Confession: I am hoarding lightbulbs. I have those little cardboard cartons of Edison style incandescent bulbs tucked into closets, bins and cabinets throughout the house. I have bulbs of all sizes, including some that don’t even fit fixtures we own! It must be my inner child of the 70’s; comforted by the golden glow of indoors after dark. And some hoarding tendencies, but that’s a different post!
I remember the horror of learning that incandescent bulbs would be phased out by 2014, particularly when I experienced the ugly blue light offered by those weird curly-q bulbs that were supposed to replace them. Fortunately, technology has evolved, and there are now many different options for light bulbs on the market, offering a wide variety of energy use, light output and color.
New technology in LED lighting is quickly making them the better choice for most residential applications. They are the most efficient option, and in the last few years they have improved tremendously in price and light output. That’s all great but the most important thing to me personally is the color of the light, which used to be downright awful.
On the LED’s, it’s the Kelvin rating that indicates the color of the light output: the range is 2700K to 6500K, with 2700-3000 being the “warm” end of the spectrum. Not looking for a science lesson? Here’s the upshot: Stay away from “daylight” bulbs because it in actuality the light looks more like “operating room.”
I trust the judgement of John and Sherry of younghouselove.com, who use off-white 2700K dimmable bulbs throughout their house for consistency and pleasing light quality. They recommend Cree 60W Equivalent Soft White LED bulbs, available here on Amazon.
One caveat: When I am staging a house to sell, I go for the neutral, yet faintly warm colored 3000K bulbs, which look great in photography and help your photos look consistent, clean and bright. It also makes your home appear brighter in person.
I guess it’s time. I’m going to start working through my collection of incandescent bulbs and then stick with the soft white LEDs going forward. They last forever, so no need to have tons of extras around. Pretty soon the charms of the lamplight of my youth will exist only in nostalgic memories and Polaroids, and I’ll pick up some shelf space in the process.