Light bulbs have a huge daily impact on the way our homes look and feel, and withyou have more options than ever. Moreover, they can help you save on your electricity and energy bills. But how do you choose the right lights for the job? The trick is to think long and hard about how you usually use light in the different rooms in your house. Above all, that will determine your lighting needs.
For example, you can take advantage ofin your favorite reading lamp, but rather from the lamp on your bed.
To do this, here are some room-specific tips to help you set the right lights ̵
Much height? Make it super bright
If you have rooms with high ceilings or built-in lighting – an entrance for example, or perhaps a staircase with skylights above – you want brightness above softness in your light bulbs. After all, the higher your light bulbs are, the brighter they must be to illuminate the room.
The most common products for overhead lighting are BR30-shaped floodlights. The "BR" stands for "spherical reflector" and this means that the light in the lamp is above a reflecting bowl, somewhat like a small satellite dish. Screw such a lamp into your ceiling, and that bowl catches all the upward light and then reflects it back down and out of the bottom, which bulges out to produce the widest possible pole of bright light in the room. It is the same trickuse to produce as much light as possible for you while you drive.
You have. The most common choice is 65-watt replacement lamps that generally emit around 650 lumens each. That's a good, average number and great for medium-height ceilings with at least a few glowing lights. Among those I tested, 65 watt replacement spotlights from and are the two I would recommend. They are good values, they are very energy efficient for the money (each draws less than 10 watts), they work well with dimmers and – most important for overhead lighting – they are both beautiful and bright, each well comfortably more than 700 lumens.
If your ceilings are higher than average, or if you let fewer lamps shine above your head than you would like, look forthat further increase the brightness.
Dimmable means versatility for your living room and bedroom.
Some rooms have only one or two basic functions, but others are used in all sorts of ways. For example, you can use your living room to watch TV, read books, play board games with the children, or do some other activities. Such spaces can really benefit from quality lamps that can adapt to what's going on.
The old-fashioned way to do this is by using a combination of different lamps and fixtures that serve different purposes – a reading lamp next to your favorite armchair, overhead lights for board game night, everything off when you watch a movie, and so on. That is all well and good, but it limits you to a binary, "on / off" lighting mentality.
The better approach? Give yourself a full spectrum of lighting options by ensuring that all those lights are dimmable.
Upgrading your light switches to dimmers is a way to do this (and not nearly as intimidating as you would think if you had never turned one off before). There are also smart plugsthat allow you to dim your fixtures and lamps up and down.
However, the simplest way is to easily replace your lamps with energy-efficient dimmable smart lamps.– the costs have fallen considerably in recent years and the advent of voice control has given people a quick, easy way to jump to any setting whenever they want.
Best of all, just about every smart lamp on the market is dimmable without flickering or buzzing, preventing a common headache that comes with a dimmer in the wall. That also makes smart lamps quality choices for bedrooms, where strong dimming performance and things likecan do wonders for your mood in the morning.
Consider colors in your kitchen and your closet
I'm not talking about color-changing smart lights (although if you want to chase your house with it,). No, I'm talking about the colors that are already in your house – artwork, furniture, the clothing in your closet, the fruits and vegetables in your you name it.
Whatever it is, if it is colorful, it benefits from incandescent bulbs with high scores for color reproduction – lamps that help colors to look their best. This is not always the easiest thing to shop for, as manufacturers are not required to state their color rendering scores on the package, as with specifications for clarity and efficiency. Some lamps that claim to radiate great colors are actually just like that.
My tip: just stay with GE Reveal lamps, because after about five years of reviewing incandescent bulbs for CNET, I have yet to test one that has not lived up to its promise of better colors. That includes. They usually cost slightly more per lamp, and most are slightly less bright than the average LED products because they filter some excess yellow light – but those compromises are worth it if you use them to illuminate the spots in your home where you are appreciate accurate, more beautiful colors day in day out.
And that is really the point – although we regularly take them for granted, we use light bulbs more than just about everything in our homes. It is often the first things we turn on in the morning and the last things we turn off before we go to bed. So don't be overwhelmed by the light path – finding the right lighting for every room in your house is worthwhile and much easier than you might think.
Originally published on April 13 at 4 pm PT.