Which Light Bulb is Best?

Energy Saving Light Bulbs

In 2007, Congress passed a law mandating sweeping improvement in energy efficiency for home and business lighting. As of January 1st, 2014,  standard incandescent bulbs are no longer being manufactured. This means that all across the country, people are looking for new ways to light their home. What kind of light bulb should you chose? There are many factors to consider. Koopman Lumber can help you make the right decision for your home or business.  We offer a wide selections of light bulbs in each of our six locations. Feel free to stop by, and e-mail or call us if you need additional info.

We’ll go over the following topics:

  • 3 Different Types Of New Light Bulbs
  • What You need To Know About Brightness (Lumens)

Screen Shot 2014-01-29 at 11.16.58 AM

3 Different Types of New Light Bulbs

  1. New and Improved Halogen Incandescent Lights

    These improved halogen incandescents use 28% less energy than their old counterparts. They are the same size and shape as traditional light bulbs so they fit in every lamp or fixture, and provide the same level of illumination. They are usually less expensive to purchase than CFLs and LEDs, but they are not as energy efficient. Halogen bulbs provide the same high quality light as the older bulbs, and will work with dimmers and/or electronic control systems. They are available in 28 watt, (replaces 40W)  43 watt (replaces 60W)  and 72W (replaces 100W) bulbs.

  2. Screen Shot 2014-01-29 at 11.17.09 AMCompact Fluorescent Lights (CFL)

    These are the original replacement to incandescent bulbs. The combination of low initial cost and low energy costs makes CFL lamps a popular choice. They usually offer a smaller initial cost than LEDs and last 10x longer than incandescents. CFL lamps come in a variety of color temperatures (from warm to cool) so you’ll want to make sure they all match. Only specially-marked CFL lamps may be used with dimmers. CFL lamps typically need two minutes to “warm up” and come to full brightness. For that reason, they are not always a good choice. Colors may appear to be different under CFL lights compared to incandescent ones. CFL lamps contain a small amount of mercury, so Massachusetts recommends that CFL lamps be recycled at your local Household Hazardous Waste Collection Site.

  3. Screen Shot 2014-01-29 at 11.17.15 AMLight-Emitting Diodes (LED)

    LED lamps are the growing trend for incandescent replacements. Rated to last 25x to 50x longer than incandescents, you won’t be changing these for many years. They may have a higher initial cost, but because LED lamps have the lowest energy cost, your initial investment will be recouped during the course of its life. LEDs have a pleasant, high quality light, and are available in warm or cool colors. Most new LEDs will work with specially marked dimmers. LED lamps light instantly, requiring no warm-up time.

What You Need To Know About Brightness (Lumens)

How do you compare the new light bulbs?  How do you know whether a 12-watt LED or a 23-watt CFL will provide enough light? The answer is simple: LUMENS!

Old incandescent lamps used to be rated only for watts, which measures how much electricity they consume. Now all light sources are rated for lumens, which measures the actual brightness. The chart below (from the U.S. Dept of Energy) shows how lumens compare to the wattage of the old incandescent light bulbs.


As this chart illustrates, if you are replacing a 60-watt light bulb, choose a lamp that produces around 800 lumens.  All light bulb packaging is required to carry information about bulb life (in hours) as well as energy usage (watts), light output (lumens), and cost to operate ($ per year).  It’s called “Lighting Facts”.  Look for it the next time you’re in the store!

All of the following items produce about 800 lumens:

  • 60 watt incandescent light bulb
  • 43 watt halogen/incandescent light bulb
  • 13 watt CFL twist lamp
  • 12 watt LED lamp

Wrap Up

Clearly, there is a lot to know about the new light bulbs! At Koopman Lumber we understand that there can be some uncertainty in switching over from the traditional incandescent light bulbs to the newer technology. We’re here to help! Contact us online or visit us in store to get the help you need replacing the light bulbs in your house!

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