These days the lighting aisle is increasingly difficult to navigate. I’ve had numerous requests from readers asking if I could share how I choose LED, efficient lighting, that is warm and bright- yet inviting. That’s easier said than done! Efficiency is a big issue for Emmett, myself, and our home, especially since moving to Salt Lake City where air quality is a huge issue. We experienced inversion (air pollution in the valley) for the first time this winter and it really opened our eyes. Our main goal when renovating is to make our house the best it can be… that includes power, electric, water, and gas- right down to the insulation and lightbulbs. I’m thrilled to announce I’m partnering with GE Lighting in honor of Earth Day (which I LOVE celebrating) to update the lighting in one lucky reader’s entire home. That’s right- a complete house will be updated with LED lighting for the best and most efficient outcome possible! Click through to get my lighting tips and enter the giveaway.
Did you know that lighting eats up 10% of the average household energy bill? That’s quite a bit! LED bulbs use up to 90%(!) less energy than traditional lighting. I’m happy to report that our entire home is LED and we didn’t have to compromise design for efficiency at all. If you’re interested in making the transition or would just like to learn how to be a better bulb shopper, here’s what you need to know.
The lighting aisle doesn’t have to be daunting. Prior to shopping for lightbulbs… ask yourself these questions:
- Can it dim? If your fixture has a dimmer, then you have to buy bulbs that are compatible. The packaging will state whether the bulb is capable of dimming.
- What brightness are you looking for? Have you heard of the term lumens? Lumens measures the amount of light a bulb emits… the higher the lumens, the brighter the light.
- Do you like a warm light or cool light? I prefer a warm or neutral toned light. They’re inviting, cozy, and give a softer, bright glow. They’re perfect in residential settings. Whereas cool light (blue hued), has a harsh, clinical brightness to it. You often see cooler lights in commercial settings or ultra modern spaces. The color is totally your personal preference! Lighting comes in a variety of shades and each has a temperature rating, measured in degrees Kelvin. The lower the Kelvin number the more yellow the light, and the higher the Kelvin the bluer the light. Most big box stores have a display that shows the color spectrum, making it easier to shop.
- Where will the bulb be installed? This might be the most important question. Depending if it’s being installed indoors, outdoors, in a small laundry room, or a large great room, the location will certainly influence all of your answers to the above questions.
- What type of fixture are you using? There are so many beautiful light fixtures on the market, once you finally choose one, make sure to read the specifications and select a lightbulb accordingly. This is also where bulb shapes comes into play! Here’s the misconception… many people assume that LED bulbs only come in the ugly (in my opinion) spiral shaped bulb. Today, there are lots of shapes on the market that look just like a traditional, old school lightbulb. That’s a big thing for me when considering the overall aesthetic. Bulbs play a big role in the look of a fixture, sometimes I prefer the traditional shape, while other times I opt for a round bulb. If the bulb is exposed, I typically prefer a plain white, round or oval bulb. If the bulb is totally enclosed, it really doesn’t matter. Emmett likes the spiral shaped ones and will sneak them into the enclosed fixtures. I never notice and that’s the point! It’s also important to source fixtures that are compatible with new technology. These days, the majority of new fixtures will work with LED bulbs.
Check out some of my favorite LED products… they’re not too cool, not too warm, and work perfectly with the fixtures in our house. Remember the sconces in our recently finished guest room? They’re dimmable and I installed the relax bulbs below. They’re a warm, soft white light perfect for cozy vignettes and inviting rooms. These bulbs would be great in intimate spaces like the bedroom, family room, and dining room.
Another soft option is this standard, dimmable bulb below. We’re currently using this one in our living room. We have so much natural light during the day, we never turn it on until the evening. It’s not too harsh, but bright enough to watch TV and socialize in the space.
The refresh bulbs below are a great extra bright option. They’re also dimmable. We’re experimenting with these in our master bedroom sconces (look for that reveal soon)! Because of the location, the space is not as bright as the guest room, so we needed something with a little more energy. So far, we’re loving them. I would describe them as a cooler light… they’d be great for active spaces like a workout room, office, laundry room, or even outdoor living areas.
Last but not least, I think this is the best neutral bulb on the market. These reveal bulbs aren’t too cool or warm. The bulbs are designed to filter out dulling yellow light to give you bright color contrast and whiter whites for better clarity. I’d recommend this bulb for kitchens, bathrooms as well as studios or office spaces where clarity matters most. If you’re curious as to which bulb belongs in which room, GE also has a special guide for their HD collection that tells you which light should go where. Super handy if you don’t have the time to research!
In honor of Earth Day (that’s tomorrow, guys!) I have to share some facts and benefits that sort of blew my mind… energy saving LED bulbs:
- last 25 times longer than traditional lighting (less bulb changing… that’s something we all can get on board with)!
- use 70% – 90% LESS energy.
With the energy saved from switching a 60-watt bulb to an LED one, you could…
- watch ~200 episodes of your favorite hour-long TV show.
- power an oscillating fan throughout an entire workweek for 7 weeks.
- microwave breakfast, lunch, AND dinner for an entire year.
- save $6,000 over the lifetime of the bulbs (hello vacay)!
If every American replaced ONE traditional bulb with an LED bulb, we would…
- prevent 7 billion lbs. of greenhouse gas emissions (equivalent to eliminating 648,000 cars).
- save $566 million in annual energy costs (enough to light 2.6 million homes for an entire year).
By 2020, 50% of all residential lighting sockets in the United States will be LED. That’s only 3 years away… so you might as well start the transition. Congratulations to the top 10 cities that are already exceeding at LED technology:
- Oklahoma City / Tulsa
- St. Louis
- Hardford / New Haven
To many of my international readers- great job! I’m sure your country is ahead of the curve.
I love what GE stands for when it comes to their commitment to LED and efficient lighting… and I wanted to offer one of you the opportunity to update your ENTIRE HOME! If you want to do something this Earth Day, enter the giveaway below and make your home and lifestyle more efficient.
Enter to Win (open to US residents only):
1. Take the GE pLEDge – it takes 10 seconds, is free, and there are coupons waiting for you!
2. Comment below… tell us about your favorite light fixture in your home.
The winner will be selected at random in one week. Good luck!
As a blogger, nature lover, and adventure seeker, I’m excited to do my part and reach as many people as I can, sharing facts and knowledge to make our planet a better place. Happy Earth Day, you guys!! Let’s do something positive together.
*This Earth Day post is brought to you in collaboration with GE Lighting. I truly love what they stand for, and I actually use their products in my own home. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that allow us to create unique content while featuring products we actually use and enjoy!