen bulbs we’re familiar with.
The last type is compact fluroscent light bulbs (CFL’s). These are long tubes you see in office spaces.
Each bulb has it’s pros and cons.
CFL’s come in energy rated bulbs. They can produce light up to 10 times longer than an incandescent bulb and use 1/3 of their energy to do this. These bulbs can get hot and their lifespan is shortend when turn off and on frequently. They also contain mercury which is a hazard if they break. Properly disposing of these bulbs is important.
The light from these bulbs can be harsh but in an environment such as an office or school, this isn’t a big deal.
Incandescent bulbs have been around for a long time. They’re aren’t energy efficient compared to their counterparts. Only 10% of the energy needed goes to the light.
The light from these bulbs is soft, flattering, and popular in homes. They emit a warm tone making them very popular.
LED’s are the newest type of bulb. They last 30 times longer than an incandescent bulb. So, although the price tag is higher, they will save you money over time.
An incandescent bulb emits light in all directions. LED’s emit directional light. To counteract this, bulbs have a special coating to diffuse light. Buying high-quality bulbs is important as cheaper versions may be dimmer due to this feature.
Light Bulbs For Each Room
Every room is different. Because of this, your lighting choice needs to adjust to each environment and mood desired.
Bedrooms work well with warmer lights and lower brightness. Before bed, harsh blue light can disrupt melatonin levels making sleep harder.
Bulbs around 2700-3000K are good. These bulbs also work well in hallways and staircases. Aaron from Home Awesomation recommends a warmer tone for staircases.
Offices do well with white tones around 4000K. Bright is ideal here to ensure visibility is at it’s highest.
Kitchens do well with higher lumens but not as high as an office. In this room, you want multiple lights to avoid shadows. Don’t limit your lighting to one area either. Lights above the sink, serving area, cooktop, and a main kitchen room light work well. Warmer tones work well but don’t sacrifice brightness for warmth.
Dining rooms work best with 2000K and a warm tone. Soft lighting encourages relaxation allows people to wind down. To add more light, consider using lamps over extra ceiling bulbs.
Bathrooms are another room that benefit from more than one light. The brightness for these should be slightly higher than the kitchen but not intense like an office.
An extra light over the vanity helps remove shadows when your inches away from the mirror analyzing your skin.
Consider lighting that has adjustable Kelvins. 3000-5000K works well.
As with anything electrical, always consult an electrician before making any changes. If you want to spruce up your home with new lights, give us a call on 1300 478 573.