Color matters when choosing light bulbs

In the not-so-distant past, replacing a light bulb was a simple task. Once a 40- or 60-watt bulb burned out, you simply installed another bulb with the same wattage. Today, there are many ways to customize your lighting and save energy by choosing LEDs, which offer a variety of styles, lumens, and color temperatures.

Color temperature is measured on the Kelvin scale, ranging from about 2200K to 6500K for lighting. A lower Kelvin number produces a warm, yellow light, so people usually prefer around 2700K for living rooms, bedrooms and dining rooms where you want to set a relaxing mood. A higher Kelvin number produces a cool, white or bluish light. A cool, white light around 3500K, is ideal for kitchens and work spaces, while a brighter 5000K bulb simulates a bright day which is good for reading lights and desk lamps.

The Kelvin scale and light appearance is found on the Lighting Facts Label on each bulb package. Look for terms including soft white, cool white, or daylight on the bulb description.

By using lumen output and Kelvin to finding the right combination of bulb brightness and color, each room can be lit appropriately while saving energy. ENERGY STAR® LEDs produce beautiful light for up to 15 years while using up to 85 percent less energy compared to traditional incandescent bulbs. So even though choosing a new bulb may not be as simple as it used to be, LEDs will give you reliable light you love, that will last for many years to come.