How to Choose a Light Bulb

When choosing a light bulb at a store, it’s easy to get confused if you don’t know what kind of model you need. There’s a lot of different criteria, including details about diameter, power, type, brightness, and color.

We at 5-Minute Crafts learned more about these parameters and found out that it’s not all that hard.

LED lamps or light bulbs

Lately, the so-called LED lamps are becoming more and more popular. Compared to the “old” bulbs, they are more efficient. Light bulbs are heated with electricity to the point of emitting light, and LED lamps are semi-conductors. They can work 25 times longer than light bulbs and need 75% less energy. They are a little more expensive than regular bulbs but it pays off in the long term. And another advantage is that LED lamps get only a little warm and you won’t get burned if you touch them.

Volts and watts

When buying light bulbs, we often confuse volts and watts. Let’s find out what they are and why they are important.

Volt (V) is a unit of electric potential. It’s recommended to use the right voltage. For example, bulbs of 120 V and 130 V are almost the same, but the latter takes less time to heat up, requires less energy, and works for a longer time. But it also has disadvantages: it’s not as bright and its color temperature is lower.

Watt (W) is a unit of power, in other words, the amount of energy a bulb requires. If you choose a bulb of lower power, the light will be dimmer.

Lumens

A lumen is a unit of light power that dictates how bright the bulb is. In the past, we used to buy bulbs based on watts, but modern bulbs can produce as much light with less energy consumption. Today, you can choose the right brightness based on lumens. Old bulbs needed 60 watts and produced 800 lumens, and LED lamps might need just 10 watts for the same brightness.

Shape and base

Of course, if you have an old bulb with you, it’s much easier to buy a replacement. But if you don’t, you need a few more parameters. Bulbs can have different shapes, like pear, spiral, reflector, and many others.

And there are different base types, like screws and pins. You need to know not only the type but also the size to make sure that it fits the lamp.

Color

If you don’t want your cozy living room to look like a hospital wing, you need to pay attention to kelvins. It’s a unit of color temperature that varies from warm yellow, to almost blue, cold:

2700 K — 2800 К: warm, yellow light

3000 K — 3200 К: warm, yellowish light

3500 K — 4000 К: neutral, white light

5000 K — 6500 К: blue, bright white light

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