Bad light bulbs could make your room feel wrong. If your space feels dim, dull, or on the contrary, feels harsh and cold, your light fixture could be to blame.
We've provided a variety of methods to illuminate spaces efficiently, yet we've failed to tackle the most common mistakes that people make with light bulbs. For most homeowners, lighting rooms can be easy as simply installing an electric light fixture and turning the switch. However, not taking into consideration the lighting aspects could result in a waste of energy or lack of illumination where it's necessary. If your home's lighting is a bit "off," chances are you're making these basic mistakes.
Light bulbs are diverse in appearance, form factor, quality, design, the efficiency of use, material as well as safety and compatibility for specific purposes. There's an array of choices available for something you don't usually think about when everything is going smoothly. If things aren't working as they should, you might be doing your stuff in complete darkness.
Let's examine these elements and find out what you're not doing when buying light bulbs.
Types of Light Bulbs
We are aware of the light bulb’s characteristics that they were fragile, hot, and bright. Light bulbs, for most of their history, meant glass incandescent bulbs. They consumed so much power that they were frequently dubbed as "light bills." If you were paying your household's electric bill, you knew they were costly to run.
They were not very efficient in making electricity light and converted a significant amount of energy into heat instead. Then came better fluorescent bulbs, with their poor color rendering and the danger of breaking, and then the ridiculously expensive light-emitting diodes (LEDs). They include incandescent bulbs and CFL, compact fluorescent (CFL), and LED light bulbs to constitute the majority of bulbs that are used in homes.
LEDs remain the most expensive option although they've slowed down drastically over the last few years. However, LEDs are more economical than incandescent bulbs. They can also surpass CFLs in the second year of ownership.
So, before you purchase a new light bulb, ensure that you're not making these fatal mistakes within your home.
1. Improper Light Fixtures
Lighting fixtures that are not properly chosen can cause rooms to feel uncomfortable. One of the biggest mistakes that people make when choosing lighting fixtures is focusing on the aesthetics over the functionality and not taking into consideration the dimensions of the fixture against the dimensions of the room. Finding the ideal light fixture can be a daunting task, however, if you are well-prepared, you'll avoid a lot of time and frustration.
Sometimes, the issue with your light bulb isn't actually the bulb itself but it's where you're putting it. The majority of us aren't well-versed in lighting practices however, we have a good understanding of what makes excellent lighting versus bad lighting. To get the most value out of your lighting experience, the trick is turning that intuitive sense into fixtures that are in the right spots as well as the correct light bulbs to fit into the right fixtures.
For instance, mixing different kinds of lighting like overhead, accent as well as task lights are highly recommended. It is also suggested to utilize under-cabinet lighting in kitchens. It offers task lighting as well as beautiful ambient lighting for the entire room but cautions against accentuating improper areas or shining the areas too brightly.
The solution is mixing the lighting so that you can get sufficient light that doesn't overwhelm the room.
2. Wrong Color Temperature Lights
The wrong hue of light bulbs could make rooms appear less appealing and dull. Color temperature refers to the warm and cool properties of light in relation to its color, which ranges from the warm orange glowing of candlelight to the brilliant blue sunlight. The majority of light bulbs have temperatures that range from 2700 K to 6500K.
Light bulbs closer to 2700K are warmer or have yellow-orange light while light bulbs which are cooler with white-blue light are closer to 6500K. The exact color temperature you want depends on several factors, such as your lighting application, room as well as the color of the walls. Learn about the options and be sure to select the appropriate lighting for your room.
If you're not aware that light bulbs come in a variety of colors, now is the perfect time to find out. Light bulbs are available in a range of lighting "temperatures" which are measured by Kelvins (K). The temperatures of the light bulbs you put in your room can significantly alter how your room is felt.
Warm (2,000K – 3500K)
Warm bulbs can give a space an inviting, warm, and intimate look with a yellow or orange shade. Outside, you'll see this kind of light in sunsets and sunrises. Inside your space, it's usually linked to vintage lighting bulbs, such as Edison light bulbs and incandescent lights. It's perfect for spaces such as the living room, bedroom, as well as dining rooms.
Cool/Natural (3500K – 5000K)
The cool or "Natural" lighting bulbs produce a more authentic white hue that creates a space with a fresh bright, fresh, and welcoming feeling. The light is similar to the kind you'd find at dawn and on afternoons outside. It's perfect to use in bathrooms, closets, and offices.
Daylight Light Bulbs (5000K – 6200K)
These light bulbs give off an illumination that's similar to the light you'd get out on a sunny day. The light from daytime makes rooms appear more fresh and sharp than natural light. However, it can turn out somewhat harsh if not cautious. It's an excellent choice for areas of work lighting, such as garages, and kitchens, or for task lighting like the reading lamp.
The light after 6200K begins to appear blue, meaning that light bulbs that are this hue aren't often utilized in homes. However, there are exceptions to this. Various artists like working in the light of this color, and those who suffer from SAD (Severe Affective Disorder (SAD) might benefit from blue light during the wintertime.
3. Buying the Wrong Light Bulb for Your Fixture
Wattage can have an impact on the brightness of light bulbs, but it also has an influence on safety concerns. Light bulbs that are high-wattage and kept on for extended time periods (such as holidays) could cause fires, particularly in fixtures with poor quality. Even high-end lamps come with wattage limits. These are usually displayed on a sticker attached to the fixture, so make sure you choose lamps that meet this standard.
Utilizing light bulbs that have a higher power rating than the fixture is known as overlamping. Electrical Experts say this causes fixtures to overheat and break in a variety of ways. This problem occurs specifically for light fixtures that are enclosed, which can cause overheating or even worse. Overheating issues aren't normally relevant to LED bulbs, which operate at lower temperatures.
Watts is the term used to describe the amount of power a light bulb requires. The lower the wattage, the lesser electricity the bulb requires to keep it illuminated. Light bulbs that are energy-efficient can emit the equivalent amount of light while using fewer watts, saving costs on the energy bill.
Each light fixture comes with specific wattage requirements for each light. So, you'll need to do some research to determine what your lighting fixture needs.
When buying light bulbs, they must have a sticker or label which clearly shows the maximum wattage. You might have to take off one of your light bulbs, and then examine the threads in order to locate the limit. The majority of light fixtures come with a specific bulb limit in watts (generally between 45W and 60W) however there are some with an all-encompassing limit that applies to the whole fixture. In these cases, you'll have to add up the watts for each light bulb to ensure you're within the limit of safety.
It's acceptable to use light bulbs with lesser watts than the fixture specifies to save energy cost but you shouldn't go any higher. The excess wattage limit for the fixture can cause a fire.
4. Buying Light Bulbs That Doesn't Fit
The fixtures themselves are difficult enough without the complications of bulb shape elements and the standard specifications. There is a myriad of names, inconsistent design, and sometimes, ineffective characteristics of every kind. You shouldn't be shopping for a candelabra light bulb in the event that you require a miniature candelabra bulb. It's not a good idea to try to fit an ordinary E26 bulb into the mogul-base (E29) socket.
If you're thinking that "mogul" is an odd name for the base of a bulb, you're probably wrong. There are two types of bases: E39 as well as E40 bases which are both referred to as "mogul," while EX39s are known as "extended mogul." The two E26s, as well as E27s, have the designation of "medium," while E17 bulbs are "intermediate." The corn lamps seem to be named based on the bulb's resemblance to corn. COB lights are a specific lighting method for LEDs, and nobody will be surprised that there are corn COB light bulbs.
5. Ignoring the Lumen Rating
The lumen rating of light bulbs will reveal the brightness of the bulb. The greater the lumen rating, the brighter it appears. With regards to your home lighting, various rooms require different amounts of lighting. Work areas require lots of light, so selecting bulbs that have a higher lumen rating is an excellent way to brighten up these spaces. The other areas such as hallways and bedrooms don't require the same amount of brightness. Therefore, it's acceptable to select bulbs with a lower rating.
There's no specific formula about the number of lumens you'll need in a room as it is contingent upon the purpose and layout of your space. You'll require more lighting in workplaces such as offices and kitchens, but smaller amounts in bedrooms. If your style is bright and atmospheric or dingy, you'll have to take that into consideration when making your lighting plans.
A good guideline to start would be to use 20 lumens for each square foot (floors), 30 lumens per square foot (table spaces), and 50 lumens per square foot for countertops, task lighting, or desks.
What happens when there are multiple light bulbs in the area? Are the lumens canceled out or multiplied? The answer is simple: the lumens add up. In a room with lots of furniture, the light bounces around so that the lumens do not immediately add to each other, and the greater the number of light bulbs you'll use, the less precise it becomes.
While you're thinking about the needs of your home, it's completely acceptable adding the lumens from each light bulb in your room together to give you an approximate idea of what the space requires. It is likely that you will have to adjust it from time to time depending on the seasons when you paint your walls, or if the usage of the room shifts. If your room is utilized for numerous uses, think about getting light bulbs that can dim to change the brightness levels based on what you're doing.
6. Wrong Voltage and AC/DC
This isn't a typical issue for homeowners. However, if you go beyond the usual assortment of light bulbs in your home, you'll soon encounter bulbs specifically designed for DC systems of power (low-voltage systems, landscape lighting, and many more). These devices transform the alternating current from the power grid back into Direct Current (DC) which is the standard type of format that is required by the majority of devices.
Utilizing the wrong type of voltage or current will not work effectively and would result in the destruction of your light bulb instantly. It's easy to confuse the DC bulb with the AC-type bulb. The main difference is that, if you insert the bulb into a normal lamp and then turn on the light, it will blow immediately.
Make sure you keep track of the power source as well as the AC/DC designation. Certain light bulbs operate with 12V AC as well as 12V DC. However, they self-destruct at 110V AC.
7. Too Dim or Too Bright Light Bulbs
When it comes to lighting conditions, brightness is one aspect we pay much attention to. Typically, we refer to the number of lumens that a lamp or light fixture produces. It is in some way dependent on the wattage of light bulbs which have the potential to increase energy consumption and significance of safety.
The different areas of a house typically need different amounts of light and consequently light bulbs with different lumen ratings. Kitchens and other spaces may require more powerful light bulbs while living rooms and bedrooms need lesser ones.
One method to estimate the required lumens is to calculate 20 lumens for every square foot of floor area and replace that with 30 lumens to light tables and 50 lumens for workspaces that have task lighting (like desks and counters). This should give you an idea of determining the right lighting for any space in your home. However, since the impact of using multiple bulbs can muddle the calculations, you'll have to make adjustments depending on your experience.
Smaller areas like pantries and closets are typically not considered for lighting in home plans, however, this doesn't mean they have to be. Most of the time, they are lit by a single overhead light, which leaves shadows over the shelves and the storage space below. Finding items that are tucked away in these spaces could be difficult. Think about installing under-cabinet lights or LED tape lights to aid in the navigation of these areas while creating a sleek and tidy look.
8. Cheap Incandescent or LED Light Bulbs
Due to environmental concerns and conflict in cost, lighting bulb development and regulation have been driven by concerns regarding energy efficiency. In the past, when LED bulbs were costly enough, people thought that the price of light bulbs would offset the majority of energy savings. A lot of people are using less expensive incandescent bulbs due to this purpose, but the argument for LED bulbs quickly vanished, meaning that today, saving massive quantities of power is a reality for the majority of us.
However, LED light bulbs that are cheap come with their own problems. These cheap models of LED are not properly developed and overheated, so they are prematurely burned out but more efficient heat sinks will solve this problem.
Today, replacing your energy-wasting, outdated incandescent lights with more of the same lights makes a little sense when there are a lot of technologically-advanced light bulbs available on the market. CFL light bulbs as well as LED light bulbs are available in a wider selection of models in the present than before. If you're replacing your dead light bulb, make sure to see if they're offered in energy-efficient models. You could save hundreds of dollars off your energy bills each year by simply changing your lighting.
9. No Lighting Controls
Lighting controls like motion sensors, dimmers, and timers permit you to alter or automate specific aspects of the lighting in your house. When used correctly, they can even reduce the cost of your electric bill. Dimmers are ideal for locations where you need to create an occasional intimate ambiance with dim lighting like dining rooms, living rooms, master bathrooms, or bedrooms. Timers work best along with photocells to control the lighting fixture in your outdoor area. Motion sensors can be divided into two classes, vacancy, and occupancy sensors, which remember to turn lights on and off even if you forget to.
There are lots of alternatives to conventional light bulbs, based on the requirements of your home. Panels and LED lamps are commonly utilized in lieu of conventional fixtures and light bulbs. They differ from LED light bulbs in terms of shape they are not as large, since the LEDs are light-emitting diodes just similar to all other LEDs. They have distinct and sometimes desirable features. Light strips can be installed in areas other bulbs don't fit. For instance, behind televisions or stairways. Panel lights are huge, long-lasting, bright rectangles of light that could replace fluorescent ceiling fixtures and improve the architectural style of any space.
If the lighting isn't right for your home, it's time for you to change it. If your room appears dusky, it may be because you require cooler light bulbs. When your room atmosphere is shabby and cold, warm it up with your lighting to make it appear more welcoming. Also, make sure to double-check the wattage prior to making a purchase. If you choose the right brightness, wattage as well as temperature settings, you'll be amazed by how well lighting can be for you.
Did you make one of these mistakes? Do you think the problem with your lighting is somewhere else?
Let us know in the comments below and get more lighting tips from us. Or start browsing our top-notch light bulbs now and let your home glow by choosing the right bulb that will never let you down.