Light Bulbs – What’s the Big Deal?

Shopping for lightbulbs seems to have become a lot more confusing in the last few years – am I right?!

Many of our customers ask “Is there really a difference between lightbulbs?” and “How do I know which one to choose?” 

We’re here to help. Our team has gone through extensive training on how to determine the best lightbulb for each lighting type, when to use each bulb type and the environmental effects of each.

Before we get to the FAQs, here’s a quick rundown on common types of bulbs:

  • Incandescent – These are the traditional lightbulbs designed by Thomas Edison. They’re inexpensive and commonly used in homes because of their wide availability. They’re less energy efficient than their more modern counterparts.
  • CFL – CFLs have gained in popularity in past years. They’re slightly more energy efficient than incandescents and can produce the same warm tones.
  • LED – LEDs are the longest-lasting and most energy efficient bulb on the market. They were previously used in special lighting scenarios like under-cabinet lighting or down-lighting, but are becoming more advanced and are usable in more general situations. While the cost is slightly higher, it is off-set by the long lifespan of the bulb.

Here are a few questions we are often asked, along with their answers:

  1. New bulbs are now measured in “lumens.” How does that compare to “watts?”            
    Wattage measures how much power a bulb consumes – not how much light it generates. This means two 75W bulbs can put off different amounts of light – but they consume the same amount of power.
    New U.S. packaging of lightbulbs feature a bulbs “lumens” –  a measurement of the amount of light generated.
  2. The bulbs that came with our home lasted 2-3 years, but now we are replacing them every 4-6 months. Why?!
    When your contractor built your home, they likely used a high-grade, slightly more expensive bulb that is meant to last for years. These bulbs are different than the ones that you may purchase at one of the big box stores like Home Depot or Menards, which don’t last as long. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE – A BIG DIFFERENCE!
  3. What type of bulbs are most efficient?
    All bulbs are different – even within the same category like CFL or LED. A general rule is to only buy bulbs with the Energy Star logo on the packaging.
    Overall, LEDs are the most efficient and will last up to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.
    The new packaging required by the U. S. Federal Trade Commission will help you determine energy efficiency ratings.
  4. How do I know what type of bulb will work best in my space?
    When choosing a bulb, consider:
    • Lumens – How bright do you want the light to be?
    • Color – Do you need a warm or cool color for your space?
    • CRI (color rendering index) – This measures the ability of a bulb to reveal colors faithfully. Bulbs with a measure of 80+ are good. Bulbs with an index of 90+ are great.

Purchasing a lightbulb isn’t as easy as running to the store and grabbing one off the shelf anymore. Consideration needs to be put into many factors to choose the best bulb to light your space. Further, different spaces in your home may require different types of lighting, depending on the unique situation.

For best results, work with a certified bulb professional to ensure the brightness, color and placement is right for your home. While the up-front investment is slightly more, the dollars are saved by the longer lifespan.

Lightbulbs can change the whole look and feel of a room.

At the Lighting Gallery Showroom, we have a


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