We know that sunlight affects us in subtle ways. Sunshine gives us energy, improves our mood and is healthy for us. Did you know that light bulbs work similarly?
The illumination of light bulbs emits the same spectrum of colors produced by the sun. Light bulbs you choose can zero in on the specific colors of the light spectrum to set the atmosphere in the room.
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Warm-white produces a soft light that helps us create melatonin that makes us feel relaxed, helps us wind down from the day. Putting us in a mood for a good night sleep. (less blue light)
While natural-white light emits a bluer light that helps us produce serotonin. The blue light subtly helps us feel awake, focused and alert. Ready for the day. (medium blue light) used for office and working spaces.
Soft, or lower color temperature warm-white light bulbs cast an ambiance of a fire. While medium temperature bulbs or natural white radiate natural-whites.
Higher temperature or cool-whites imitate daylight. (5,000K-6,500K) (high blue light). Daylight temperatures are suitable for reading and high contrast.
Video Courtesy of Energy Star
Light Bulbs By The Numbers
Choosing the right light bulb for the rooms in your house can be a challenge. Now that you have a benchmark to work from should make it easier to select the right lighting.
The first mistake most people assume is that how bright a light bulb is by how many Watts the lamp is. Watts is the measurement of the electricity consumed by the light bulb to produce the light emitted. In the future when selecting a light bulb think Lumens which refers to the measure of illumination.
Doing Light Bulbs the Right Way
With that said, you will need to consider the room and what color of light you want to use in those places. Specific color temperatures will serve particular spaces. Picking the perfect light bulbs that will work in harmony for the activities, you plan to do in those rooms.
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The three groups of lighting are a task, ambient, and accent lighting. Room lighting will fall into one or more of these groups.
Working and reading would be the “task” group lighting. Kitchen or office lighting that needs to be radiant. The light that makes it easy to focus and see the contrast. Example, a desk light or under the kitchen cabinet light.
An “Ambient” or general view would be the all-embracing natural light of the room. Creating a place that feels warm, comfortable and cozy. For example, a chandelier, track light, wall sconce fixtures that drench the entire area with illumination.
Accent lighting for the areas you wish to highlight such as a work of art, fireplace mantel or a bookcase. Using Accent lighting lets, you determine the dramatic effects of light ambiance you wish to create. Landscape lights are a great example of accent lighting.
courtesy of EnergyStar.Gov
So start with general lighting first in a room. By deciding how the room will function. Move on to layering the illumination for a task and then accenting the specific areas you want to highlight.
Why Bedroom Lighting Is Important
In your bedroom, you want a peaceful atmosphere. Lighting that makes you feel relaxed and calm. Choosing the correct color temperature is imperative for this effect. So stay away from blue light waves that would keep you awake and alert. And select a soft, warm-white (2,700K-3,000K) color temperature.
The warm-white light bulb allows your brain to manufacture melatonin needed for falling asleep. Also, if you love to read a book before falling asleep consider a desk lamp that has a color temperature of natural-white or cool-white. A soft blue desk lamp for better contrast for specific reading.
courtesy of EnergyStar.Gov
Lighting For The Home Office
Cool-White color temperature light bulbs imitate daylight. Your brain will produce serotonin to maximize your productivity. The cool-white glow will help you stay energized and alert. Be careful to choose a place that doesn’t create undesirable glares on your computer screen. Another place to consider a desk lamp. (3,000K-6,000K)
I use a TaoTronic LED Desk lamp on my desk. The Desk lamp has five color temperatures. I’m able to dial in the exact color temperature for the task that I am doing. Also, it has a USB port for charging my smartphone. The LED desk lamp is an excellent complement to my home office.
Lighting For The Living Room
The living room is the most utilized room in the home. It is where we entertain, have guests and just relax. Living rooms are the room where lighting can be the most complicated.
Light sources need to mix and accommodate and work in harmony for the occasions or events. You would want to avoid bright blue light. When a room is too bright, it leaves behind the feeling of comfortable, warm and cozy and creates a business atmosphere.
2,200K-3,000K Color temperature
Living rooms are the spaces where layering the lighting comes into play. You will use all three light categories to enhance and highlight this area. Ambient, Task, and Accent lighting.
For walls using directional spotlight lamps to illuminate walls with artwork, family photos, etc. In floor lamps or table lamps, a LED 3-way light bulb may be the answer to the particular lighting you want.
Lighting For the Dining Room
I recommend soft to neutral hues for dining rooms. You don’t want the lighting to be too bright but not too gloomy either. When sitting down at the table to eat a nice meal, you want the perfect output of light cascading on the table.
Consider dimmable lighting fixtures that offer the right amount of illumination for eating a late dinner or afternoon lunch. LED chandeliers now adapt to your lighting preferences. And are beautiful to boot.
2,200K-3,000K Color temperature
Lighting For The Kitchen
Kitchens are where we work. Consider ambient lighting overhead and task lighting for countertops. By balancing the two color temperatures, you are sure to have the proper light for the task you are performing. The combined illumination creates a superb ambiance for that space.
2,700-5,000K Color Temperature
Lighting For The Bathroom
The bathroom is the most complex room in your home. It is the room that must have the best lighting. We start our day getting ready for work and school. For the shower, a high-output surface mount lighting fixture.
You will want task light for the mirror. Using lighting that is bright coming from the mirror. For shaving and applying make-up. Bathroom mirrors that have light bulbs on either side. To spot any places we missed shaving or make-up.
And overhead light fixture to flood the entire room fully illuminating the room.
3,000K-5,000K Color temperature
Find Your Light Bulbs Here
Home lighting and design can become a little overwhelming for some of us. Others are born naturals to decorating. I hope that the guides I posted above help you get started in the right direction. Using the simple benchmarks I’ve provided.
LED light bulbs are the 70-90 percent energy efficient. LEDs are manufactured to let you choose any of the Lumens (brightness) and color temperatures (soft, warm white, natural-white, cool-white, Daylight) for your desired ambiance. LEDs are durable and have a long life and are a clear choice for your home decorating ideas.
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