Bright Ideas About Energy Efficient Lighting

Changing to more energy efficient light bulbs

Red Bluff Daily News, September 22, 2015. Image credit: Geoffrey.landis

Energy-efficient lighting technology has significantly evolved over the past few years as highly efficient Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are replacing Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) and traditional incandescent lights. LEDs provide the same amount of brightness, or lumens, as traditional bulbs but use less watts, or energy in doing so. They also have an extensive lifespan ranging from five to 25 times longer than standard bulbs, which is convenient for hard-to-reach fixtures. Unlike CFLs, LEDs contain no mercury and therefore avoid the required hazardous waste disposal at the end of their life. LEDs operate on cool light that helps maintain indoor comfort, unlike incandescent bulbs that generate heat. Furthermore, LEDs are available for most fixtures and applications to include dimmable and non-dimmable options.


Shopping based on lumens and Kelvins is the best way to find color appealing, energy efficient lighting for your home and business. Concerned that energy efficient lighting doesn’t look as good? Check for a light bulb’s color temperature in Kelvins to get just the look you’re going for. You can find information about a bulb’s lumens and Kelvins from the label on its packaging. Consider these tips for placing LEDs in each room of your home or business:

  • Cool light is generally preferred for most task lighting applications because it produces higher contrast than warm light. Warm light is preferred for relaxing spaces because it is more flattering to skin tones and clothing.
  • A wall with darker paint will reflect less light, which means more lumens may be needed in the room’s light fixtures.
  • In the kitchen the recommended color temperature is 3,000 Kelvins. Consider a minimum of 450 lumens for lighting countertop task areas and from 5,000 to 10,000 lumens for overhead lighting.
  • A range from 2,700 to 3,000 Kelvins is recommended for the bathroom with the ideal vanity lighting at a minimum of 1,700 lumens
Read More