How Using The Correct Light Bulb Can Change The Way a Room Looks
One of the first houses that we moved into looked pretty dark from the photos and even when we visited it, it looked dark. It was touch and go whether we would choose this particular house to move into. In the end we went for it because my partner fell in love with the design of the open plan kitchen and so we decided that this was the one for us.
However the first night that we stayed in the house changed everything, you couldn't see in the kitchen, the hallways lights were so dull. We couldn't wait to get out of the house to head to a friends house that wasn't so dull and dark.
The following day I decided to change all the lights in the house to more appropriate ones and the change was unbelievable. The kitchen was just as great at night as it was in the day, the house became a home and that is what I want to share with you today. How can changing the light bulbs make such a big difference to you?
A Ceiling Lamp Or Fitting
Ceiling lamps are the game changer for most of the houses or rooms that you might change the lighting for. These can come in the form of spotlights, downlights, pendants, chandeliers and many many more.
The one thing that really changed everything for us was that the previous owners had put in the kitchen really old style LED GU10 bulbs that were 1W and looked a little bit like this:
Now the thing you have to realise about these older LEDs is that yes they came with a 50,000 hour life (untested - wild claims) but the light output deteriorates super fast over time, so a year into their life, the light output is half of what it was, move on another year and it is a quarter of the brightness. I think this is what we walked into to begin with so this was the first thing that we changed. Suddenly the kitchen was a gateway to heaven, we could see, and we could see very well.
My advice is if you see these older LEDs, please bin them and try these:
The reason being is that not only are they regulated by the lighting industry properly now, that means that the light bulb is now considered failed if the light output falls below 70% of the original brightness, but also the life and brightness that you claim on the LED lamp has to match up to proper test results.
This means that although they may claim a lower life from the original 50,000 hours, these are more like 15,000 hours, but they are so much better and they are actually tested so 15,000 hours means 15,000 hours at least, if not much more.
Ceiling pendants are so easy to make a quick change to get a bit more brightness out of, simply check the wattage of the current bulb you have and if you aren't happy with it then just pop something in that is brighter.
Just bear in mind that you might have to do some working out what the bulb in there actually is because a lot of fittings may contain what is called 'halogen energy savers' which were the first type of energy saving bulb to the market. These have slightly different wattages to wattage equivalents for example:
|Halogen Wattage||Equivalent Old Style Wattage|
So just make sure that if you see a 42W halogen bulb, that if you are looking for a brighter LED, you need to find something that is the equivalent to 75W or 100W because that 42W halogen is already equivalent to 60W if that makes sense.
A Floor Lamp
A floor lamp is one of the most commonly found non-fixed lamp (ie it isn't a fixture) and you can put it anywhere. Below are a few examples of what I mean by a floor lamp:
These are fairly common floor lamps, but often they can be found with light bulbs inside that really don't do a lot. An example would be that these have a bayonet fitting inside and you might have just shoved any old bayonet light bulb in it rather than making the decision on getting the best one for you.
My advice is: 'Just because it is a bayonet doesn't mean that you can put a candle bulb in it, because when you come to change it in the future you will look and see a candle bulb and choose another candle bulb.'
What should you choose for this?
Well you might find a label inside detailing the maximum wattage that you can put in a fitting (PRO TIP - if you are putting an LED into the lamp, ignore this warning as this is a warning for the older style light bulbs as they actually used to get hot and too much wattage could equal too much heat which equals fire risk).
If the floor lamp has one light bulb in it, then consider the 100W equivalent range of LEDs that we have here:
As the LEDs are probably hidden behind a shade it doesn't really matter what they look like so you can choose a bigger one if you prefer.
If the floor lamp has more than one lamp holder on it, then I start by looking at the type of lamp holder (what fitting it is) and what might fit in there (candle, standard shape, golf ball etc). However a good starting point would usually be the 40W equivalent candles found here:
Again they are probably hidden away so you can go for the cheaper style because you just need the light.
With table lamps you can apply the same logic from the floor lamp suggestions, you don't need to worry too much about the 'max wattage in this lamp' because the LEDs don't get hot. If your table lamp isn't giving off enough light then step up the equivalent wattage to something a bit higher. However sometimes it isn't about getting the lamp to be brighter, sometimes it is about getting a nicer light, an all round light, which is why we often suggest the filament LED bulbs for the table lamps because they give off a fantastic style of light and the colour is ideal for a cozy setting or a office lamp:
In conclusion in order to improve your rooms and have a better quality of life from them, often the most overlooked thing is to alter the lighting, however from my own experience changing the light bulbs changes everything. Thank you for reading and if you have any comments then please leave them below.
- Nicholas Smith