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  • Writer's pictureKim Raines

It's ALL about the light bulb

You can buy the most gorgeous light fixture ever, install it, and HATE it. But why? The finish is perfect, the scale is great, it slopes on your ceiling like it should, but it's just not right. Chances are, you hate it because the bulbs are wrong. Even still with LED technology, many fixtures are still sold without light bulbs so YOU get to choose the shape, color temperature, and brightness. If you didn't know there were choices, then you might get it wrong. Buying light bulbs isn't like it used to be - with SO much competition, you might blindly buy what's on sale on an end cap at a big box store or your local hardware store without even knowing what you are buying.

So enter me, a local showroom owner for almost 20 years that LOVES light bulbs! How do I still have a job with all the competition online? Well, we can go over all the reasons if you like but one of my favorite parts of selling lighting is making sure you get the right light bulb. Knowing that you can find the perfect fixture but hate it because the light bulbs are wrong has become a passion for me. After we work to help select the right fixture for your space and budget, I'll ask you about bulbs. How bright do you want this? Do you like warmer light or cooler? This can not only effect your eyes but your paint colors. And then the shape - there are so many cool shapes these days you really can change the look of the fixture simply by changing the shape of the bulb.

So now to the nitty gritty. How do you select the perfect light bulb?


Learn about Kelvin Temperature

I think the Kelvin temperature of a light bulb is the most important part of a light bulb. The wrong color temperature AND an inconsistent color temp throughout a property can be really distracting and uncomfortable. In most residential situations, you want 2700K for a warmer touch and 3000K for a fresher, more contemporary feel. If you have ever had a bad experience with a light bulb, chances are they were too high of a Kelvin temp and therefore too blue/white.


Determine your lumen output needs

The lighting industry is changing and becoming more energy efficient. This means the bulbs are still as bright but use less energy. In the past, we used the term wattage to determine how bright a bulb is. But now, bulbs have a lower wattage but still emit the same brightness. So you want to focus on how many lumens you need in each space. Bathrooms will need more, kitchen pendants over an island where you have a lot of task oriented cans can have a lower output to be softer on the eyes. This info will be listed on the box - it will note the lumen output and then the wattage comparison so you know how bright your bulb will be.


Determine the shape of bulb you like

The days of your normal shaped A19 bulb that you have always seen are gone. Bulb shape to me is almost as important as the 2 above. The shape of the bulb can totally change the look of your fixture. The candle shape is more traditional, but you can make a fixture more industrial or mid century looking by using a round or tube shape. So once you figure out the color temp you want, the output you need, then we get to talk about the pretty stuff!


Do you want a frosted bulb or to see the filaments?

Similar to above, the color of the glass can totally change the look of your fixture! Frosted bulbs give a more mid century vibe but are softer on the eyes, which sometimes is important if a light bulb is at eye level like a kitchen pendant over your island. Filament bulbs give you the sparkle and are a little more industrial looking. Also, if you have an open fixture with a pattern, a filament bulb can enhance the shadows on the walls + ceilings! So if you don't like that, frosted is the way to go!

Overwhelmed? It's ok, I can help with a new fixture OR help you love your existing fixture. I also offer whole home bulb updates. I stock Satco light bulbs at both locations - the Paint Store in Town on Belleview and the new Showroom in Riverland! This means you can buy and install bulbs to make sure you love them. And if not, return for the right bulb. None of that impossible to open plastic packaging.

Book online today and see how I can help!

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