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The Shawnee News-Star
Information to help you around your home, yard, garden or acreage.
Light Bulb Color and Temperature - WHAT?
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About this blog
By Sonya McDaniel
Sonya McDaniel I have been an OSU Extension Educator for over 10 years providing individuals and families with information about healthy cooking and eating, simple money management tips, steps to making housework and daily routines easier and how ...
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OSU Extension's Green Acres
Sonya McDaniel I have been an OSU Extension Educator for over 10 years providing individuals and families with information about healthy cooking and eating, simple money management tips, steps to making housework and daily routines easier and how to deal with daily life issues. I live on a small working ranch in Pottawatomie County with my husband, dogs, cat, sheep and cows. We enjoy growing a small garden and turning the produce into yummy treats for the rest of the year. Although I grew up a city girl from Missouri, I enjoy the simpler life of country living with the suburban flare of Shawnee. My joys in life are: watching young kids learn new skills and be successful, singing at church every Sunday, watching things grow (other than weeds!), and hanging out with my friends and family.
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By Sonya McDaniel
May 31, 2013 12:01 a.m.



With the new energy efficient light bulbs, there is a love/hate relationship!  People either like them, or really don’t like them.  For years we have simply gone to the store and picked up the incandescent bulb that had the wattage we liked and the job was done.  Less watts, less bright light – more watts, more bright light.  EASY!

With compact florescent it can be the same; however we need to relearn how to pick the bulb that gives us the light we like.  Sounds funny, but some people like warm light and others like cold light.  Some bulbs highlight colors in your home better than others.

The labeling on light bulbs will tell you two main items the Color Rendering Index (CRI) and the color temperature.  Sounds crazy, but these two items can make a big difference on the way things look, and even feel in your home.

Choosing the right color:



  • Light color is measured on a temperature scale referred to as Kelvin (K).


  • Lower Kelvin numbers mean the light appears more yellow; higher Kelvin numbers mean the light is whiter or bluer.


  • Most ENERGY STAR qualified bulbs are made to match the color of incandescent bulbs at 2700-3000K.


  • For a whiter light, look for bulbs marked 3500-4100K.


  • For bluer white light, look for bulbs marked 5000-6500K.




In my living room I needed a much bluer light then the standard compact florescent light bulbs give.  I was having trouble seeing things and the whole room seemed very dark.  I have heard others say things were too bright and glaring – they bought the light bulb I needed, and I had theirs!

OSU Extension has developed a short brochure to help consumers understand the new lighting labels so they can pick the right light for their homes.  It can be accessed at the following link:

http://pods.dasnr.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-8666/L-428.pdf

Energy Star also has a helpful purchasing guide, as well as other information for consumers at http://www.energystar.gov/ia/products/fap/purchasing_checklist_revised.pdf

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