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How to Buy a Light Bulb

by on February 17, 2016
in Health and Home, Lighting, Tips & How-Tos, Money Savers, Green Tech :: 58 comments

How to Buy a Light Bulb

The types of light bulbs you can buy are about to change—again. In 2020, we'll be hitting the second phase of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which requires light bulbs be more efficient than ever. In 2012, the law started taking old—and much beloved—incandescent bulbs off the shelves in favor of low-energy halogen, compact fluorescent, and LED bulbs.

These efficiency standards don't apply to all bulbs: only what the Department of Energy calls "general service lamps" are subject to these requirements, which covers the average household bulb that fits into your lamps and lighting fixtures. However, there are a lot of lights it doesn't cover, including appliance lamps, rough service bulbs, 3-way bulbs, colored lamps, stage lighting, plant lights, candelabra lights under 60 watts, and outdoor post lights less than 100 watts. That means there are a lot of older bulbs—yes, even classic incandescents—that will still be available on store shelves.

But even with those exceptions, store shelves will look different in a few years as LED bulbs are the only ones that meet the 2020 efficiency standards. Still, we wouldn't call this change reason to panic: LEDs have dropped dramatically in price since 2012, last longer than any other bulb, offer a wide variety of color options, come in traditional light bulb shape, and even have high-tech "smart" options. With all of these features, we expect the compact fluorescent to vanish, completely unmourned.

What are my light bulb options?

Though your lighting options are about to change, currently you'll still find three types of bulbs on store shelves: 

  • Energy-saving incandescents (halogen): These lower wattage incandescent bulbs have a tungsten filament like standard bulbs, but are surrounded by a halogen gas, rather than argon or nitrogen, which provides bright light with better efficiency. These are 25% more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs and will last three times as long. Prices start at just under $2 per bulb (60 watt equivalent) on Amazon
  • Compact fluorescents (CFLs): You've probably seen—and maybe hated—these curly, bulb-sized fluorescents. Though early versions tended to offer harsh light, the latest CFL bulbs have more color options and some are even styled to look like traditional incandescent bulbs. These bulbs offer 75% energy savings over an incandescent and last ten times as long. Prices start around $2.50 per bulb (60 watt equivalent) on Amazon
  • LEDs: The most efficient option, LED bulbs are 75-80% more efficient than traditional incandescents and last 25 times longer—and, yes, starting in 2020 these will be the only bulbs that meet federal energy efficiency requirements. Prices start at just over $3 per bulb (60 watt equivalent) on Amazon.
  • Smart bulbs: Smart bulbs are LED bulbs that can connect to Wi-Fi so you can control them from your computer or a smartphone app. While the functionality is a bit different for each bulb, you can typically tell them to turn on or off at different times and turn them on or off from afar. Some bulbs will even have the option to control the light color. Prices start at just under $15 per bulb (60 watt equivalent) on Amazon.

What do I need to know about buying a new light bulb?

If you're looking to replace specific bulbs in your household, you're probably used to picking up a bulb that's 60-watt, 75-watt, or the like. Unfortunately these measurements, based on how much energy the bulb used, are not an accurate way to tell how much light bulbs produce—and looking at wattage on new bulbs, which use far less energy, won't get you the right amount of light.

To accurately gauge light level, look for the number of lumens—a measure of how much light a bulb produces rather than how much energy it uses—listed on the package. If you're replacing a specific bulb, here's a cheat sheet:

  • If you used to buy 100 watt bulbs, look for a bulb with 1600 lumens.
  • If you used to buy 75 watt bulbs, look for a bulb with 1100 lumens.
  • If you used to buy 60 watt bulbs, look for a bulb with 800 lumens.
  • If you used to buy 40 watt bulbs, look for a bulb with 450 lumens.

It's also important to get a light with the right color temperature—especially with CFLs, which can produce a harsh light. You may find LED lights that can, with one bulb, change their color ranges or even produce multiple colors of light. These may be of interest as different color variants may work better for specific tasks—for example, you might want a bright white light while reading but typically prefer a warmer light.

Color is measured in Kelvins, ranging from 2,700 K (the warm light of typical incadescents) up to around 5,500 K (proving a daylight or natural tone). Though all of these bulbs produce white light, warmer lights will have a more yellow tint—better for bedrooms and other soft lighting conditions—while cooler lights will have a blue tint—better for reading. Check the packaging to see what kind of light a bulb produces before you buy—and if you're not sure what colors you want, go to your local hardware store where you should be able to see different lights on display.

How much will I save with the new light bulbs?

When you're buying new bulbs—no matter the type—you'll want to look for the Energy Star label. Energy Star certified light bulbs are tested to meet energy efficiency standards and will include labeling to tell you exactly what you're buying. The Energy Star label will show the bulb's brightness, color, lifespan, energy usage, and what it will cost to run it for a year. This information makes it easy to compare bulbs, especially if you're considering bulbs of different types.

Let's take a look at just what each type of bulb will cost you, estimating 3 hours of use per day at $0.11 per kilowatt hour.

Bulb Type Energy-efficient
incandescent (Halogen)
Compact fluorescent LED Smart bulb (LED)
Bulb cost $2.00/ea $2.50/ea $3.00/ea $15.00/ea
Energy use $5.42/yr $1.69/yr $1.00/yr $1.00/yr
Lifespan 2 - 3 years 4 - 8 years 20 years 20 years

As you can see, with the falling price of LED bulbs it makes less sense to bother buying older, less efficient bulbs. Even with a higher up-front price, the energy savings over the life of the bulb can be substantial.

LEDs herald the rise of smart lights

While smart lights are still pricier than any other type of bulb, they offer new features for your smart home. Smart lights can be controlled from anywhere, which can be a fun gimmick but can also save you a bit of cash when you set your lights to turn off in the daytime—or can turn them off after you leave the house and remember you've left them running.

One note about smart lights: most of them are controlled by some kind of hub, either one specific to the lights or a standard system used by other smart home appliances. Many smart bulbs will only work with one type of hub, so be sure you're buying the right bulb for your home.

If you're not sure where to start with smart bulbs, take a look at Cree Connected 60-watt equivalent. It comes at a budget-friendly $14.97 price point and works with a variety of different smart home systems, making it one of the easiest to use.

Updated on 2/17/2016

[light bulb image via Shutterstock]



Discussion loading

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3-way?

From Ellen on January 17, 2014 :: 12:25 pm

I can’t find three-way bulbs in the new styles. Will these be available?

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3-Way Bulbs

From Larry on January 17, 2014 :: 12:31 pm

I’ve purchased 3-way bulbs CFL and LED bulbs at Lowes.

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3-way bulbs

From Ellen on January 17, 2014 :: 12:32 pm

Thank you, Larry!

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Light Bulb Confusion Solved!

From Marilyn on January 17, 2014 :: 12:48 pm

Thanks so much for a concise and informative Article!

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Front porch LED Benefit

From Gary on January 17, 2014 :: 1:38 pm

My front porch fixture attracts bugs in the summer.  I’ve tried all kinds of lights with little relief until replacing the bulb with an LED light.  It is rated at 800 lumens at 2700K and looks like an incandescent bulb in operation.  The big plus is a 99% reduction in bugs flying around it.  It’s the best “bug” light I’ve ever used, well worth the price!  I pent $14 for a 20 year life, based on 3 hours a day.  I expect the bulb to last at least 5 years since it’s duty cycle is much higher than that.

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thanks, bug light

From Marilyn on January 17, 2014 :: 2:25 pm

Ooooh cool, thanks for info on reducing bugs in evenings.

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THANK YOU!

From yoshi on January 19, 2014 :: 11:58 am

Yes, thank you very much for that tip on the porch lamp.

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New Bulbs Aren't as Advertised

From Debbie Coker on January 17, 2014 :: 3:30 pm

Although these sound great on the surface, I have a lot of complaints.  When I turn a light on, I want it ON.  I don’t want to have to wait 5-10 minutes for it to slowly decide to light up.  When one burns out, I don’t want to have to go to a bunch of extra effort to have to recycle it at some special place.  And worst yet, I’ve had one of those expensive LED bulbs burn out in just a few weeks!  We have energy efficient bulbs all through our house, and we’re constantly having to replace them.  I’m all for saving energy, but I want better options before they ban the inexpensive option that works.

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I agree with you about CFLs

From Josh Kirschner on January 17, 2014 :: 5:15 pm

The newer CFLs offer instant on and some are dimmable, but the extra recylcing effort can be a pain, depending what your community requires.

But you don’t have to go the CFL or LED route, even though they’re getting much better. Halogen incadescents offer all the benefits of regular incadescents, are inexpensive and are a technology that has been around for a very long time. They qualify under the new energy guidelines, though they won’t save you as much as a CFL or LED.

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drawbacks

From LISA on January 17, 2014 :: 5:27 pm

I agree with everything Debbie says. Also, the $50 savings per year does not make up for how expensive these new bulbs are. I’m still going to have to pay more and have already noticed the pain in my pocketbook when I do use the new ones, especially since they don’t last as long as promised. I have incandescents that last longer. I won’t call them “options,” because it’s not like we have a choice about using the incandescent ones. Another issue is that many the new bulbs don’t fit in certain light fixtures. I don’t have money to just throw away certain lamps and light fixtures, so I tried to buy some of the incandescents ones that fit them at a couple different stores recently to stock up, but the stores immediately jacked up the prices on those, because there’s a demand for them.

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The cost works out

From Josh Kirschner on January 17, 2014 :: 6:01 pm

I think we’re over-romanticizing the old bulbs here. I’ve had PLENTY of standard incadescents burn out in the course of a few week or months. If you work the math, the cost more than works out in favor of the new bulbs.

And the new halogen bulbs are the exact same size as a standard bulb and only costs a buck or two more. See: http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&bbn=328864011&camp=1789&creative=390957&linkCode=ur2&qid=1389995955&rh=n:228013,n:!468240,n:495266,n:322525011,n:328864011,p_n_feature_four_browse-bin:3594361011&rnid=3594355011&tag=techlicious-20

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Enclosures

From Tom on January 17, 2014 :: 3:43 pm

I have heard that these are not to be used in enclosed fixtures.  What’s the story?

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Yes, they can

From Josh Kirschner on January 17, 2014 :: 6:23 pm

I contacted GE Lighting and according to a GE representative all their CFL replacements can be used in enclosed fixtures. For LEDs, the lower wattage replacements (replacing 40W and 25W incadescents) can be used in enclosed fixtures, the higher wattage replacements cannot be.

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Choice

From G Collier on January 17, 2014 :: 5:14 pm

As an adult why can’t I be allowed to choose the bulb I want. And I don’t know where your living but I can use all the sources of heat I can get with this ” Global Warming” that I’ve been experiencing.

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Why??

From Sandi on January 18, 2014 :: 12:43 am

Thermometers that had mercury were ceased due to the “danger” of mercury.  Now they want us to use bulbs with it in them!  Does not make sense to me.  Don’t break any!!

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More saving options

From james milcarek on January 18, 2014 :: 2:20 am

In Northern Indiana, our power company (NIPSCO), partners with Energizing Indiana, to provide a free energy assessment of your home, replacing up to 20 incandescents,with cfls (always look for the energy star symbol when buying replacements, so you don’t get low grade junk), shower and faucet ends with low flow ones and makes recomendations for other energy savings, such as old windows, doors, and leaky caulking.  They do this FREE, it just takes them a couple hours.  Many power companies provide free or low cost quality cfl replacements or partner with local hardware stores to supply them at reduced cost, ask them about these programs. Yes, it is a small inconvenience to recycle these, but most of the bigger places that sell them also recycle them free.  I wrap them in newspaper and put them in a bag in my trunk.  The next time I go to one of the stores that recycles them, I drop them off, eliminating the need to remember to bring them along. Thanks for an informative article.

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I have trouble with CFL

From AEP on January 18, 2014 :: 8:57 pm

I have trouble with CFL “bulbs” (that’s the wrong word for their shape!) turning yellow and then brown within a few weeks of purchase. This is especially noticeable in fixtures using two bulbs that were replaced at different times. They do NOT put out the light they are advertised as putting out—I have had to resort to using a flashlight to navigate my apartment even when all overhead lights are on, fitted with bulbs that supposedly put out 2440 lumens. These bulbs are so dim that they don’t even cast shadows.

What’s the problem? Is there some brand that is better than another? Is it the wiring in my building? Something else?

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CFLs ... not A19s

From Steve on January 20, 2014 :: 9:59 am

AEP, just for clarification, CFLs are indeed “bulbs”—the bulb is just what lights up, and there are many shapes to bulbs. A19 is the traditional incandescent bulb shape that most people are familiar with. CFLs are not A19s ... unless they are. (Some have the spiral shape enclosed so they take on the traditional shape.)

The bulb turning brown could come from improper usage and may be a fire hazard. Check out this article and see if it relates to your situation:

http://www.montgomerynews.com/articles/2012/10/13/springford_reporter_valley_item/news/doc5075ce95acf4f692783257.txt

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made in USA?

From anastasi on January 20, 2014 :: 1:56 pm

Too bad I can’t find any energy efficient bulbs made in the US.  I wonder how much energy is really saved when they’re being made in the biggest polluter in the world, China, then being shipped thousands of miles here.

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Well, the old bulbs were

From Josh Kirschner on January 20, 2014 :: 2:48 pm

Well, the old bulbs were probably made in China, too…

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Not really...

From anastasi on January 20, 2014 :: 7:00 pm

I found plenty of incandescents made in the USA, or at least Canada.  Why are we supporting a dictatorship?

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Made in USA

From Larry on February 14, 2014 :: 5:45 am

Cree LED bulbs are made in the USA.

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made in USA?

From anastasi on February 17, 2014 :: 2:43 pm

Thanks!  I’ll look for Cree!

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Made in USA

From Larry on February 14, 2014 :: 5:48 am

P.S. I bought my Cree LED bulbs at Home Depot.

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Dispose

From Roseanne socoloski on February 20, 2016 :: 1:56 pm

Me too but where will you dispose of old mercury bulbs

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Cost Savings

From blankho on March 13, 2014 :: 10:23 am

About a year ago I replaced my most heavily used incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs.  I bought most on sale on the Internet and saved quite a bit.  However, they still cost me about $560 for 55-60 bulbs.  I work at home and I have a significant amount of exterior decorative lighting, so I figured my savings would pay for the bulbs in roughly 1-2 years.  That was using the average cost for kWH found on most of the light bulbs.  When I compared my bills for each of the last 12 months with the 12 months before, I was more than disappointed.  It was true that the bulbs worked well and cut my energy usage about 18-20%, but my bill did not go down 18-20%.  It actually only went down to the tune of $70 for the entire 12 months.  Since I burn gas, I know it wasn’t the cold winter that caused the problem and because my bill went down each month about the same, I know it wasn’t the hot summer. So what happened.  Well the biggest thing I noticed was that instead of using 11 cents per watt advertised on the light bulbs, I should have been using 4 cents per watt.  That is because energy is cheaper the more you use because the first 300 kWhs cover the overhead.  The second thing I noticed were the taxes went up.  Finally, the cost of electricity went up.  Now you can argue that the latter two would have went up anyways, but I think the green agenda is eating up the savings that would entice people to be green on their own by forcing higher taxes and energy costs.  The jury is still out as to how long these bulbs will last, but don’t expect the payoff to be so soon.  The bulk of your bill is overhead, infrastructure costs, profit, and taxes.  It’s not energy costs.  That is why the electric costs drop to 38% after 1000 kWh vs the first 300 kWh in my State.

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Business

From Dev on April 06, 2014 :: 1:09 am

hiii i am Dev . and i want to start manufacturing company of LED bulbs . before that i need to buy raw material or need to buy technology behind the circuit so that i can run my business in future . is any body help me out for my business contact to me .+91-9023680227

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What about halogen incandescents in closed fixtures?

From Melissa on May 07, 2014 :: 11:40 pm

Up above you talk about the LED and CFLs in closed fixtures—but what about the new halogen bulbs that look just like the old argon incandescents, and are actually halogen?

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LED bulbs

From Mark Loween on September 11, 2015 :: 12:59 pm

I buy led bulbs from Lowe’s, and are really reasonable. I can get up to 60led for 2.98each. My whole house has led.

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But be careful on those cheap LEDs

From Steve on September 11, 2015 :: 1:14 pm

The big box stores sometimes sell subsidized LEDs so you can get some good deals, but be careful when paying too little for LEDs, as the unknown brands can vary in color temperature (even when listed as the same) and may not be as reliable. Also notice that sometimes the big box stores will sell LEDs with shorter rated lives to give you those “deals,” but that just means you’ll be buying again sooner. Maybe not a big deal with LEDs, because they’ll still last a long time, but be aware of this.

I also ran into “buzzing” problems with some cheap bulbs from HD, even though they were from a known brand. The quality was obviously cut back for the price.

Also, the cheap ones on the Lowes website (unknown brand and slightly shorter rated life) is 3000K—this is whiter than an incandescent (2700K). Pay attention to the Kelvin temp if you’re looking for the warm glow of an incandescent.

Speaking of Warm Glow ... Philips now has an LED with that name, where it gets “warmer” (in look) when you dim it, just like an incandescent. The company I work for carries these and overall sticks with trusted brands, because we’d rather people be happy with their results rather than just focusing on initial purchase price. As with anything ... price is important, but value is what most of us really want.

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Yes, price isn't everything when

From Suzanne Kantra on September 11, 2015 :: 1:55 pm

Yes, price isn’t everything when it comes to LED bulbs. You’ll also find that’s true with compact fluorescent bulbs. The really cheap ones are often plagued with buzzing and slow start up times.

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How do I select the right bulbs for lamps that have a max wattage specified?

From Karen C. on September 12, 2015 :: 10:55 am

I am particularly interested in 3-way lamps, but same question applies to all.

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What options are there for

From Fonda Rush on September 13, 2015 :: 7:22 pm

What options are there for the Easy-Bake Oven? I haven’t had one for awhile, but I know they used the light of the bulb to bake those cakes. Never mind…it looks like there is a heating element now. Those things cost about $45-$50 now! Wow!

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Easy Bake

From Steve on September 15, 2015 :: 7:38 am

Yep, they used to use 100 watt light bulbs in Easy Bake ovens, which goes to show how much electricity was wasted over the years because of lighting that produced so much heat rather than dedicating that energy to light!

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Lighting

From Vivek narain on September 30, 2015 :: 2:30 pm

Here in India,Electricity distribution companies are selling the subsidized 7 watt Led for one and a half dollar equivalent.One question is bothering me,whereas incandescent and cfl bulbs have clear glass and the source of light is transperent,in case of Led the actual LEDs are covered with frosted or milky plastic dome,won’t that effect clarity of light ?

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Not really

From Josh Kirschner on September 30, 2015 :: 2:58 pm

The reason some incandescents are clear while others are frosted has mostly to do with aesthetics. Frosted bulbs produce a more diffuse light, which is easier to look at when you want a softer glow versus clear which provides more of a point of light.Frosting also allows manufacturers to control the color of the lighting via tinting. There may be some level of light lost with frosting, but it shouldn’t be significant.

Manufacturers frost LED bulbs for the same reason, to diffuse the light. Though clear LEDs are also now available. There are no clear CFL bulbs. The coating on the inside of the tube (phosphor) is necessary to make the light glow.

Regardless of which aesthetic look is better for a particular use, when buying bulbs, focus on the rated output in lumens and the color temperature to find the bulb that best meets your needs.

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Frosted LEDs

From Steve on September 30, 2015 :: 2:43 pm

Hi Vivek,

As far as I understand it, the coating of the LED helps to give its color temperature, so it needs to be there. It may also help to diffuse the lighting, giving a more even glow. In any case, if you’re able to get a quality LED, I don’t think you’ll have any issues with “clarity” of the light. But try to go for quality, as these will last you a long time and you don’t want lights that buzz, change in color temperature over time, etc.

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Clarity

From Vivek narain on September 30, 2015 :: 11:22 pm

Hi Steve, The dome in LED is actually called diffuser,I may have to give more details to get my point thru.We have had frosted and milky incandescents but they were used in very select locations,mostly,clear bulbs were used(95 % ),in essential work areas like kitchen clarity is important,in any case nowadays we are mainly using cfls.A question to Josh,isn’t the phosphor coating itself a source of light like the tungsten is ? or the filaments of LED,so how does it equalises with coating on incandescents or covering on LEDs.Even in the windows people mostly prefer clear glass along with curtains.I would be happy to use LEDs in corridors or porch or lawn,but for indoors I am doubtful about the clarity issue.

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Clarity on clarity?

From Josh Kirschner on October 01, 2015 :: 9:27 am

Hi Vivek,

I could perhaps answer you question better if I understood what you meant by “clarity”. Light has two properties: brightness (measured in lumens) and color (measured in Kelvin). There is no “clarity” aspect to light. Generally, in work spaces like a kitchen, you would be looking for a brighter, cooler light. In a bedroom or living room, a warmer color light is preferable. But at the end of the day, these are personal choices.

Whether a bulb is frosted or not has less to do with the quality of light than it does the distribution of the light. Clear bulbs will be harsher to look at directly because you’re staring right at a glowing filament (at least for clear incandescents), frosted bulbs will be less harsh.

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Hi Josh, Though I'm not

From Vivek narain on October 01, 2015 :: 11:15 am

Hi Josh, Though I’m not sure about the clarity aspect,are you sure there is no such aspect ?.As I understand there is luminosity and kelvin temp.,is that all there is to it.Suppose I am not looking at the tungsten,and the bulb is recessed,then you mean to say there won’t be a difference at my end of the light,taking cue it implies that sunlight coming thru a frosted glass will not be intrinsically different from a clear glass,only thing will be that I won’t see thru it,nor be seen thru it.A real brain stormer,and I suppose lots of people will be illumined.

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Check out this page

From Josh Kirschner on October 01, 2015 :: 12:08 pm

Light bulb manufacturer Sylvania has a very helpful education section on the science of light and the various bulb technologies. You can check it out here: https://www.sylvania.com/en-us/innovation/education/light-and-color/Pages/understanding-light.aspx

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For millenniums we have been

From Vivek narain on October 02, 2015 :: 12:28 am

For millenniums we have been using the light source(sun,fire,tungsten,phosphor) through a transparent medium(air ,glass mainly),and this is the first time we will be using diffused lighting on a massive scale.So I suppose my question is not an unreasonable one,thanks any way for the conversation.

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Light Bulbs with Mercury

From Susan on February 18, 2016 :: 5:36 pm

I think I stick with the old bulbs because this is still confusing me.  I use my old light bulbs for my ceiling fans with five bulbs.  I dont know which bulbs is right for my ceiling fans.  And also I need to know which light bulbs contain mercury.

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Ceiling Fans, Mercury

From Steve on February 19, 2016 :: 8:44 am

Hi Susan. CFLs are the bulbs that contain mercury. Incandescents, halogens, and LEDs do not.

LEDs would actually be a good choice for a ceiling fan because they can handle the vibration of the fan. Likewise, what are called “rough service” incandescent bulbs could work nicely because they have a better support for the filament. So if / when you can no longer find your “old light bulbs,” these are good options.

The main thing when switching to LEDs is to look at color temperature and lumens. If you like the warm look of your incandescents, choose 2700K LED bulbs. If you’re replacing 60 watt bulbs, choose LEDs with 700 to 800 lumens. 40 watt bulbs, choose LEDs with around 400 to 500 lumens. Besides that, you can consider cheap vs. trusted brands, “rated life” (how long the bulbs are expected to last), etc. But lumens and color temperature are the trick to equivalent replacements.

(I guess I should say that this assumes a traditionally shaped bulb that you’re replacing. Otherwise you need to consider the shape and base of the bulb as well. But you need to match these when buying any kind of replacement bulb.)

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Great information

From Susan on February 23, 2016 :: 10:55 pm

Steve, Thank you so much for providing great information.

Susan

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Mercury in LED Bulbs

From Roseanne socoloski on February 20, 2016 :: 1:54 pm

Should a bulb be purchased with lead, and mercury? It’s pretty shocking to see on the side of the bulb contains mercury and then when I try to dispose of the home Depot brand bulb, and find NO so called epa disposal locations. It’s lunacy to want to buy safe and the ones that potentially have a negative impact on clean air and water are so abundant.

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Recycling at Big Box Stores

From Steve on February 22, 2016 :: 8:47 am

Hi Roseanne—as far as I know, both Home Depot and Lowes provide recycling for CFLS in their stores. I believe you can do the same thing at Batteries Plus Bulbs. I would give them a call or stop by and see.

Also FYI, GE just announced it will no longer make CFLs, and I imagine others will follow suit now that LEDs are so affordable. LEDs have no mercury and, because they will generally last for so many years, there are far fewer bulbs to fill our landfills.

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Mercury in LED

From Roseanne on February 22, 2016 :: 3:27 pm

Thanks.  But, but…,did you miss my comment, I just bought Ecosmart LEDS from Home Depot and it says on the base of the bulb, it HAS MERCURY.  I’ll will contact Home Depot and ask to see if they recycle, awesome if they do, but kind of would be surprised, it’s not advertised.  But, come on, I’m not sure the amount of mercury but on the heals of Flint and that water disaster, I’m thinking I made a bad choice and am contributing to populating our water supply.

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I'd Be Shocked

From Steve on February 22, 2016 :: 3:37 pm

Hi Roseanne,

I can’t say you’re wrong about this because I’m not looking at it. But I work in lighting and I’ve never heard of an LED with mercury. What’s more, I looked up EcoSmart LEDs online and everything I’ve seen so far says they have no mercury.

Now keep in mind that there are also EcoSmart CFLs, and those WOULD have mercury. And sometimes those have covers over them, and this makes them look very much like LEDs. So that might be what you’ve run into. Those should be recycled. And Home Depot does advertise online that it recycles CFLs in all its stores, so unless they’ve changed their policy or something, that should be a solution for you.

Hope this helps.

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Your Right! Thank you

From Roseanne on February 22, 2016 :: 4:04 pm

You made me pull the boxes out…LED is Mercury Free, it’s the CFLs and Home Depot does recycle the CFLs.  I bought indoor flood lights (LED) and multidirectional overhead room lights.  It’s room light bulbs that where CFL.  So, thank you!  I’ll look for LEDs and dispose of the CFLs at Home Depot and never buy another mercury laden bulb if I can help it!

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Nice!

From Steve on February 22, 2016 :: 4:06 pm

Glad you were able to figure that out!

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