Optimize Your Home Lighting: Tips for Selecting the Best Indoor Light Bulb

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Have you tried purchasing indoor light bulbs recently? Whether you're looking for bulbs for a table lamp or flood lights for your kitchen, you'll encounter a dizzying array of choices, and you probably won’t find any reference to wattage.

Gone are the days when we knew exactly what a 50, 75, or 100-watt light bulb would do. We could anticipate the type of light it would emit and would often grab anything off the shelf at a hardware store without a second thought.

Nowadays, we select bulbs (also known as lamps) based on temperature. Stores have displays showcasing the varying colors of the light spectrum within the temperature range, but you might still find yourself unsure until you actually install it and see how it looks when turned on. I went through four different samples of lamps for the recessed lights in my kitchen before finally finding what I was looking for.
The temperature ranges usually start from around 2700 and go above 5000, all measured on the Kelvin scale, so it might require a quick brush-up on high-school science to fully grasp. The lower end of the scale produces a "warmer" light, which appears orange or yellow to me. The mid-range, around 3500 – 4000, is generally what I prefer – a soft to bright white color. The upper ranges, 5000 and above, emit very bright light and tend to appear blue, almost violet. While these upper ranges are excellent for work areas, they can feel intense in a home setting.

The Kelvin Scale in reference to the temperature of the light.
Recently, I replaced the recessed lights in my mother’s home. She had been using 5 to 10-year-old incandescent bulbs that made everything look dull and aged. I switched them out for new 5000 Kelvin LED bulbs because she has trouble seeing, and her caregivers needed better lighting. The difference was astonishing; it felt like an entirely new home. People even remarked about the paint on the walls, probably because they could finally see the entire room.
I’ll spare you the lengthy explanation, but it's worth noting that LED lamps are far more efficient than incandescent lamps. LED, which stands for Light Emitting Diode, requires far less energy than an incandescent bulb. Webster’s defines incandescent as “emitting light as the result of being heated,” which makes it clear why incandescent lamps should be gradually phased out over time.

Good luck selecting your next light bulb – it might be wise to bring along a color chart.