Why Do I Need A Degree In Physics To Buy A Lightbulb?

Discussion in 'Home Improvement' started by Beth Gallagher, Feb 10, 2023.

  1. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Supreme Member
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    Remember the good ole' days, when we walked into the hardware store and bought 40 watt, 60 watt, and 100 watt bulbs and went home happy? Well, welcome to the new world of "How the Hell Do I Select a Light Fixture and Bulbs??" :confused: I can't be the only one who stands there, blinking at all the "lumens" and "light color". What the actual hell... I just want a new light fixture to go over my kitchen sink that is BRIGHT.

    I should have put this in a rant thread but I honestly want to know if anyone knows how to select light bulbs and fixtures, because I'm seriously light-impaired right now.
     
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  2. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Veteran Member
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    All I know is stay away from the bright white bulbs for lamps and plain old room fixtures. They may be OK if you want a bright light over the sink. They look more like fluorescent lights to me. I bought some and had to take them out. Use them for the one basement light fixture only.
     
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  3. Thomas Windom

    Thomas Windom Very Well-Known Member
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    I like LED bulbs and have gradually been replacing all our other types with them. As you say though, there are some points of confusion. We had a lot of dimmer switches. Many of the old dimmers are not compatible with LED bulbs and must be replaced. Then, not all LED bulbs are dimmable, have to look that is says so right on the box.

    Next is color temperature. Incandescent bulbs had a typical warmish hue, some quartz halogens being a little bit bluer. This link has a nice picture illustrating color temperatures. LED bulbs can come in a variety of hues. I have very bright, daylight looking ones in the garage, warmer one in most parts of the house and color changing, dimmable ones in our movie room.
    https://www.lumens.com/the-edit/the-guides/understanding-kelvin-color-temperature/

    And finally, wattage of the bulb, for an LED their wattage consumption is almost always lower for a given output of light, hence the switch to lumens since watts of power consumption has little to do with light output compared to incandescents.

    Overall though, I like them. They last next to forever and use little electricity.
     
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  4. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Supreme Member
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    For dummies like me, they just need to put, "EQUAL to old 100 watt incandescent" on the package in big letters.
     
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  5. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    I agree that the whole thing is chock full of new specs. Watts, candlepower, lumens, color temp. I'm used to tech specs from my purchasing career, but I don't use this stuff often enough to remember it when I'm in the store.

    Today I was looking at dimmable LED replacements for my under-the-cabinet puck lights, and there was a One Star Amazon Rating because the Warm White 2700k color spec must be wrong, because the glow does not match the existing 2700k bulbs the guy has!!! So apparently the standards have some variance. I can't imagine having one puck light be noticeably different from another, or having a multiple-bulb fixture with bulbs that do not match. Who wants to replace all the bulbs in a fixture every time they choose a different LED manufacturer to replace one that's burnt out? That is not progress.

    That being said, the first thing I did when I bought my new car 3 years ago was replace all the interior lights with LEDs. They give off more light, they look nicer and they consume less juice.

    I replaced my over-the-kitchen-sink 60w globe bulb with a 6w LED some time ago, either on a whim or because I could not find a normal bulb at the time. At first it wasn't bright enough for me. Then I adapted. Just for grins, I recently swapped the bulb back out with an incandescent, and it was way way too harsh for me. I don't know if I could adapt back.
     
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  6. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    Regular or Soft White?
     
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  7. Teresa Levitt

    Teresa Levitt Veteran Member
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    we went led..few years back...now I found out..they damage the retnia...
    now...can't get the others..
    bummer
     
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  8. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Veteran Member
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    Yep, GE wanted to rid itself of the union contracts, so they persuaded Congress to outlaw the production of incandescents in the U.S. and sent all the jobs to China. We use incandescent bulbs as heaters. Neither LEDs nor CFLs work in low temperatures, so we have to use halogen bulbs outside.
     
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  9. Teresa Levitt

    Teresa Levitt Veteran Member
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    don't matter which way we turn...rip off at every corner...from these blasted light bulbs to reverse osmosis water..we're hoodwinked!
     
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  10. Faye Fox

    Faye Fox Veteran Member
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    The light from an LED bulb especially in a shaded lamp is one of the safest sources of light ever considering it puts less strain on the eyes than an incandescent bulb, Nearly all LED light bulbs have shielding to prevent any blue ray damage. A very powerful LED flashlight with a magnifying lens shined directly in one eyes for hours, might cause retina damage. Looking directly at the sun can cause retinal damage also.
     
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  11. Faye Fox

    Faye Fox Veteran Member
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    @Beth Gallagher The selection is vast that is for sure. I use an LED 5-bulb spotlight in my kitchen and each one is adjustable to where I want the light. Each bulb is a 60-watt equivalent. I don't care about all the other hype. Mine are more of an S bar and have more adjustments than these. All the LED bulbs I have seen, except specialty ones, have an incandescent equivalent on the box. The general rule is a tenth (10 W LED = 100 W INCA) but that is not always accurate. I get a 10-watt LED to replace a 60-watt incandescent.

    717fio1J54L._AC_SL1500_.jpg
     
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    Last edited: Feb 10, 2023
  12. Hedi Mitchell

    Hedi Mitchell Veteran Member
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    Confusing to me also. Do not like t he new bulbs either.
     
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  13. Faye Fox

    Faye Fox Veteran Member
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    @Beth Gallagher I was just looking at the last bulbs I put in my kitchen bar. They are spotlights and 75-watt equivalent and draw 11 watts. I started with the 60w equivalent that drew 10 watts but they weren't quite as bright as I wanted, so I ordered the 11=75 spots from some online lighting shop and I am really pleased.
     
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  14. Thomas Stillhere

    Thomas Stillhere Very Well-Known Member
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    Strange to see this topic, I had just bought a package of 4 100 watt bulbs two weeks ago. I buy what is on the shelf at the dollar store. If they have no 100 watt I go next door to the mafia store and pay the price for what ever they have. I did get a box 4 100 as I said because I cannot see using a simple 60 watt bulb. Especially if I am bent over a computer that is all black, from the case to the motherboard and components. Last night One of those new bulbs went out for no reason. I had thought it was pretty dim for a 100 but just wrote it off to being a cheap bulb. I think someone had probably opened the box and took a 100 watt and stuffed a 60 watt into the slot. It would be easy enough but I might try a led bulb just to see how long it last, these cheap bulbs are like using the first bulb invented, breathe on it and it burns out.
     
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  15. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Supreme Member
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    I guess I don't spend enough time in my car to care whether the bulbs in there are harsh or consume less juice. Is that a thing? Basically the dome light and foot wells light up when I open the door, then go off when I close the door. Mine do that thing where they dim down like house lights in a movie theater.

    That said, about 5 or 6 years ago we did "re-lamp" our motorhome and replaced all the halogen lighting with LEDs. The bulbs in those fixtures are really small, about like a flashlight bulb. They put out a nice light and are easier on the RV house batteries.
     
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