I’m sharing this with you all in the hopes that it helps you avoid spending a week and a half buying and returning light bulbs. (ahem I may or may not have done that ahem) Seriously though, who knew there were so many different kinds of light bulbs from color to brightness to where they look the best!? No joke, one lady we were returning the first set with asked if there was a problem with them, we said “nope just the wrong color” to which she said “I didn’t even know there were different color bulbs” Me either lady!
Here’s the skinny. We have always had incandescent and compact florescent bulbs (they were just starting to burn out around the house). 2 things about them. I hated the yellow/orange color they gave off in all the rooms AND I didn’t like the energy output. Luckily for us we don’t use the overheads very often, hence the long life they have exhibited. (6-ish years)
Old bulbs. Look at how yellow it looks….ewww
3000k Warm white led’s…what a difference! So much whiter and brighter!
With prepping the house to list and some of the bulbs starting to burn out I told the hubs I wanted to switch out all of them with cooler light led’s. Better energy and better lighting. Thus began our journey in the underbelly of the lightbulb beast.
We have tried a few different colors, because they really are different colors, and think we have finally nailed the right one. So here’s some tips to help you decide which led bulbs you want to go with and where best to use them.
- If you like your current lighting (incandescent or other warmer bulb color) but want to switch to led, purchase one level warmer than you are used to. The led’s are much brighter and this can give you a cooler look at the same color. (soft white incandescent is not as bright as a soft white led) The colors are soft white, warm white, bright white, cool white and daylight. Pretty much in that order with the first 3 being your warmest and the second 3 the whitest. (Kelvins are the biggest indicator!)
- Daylight bulbs really are daylight color. I wanted these as I thought they would be the most bright natural light. They are really bright but give off a slight bluish color. This makes the spaces feel almost cold. (my bad)
- Pay extra attention to the kelvin’s. Kelvins measure the color temperature on the bulbs. The higher the kelvin the whiter the lighting and vice versa. The lower the kelvin the yellower the light. This helps determine what color you want to go with. As in the basement example below, we know from the really bright white the kelvins are a smidge too high at 5000k.
- I have found I quite like the daylights in the basement (that gets no natural light at all). It is bright, crisp and not dingey feeling like it was before although, it’s really bright. Kinda feels like being on stage for a production of Grease. So we are planning to swap out the daylights with one level warmer which is warm white BUT with a higher kelvin. It will still give me the brightness but with a slightly warmer color.
This is the old lighting
Here’s the basement with the 5000k daylight bulbs. What a huge difference! But it’s almost a little too bright.
- Bedrooms are better for softer lighting. I don’t recommend daylight in the bedrooms. It’s bluer/crisp bright white does not lend itself to a calm and relaxing environment as it’s much more suited for work spaces. (in my humble opinion)
- Warm White is where it’s at. We ended up ordering 3000 kelvin warm white bulbs for the whole house. After trying out soft white (way too yellow for me) all the way to daylight (not right for kitchens, family rooms or bedrooms) we finally found some at warm white that are the perfect balance of bright white with a hint of yellow. The warm white gives a bit of warmth but at a higher kelvin (3000k) so it’s color temperature is cooler than a regular warm white incandescent. See the difference below!
Old warm bulbs.
This is with warm white led bulbs. Look how much brighter it looks! (ignore the mess on the counter, prep to list touch up stuff)
- There are different bulbs for can lights as there are for regular lights (like in your bathroom vanity light fixture or pendant light). I’m sure you already knew this but we had a hard time finding light bulbs in local stores with brighter light for the cans. Can lights look best with flood light bulbs whereas regular style led’s look best in lamps and vanity lights. We ended up going with Amazon, cause Amazon is the bomb dot com and always comes through (usually with the best price and 2 day shipping).
I hope this bit of info saves you the hassle of finding the right bulbs for your space and my week and a half ordeal of purchasing and returning, repeat has taught us all something useful!
Light bulbs really make a huge difference in a space, I didn’t realize how much until I started trying other colors. Remember the higher the kelvin the brighter the white, and led’s are already brighter than regular bulbs. This should help you figure out what you want to go with, along with the tips above!
Any other suggestions or experiences with different light bulbs? Best place to buy led’s or where to use what color? Pop in your thoughts below! I always love to hear from ya.
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