incandescent bulbHow many people does it take to change a lightbulb?

I don’t know about you but I haven’t a clue on what light bulb works best, anyone else feeling confused?

 

Let’s get back to basics…

The light bulb that every household once had (an incandescent light bulb!) was an electric light with a wire filament heated to such a high temperature that it glowed visible light. It came in 40, 60 or 100 Watt and if you wanted more light you went with a higher Watt, simple.

Great! Not really, as they only converted 5% of the energy they used into visible light, the rest was converted into heat! These light bulbs generated a measly 12 lumens per watt… 12 what!? LUMENS.

 

What’s a Lumen?

(I hear you, as I spoke these words myself) I’ll go into detail shortly but basically the lumen is what you should be looking out for when purchasing a new light bulb, not the wattage!

  • a Watt = how we measure power
  • a Lumen = how we measure the light output

Legally in the UK we need to reduce carbon emissions (it’s legislation Part L1 if you want to read more: http://www.melinconsultants.co.uk/your-5-minute-guide-to-part-l1a-building-regulations-6.html ) and a requirement that 45 lumens should be the minimum light output for any light bulb.

 

So what are my options?

Well there’s halogen lighting (which have a tendency to overheat), fluorescent lighting (which take FOREVER to warm up – and reminds me of every late night takeaway shop I’ve been in!) and then there’s LED (Light Emitting Diode) lighting (my favourite).

LED bulbs are extremely efficient, they require 10% less power than halogen bulbs. An example, a halogen bulb that uses 50 Watts vs a LED bulb that uses just 5 Watts will give out THE SAME AMOUNT OF LIGHT (or lumens in other words)!

 

What does this mean?

Well, it’s less energy used for the same amount of light, which means a lower cost, and I don’t know about you but that’s what I’m interested in. At Green Lighting, the majority of LED lights we produce have 80 Lumens per Watt.

 

Colour temperaturesThe other thing to keep an eye out for is the colour temperature.

The warm hues of light are measured in ‘Kelvins’, often displayed as a ‘K’ on lighting packaging. For example 1,000 Kelvins is the equivalent to the warmth of candle light and the more kelvins the less warm hues and more cooler (blue) tones such as 6,5000 Kelvins which is equivalent to daylight. You can read more about Kelvins in a previous blog we shared.

Bulbs with a warmer hue are recommended for a more relaxed setting room such as bedrooms and lounges, and then brighter cooler lights are recommended for kitchens and bathrooms where you need to be able to see what you’re doing but also feel more alert which is a similar effect to what the sun does.

So now you know to look out for your Lumens not your Watts, and perhaps your Kelvins depending on where your lightbulb is going. Oh, and if you want to really look like you know what you’re on about then the correct term for a lightbulb is a lamp!

1 Comment

  • 5% converted into light in the old lightbulbs is pitiful – they were better for frying an egg than lighting up a room! Efficiency with the resources and technologies we have is one of the best ways be can act responsibly as humans on this planet we’re renting. Unfortunately the old terminology prevails – teaching people about Lumens really is an important task.

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