Starting at the beginning of the year, the state of California will implement a new law restricting the sales of light bulbs that use no more than 72 watts, including halogen incandescents, compact fluorescents and light-emitting diode, or LED, bulbs. This got us thinking... what are some of the important things to think about when purchasing bulbs for our home. We all agree that a more earth conscious bulb is the better choice so let's talk about 5 important things to keep in mind!

1. Energy Star label

Experts recommend only buying bulbs with the label since the manufacturing quality of the bulb can vary. If they have the label, they have to pass numerous quality tests to earn the star.

2. Look at the lumens

Lumens = brightness. Watts do not. LED's use much fewer watts with the same brightness. You can use this as a general rule: A standard 40 watt bulb can be replaced with a energy saving bulb of about 450 lumens. New bulb labels show lumen output and will help you choose the right brightness.

3. Color Temperature

If your preference is a warmer color, look for LED's and CFL's with light color temperature in the 2700K to 3000K range. Pure white color bulbs are more around 4000K. If you're trying to simulate daylight try for 5000K or higher.

4. If you love incandescent, switch to Halogen

Halogens are 25% more energy efficient than standard incandescents and they can last up to three times longer. They're dimmable as well and can come in a range of sizes, shapes and colors. 29 watts halogen = 40 watts incandescent 43 watts halogen = 60 watts incandescent 53 watts halogen = 75 watts incandescent 72 watts halogen = 100 watts incandescent

5. Look at the bulb's Color Rendering Index (CRI)

CRI is the measurement of how true the color of an object looks under the bulbs light. A good CRI index is 80 or above. A really good one is 90 or above which is an excellent choice for the bathroom vanity.






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