Tonight is the night we turn our clocks back – a.k.a…daylight savings that will add one extra glorious hour of light to the winter days ahead.
Earlier this week I learned first hand how hard living without light – the electrical kind was. I found I took being able to turn on a light at the flick of a switch for granted when we lost power due to Hurricane Sandy. A simple light to read, cook, work, and play by was what I missed.
I have also learned through years of helping people decorate their homes that many of us overlook the importance of light. With the winter months upon us and the need for electric light more important as the days get shorter – the wrong type bulb or wattage or even incorrect placement in a room can negatively impact our mood and throw off even magazine-worthy decorated rooms.
With these two events and my lighting knowledge, I thought today would be the perfect day to tell you about a little lighting experiment I have been doing over the past month. As part of the Home Depot Celebration of Service Blogger Network I was given a few energy efficient CFL and LED light bulbs to try out.
When I received them I was a bit skeptical, since I admit – I am quite fussy about how my home is lit. The first CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) bulbs that came out on the market many years ago produced a harsh cast and frequently made rooms look I saw them used in look downright dismal. I stayed away from using them and happily used soft or bright white incandescent bulbs.
When I was told that these standard incandescent light bulbs are being phased out by the government to make way for more energy efficient bulbs, I knew I would have to do some testing to find if any of the bulbs I was given would be up to par with my high quality of light standard.
I tested 3 different types of bulbs to see the quality of light each one produced. I used 60 watt EcoSmart CLF’s daylight bulbs in my family room lamps, the soft white in my bedroom.
I put a funky looking yellow Philips LED dimmable, in the lamp on my studioffice desk.
The first night I put them in, I was a negative Nancy and thought that I would still dislike the light they emitted, but I could see immediately that these bulbs have come a long way since their initial introduction into the market. I was pleasantly surprised.
I have switched the bulbs around from room to room each week to see how a room’s wall color would affect the light emitted. The overall winner – I like the light the Philips LED produces. Of course it is the most expensive and funkiest looking, but the light looks the most like an incandescent soft white bulb.
One of the features of this bulb is that it is fully dimmable. Yes! This is huge for me as almost every light switch in my house has a dimmer switch installed. Dimmers give you instant light flexibility when you need light, but not at full power when watching TV, taking a bath, or eating by candlelight. Dimmers give the room atmosphere – in an instant.
Another feature of CFL’s and LED lights are that they are both remarkably more energy efficient and will save you money in the long run. A CFL bulb lasts 9 years – that is 10 times longer than a standard incandescent bulb and uses 75% less energy than the incandescent. A four pack of CFL’s cost about $6.
The dimmable LED bulb that I liked best – costs $25, but lasts for over 20 years and will save you over $130 in energy costs over the life of the bulb. It is a yellow bulb, but becomes white when lit.
CFL’s and LED’s also come in flood, spot, and down lights – cost and energy efficiency for every room in and outside your home.
So tonight when you turn back the clocks, take a detailed look around your house and the light in each of your rooms and consider how upping or lowering the wattage or type of bulb will make make not only your décor look better, but save energy and money, too.
What are you going to do with your extra hour of daylight tomorrow? Enjoy it!
To learn more about cost and energy saving home improvements – check out the Home Depot.
I have partnered with the Home Depot for their Celebration of Service Blog Network. As part of this program, we received compensation for our involvement. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any product mentioned in these posts. The Home Depot believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. The Home Depot’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.