In the lighting industry, knowing how to choose light bulbs or lamps is quite a tricky process, but you can master in it if you can understand few points, first of all the light bulbs are called lamps (not to be confused with the fixtures we set on our end tables). Lamps are generally either omnidirectional (giving off light in all directions) or directional (focusing light in one particular direction). Omnidirectional lamps include screw-base A-lamps—found in most of our table lamps. These distribute light uniformly in all directions and are ideal inside shaded lamps, wall sconces, post lights, and porch lights.
How to choose light bulbs or decorative light bulbs, the Common directional lamps include those used for accent lighting (MR 16 lamps), floodlights or track lights (PAR lamps), and downlights (R lamps). With these lamps, you may need a specific angle of light. You will find this angle on the side of the lamp packaging, noted as the “beam spread” or “beam angle.” This angle will help you estimate the coverage or spread of the light is one of the points to note on how to choose light bulbs
With the introduction of E27 Edison Lamps, the LEDs lamps are now Omni Directional that can emit light from the entire bulb, creating a more vast space of light. This ability to spread light in more than just one direction makes them LEDs perfect for a variety of purposes including residential, commercial, and industrial properties, mainly used in decorative chandeliers, table lamps, floor lamps and common lighting purposes, etc.
Directional lights are used in track lights, recessed cans, and security lights. They offer either spot or flood lighting in the direction that you need it. Mostly used in spot lights, decorative chandeliers, pendant lights where light source will be invisible or indirect.
Types of Lamp bases
Sockets are something to keep in mind while shopping for the best light bulbs for your needs. You will have the option between quite an array of sockets, but the most common are the E26 Standard, the GU10, and the GU24. These three sockets are the most common for light bulbs, so make sure your base supports these two! If you’re looking to replace those pesky tubular fluorescent lights as well though, we’ll be covering them near the end. Now if your base doesn’t support these sockets, then don’t fret, light bulbs are still made for the other types. And if you don’t want to replace the base, just get an adapter.
Here are the three points to note on how to choose light bulbs
The Wattage of the light bulb is the amount of energy it takes to produce a certain amount of light. The higher the wattage, the brighter the light, but also the more power it uses. The efficiency of this system was introduced using incandescent lamps. The best decorative light bulbs wont be the lamps with high wattage,
- 40 Watt incandescent lamp produces only 380-460 lumens and uses 40 Watts of energy per hour.
- 100 Watt incandescent lamp produces 1700 – 1800 lumens and uses 100 Watts of energy per hour.
- Direct sunlight is around 100k lumens and uses no amount of energy per hour.
This was an inefficient way of lighting and there have been many advances, such as the introduction of fluorescent and compact fluorescent lighting as well as metal halide, low pressure sodium and high pressure sodium. Fluorescent and compact fluorescent produce better lighting with lower wattage; however, have some environmental factors to take into consideration. Metal halide, LPS and HPS produce better lighting than standard incandescent; however, they are typically much higher in wattage and use much more power than their CFL or LED counterparts.
- A 40 Watt incandescent is now replaced with a 9 Watt CFL or a 4 Watt LED
- A 60 Watt incandescent is now replaced with a 13 Watt CFL or a 7 Watt LED
- A 100 Watt incandescent is now replaced with a 32 Watt CFL or a 15 Watt LED
Switching to CFL or LED can provide the same or better lighting while using a fraction of the original power. For example, I use 7 Watt LED bulbs in my kitchen can lights and it is very bright. This was switching out from 32 Watt CFL lamps. Outside there were three 150 Watt incandescent bulbs for around a 150 sq ft area and have since been replaced with 13 Watt CFL lamps. Now the areas are lit with much better lighting while only costing a small percentage of the original power requirement. As per the latest standards, LED Lamps are the best light lamps in the market interms of energy consumption, lumen output, Color temperature options, and dimming ability.
Lumens measure how much light you are getting from a bulb. More lumens means it’s a brighter light; fewer lumens means it’s a dimmer light. Lumens are to light what. Pounds are to bananas. Gallons are to milk. So lumens is an important factor is to know your needs.
A lumen is the amount of light a certain lamp gives off. If replacing a standard 150 Watt light bulb which gives off around 2600 Lumens, using a 42 Watt CFL or a 25 Watt LED is about the equivalent. This lowers the needed power of the light by over a quarter of the required power to produce the same light. A 70 Watt LED fixture can produce 7000 Lumens or more and replace most highway and parking lot lighting fixtures to a more efficient and cost effecting light. This is becoming more efficient every day.
Nowadays there are more efficient LED best decorative light bulbs or normal lamps and chips available in the market with more than 130+ lumen/watt, reducing the energy consumption even more. Here is the lumen chart for different lamps to review on how to choose light bulbs.
3. Color Temperature
When it comes to getting the color quality you want from your lighting, there are two basic concepts to consider on how to choose light bulbs. The first is correlated color temperature (CCT), measured on the Kelvin scale (K). CCT refers to how warm or cool the light appears. It also influences how cool or warm a space will appear. Americans tend to prefer lamps with a warmer CCT for their homes, typically in the 2700–3000K range, but it is largely a matter of personal preference. It is important to choose a color temperature you like, then keep your lamp purchases close to that color temperature to maintain consistency.
Another very important issue to consider is how a lamp renders color, especially for decorative light bulbs. The color fidelity or accuracy of a light source is currently measured by the color rendering index (CRI), which has a maximum value of 100. The CRI measurement describes how colors will appear in the light in comparison to a standard incandescent lamp. Select lamps with a high CRI for your home’s interior: 85 or above. Lamps measuring 90 CRI or above will provide excellent color rendering. Soon more LED lamps measuring 90 CRI or higher will become widely available, we have a whole seperate blog about color temperature :
So hope now you got a brief idea on how to choose light bulbs or lamps for your decorative light fixtures. Save this blog as bookmark to check on how to choose light bulbs and share to your contacts and help them too!
Link : Choosing the Light Color Temperature (2700K-6500K)