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How to Choose the Right Light Bulb

Light Bulb Selection With thousands of different light bulbs to choose from these days, it’s important to understand the basic differences between them. The good news is that almost all of the options available are vastly more energy-efficient than the incandescent bulbs of the past. The even better news is that Batteries Plus Bulbs is now your local, trusted source for lighting expertise and products - we’re here to help you find exactly the right bulb for the right application.

Stop in at any one of our many participating local stores for a personal consultation from one of our trained, friendly lighting experts, or begin educating yourself by viewing the following information…

What are my light bulb options?
Below is a comparison of the three most popular types of energy-efficient lighting options available today, and how they compare to the previously widely used, standard 60-watt incandescent light bulb. Energy cost savings are calculated over the life of the light bulb, and will vary depending on total run time. The lifespan of the bulb will also vary depending on the application:

Energy efficient lighting guide

Lumens vs. Watts
In the past, we’ve used watts to measure the “brightness” of a light bulb, based on the overall energy used to power it. Now, however, we are able power the new energy-efficient lighting options, like CFLs and LEDs, using 75% - 85% less energy to replicate the same level of light that we previously experienced with incandescent light bulbs.

For example, a typical 60-watt incandescent bulb, which produces 800 lumens of light output, can now be replicated by the same amount of brightness provided by just one 15-watt CFL. Similarly, it only takes one 12-watt LED bulb to produce the same amount of lumens as a 60-watt incandescent. A drastic change in wattage in the past would’ve resulted in an equally drastic change in lumens, whereas today, lumens can vary greatly without having to increase the energy used to power a light bulb hardly at all.

Now, rather than seeking different wattages for different applications, It’s more important to consider the amount of lumens, or actual brightness, of a light bulb, as well as the desired color temperature that you are looking for.

Lumens vs. Watts

Which color temperature is right for me?
Another exciting, new variant to explore when shopping for light bulbs is color temperature, or the level to which the light emitted resembles actual daylight, as measured in Degrees Kelvin (K). For example, those bulbs that give off a warmer, more yellowish, type of light (like what we have become accustomed to with incandescent bulbs) register at a much lower K than those that offer a whiter/slightly bluer hue, which is similar to how light looks in daylight.

The graphic below illustrates the three different types of bulbs, their three different color temperatures, and the suggested applications for each of them. This is important to consider when selecting new light bulbs for different rooms in your home or business.

Color temperature lighting guide

And below is a comparison showing the contrast between color temperature options for your home.

Color temperature comparison

How to read new light bulb labels
The Federal Trade Commission has worked with light bulb manufacturers to make easy-to-read labels for new, energy-efficient light bulbs. Here's a sample of what to look for:

New light bulb labels

Other Lighting Applications
Automotive - We offer a wide selection of headlights, brake lights, tail lights, license plate light bulb and more

Emergency Lights – We offer a full line of emergency lights, signs, lamps and ballasts, with an extended selection of colors, housing and face plates including: die-cast aluminum, slimline, recessed mounts, steel and tritium.

We also have hard-to-find bulbs for the following applications: AV/Photo, Heat, Health Care, Projectors, Stage and Studio, Technology Displays, etc. Furthermore, we offer fluorescent tubes, ballasts and other applicable products for commercial lighting fixtures.