I recently bought some new lamps for my home and realized deciding what kind of bulb to use is like trying to pick a health insurance plan. Do I buy CFLs or LEDs? Does the light bulb need to support a dimmer? What is a comparable CFL or LED to a traditional 60 watt bulb? How many lumens do I need? And by the way, what is a lumen?
As a working mother of two very young children, I started to have nightmares of dragging them to the hardware store with rows of light bulbs in front of me and not having the time to think through which one I should purchase. So, I hit the trusty internet to do some advanced shopping research. The only problem is, there is too much information. Why does this process have to be so confusing? Can’t someone just tell me which bulbs would be the right fit for my home and lighting needs?
Here are a few things I knew I wanted in the bulbs that I was planning to purchase:
- When I turn the light on – I want it to actually go on. I have several CFLs in my home lighting fixtures that have a delay when you first put them on. When they do finally click on they are dim and take another minute or so to brighten. I hate this feature and wanted to buy bulbs that would turn on to their full brightness immediately.
- I like bright, white light, not yellow light. How do I know which bulbs will be bright white? How many lumens is the right number for the room I am putting the lamps in?
- Do I need a bulb that can dim? I have a few recessed lights in my living room and the CFL bulbs I have in there won’t allow any dimming so we always have them up at the highest setting, even though there is a delay to get them to go on and they take a minute to warm up to their full brightness (see number 1 above).
Before getting too stressed about making the right decision, I learned about a new program called the LED Diet offered by Bethesda Systems, a Bethesda Green sponsor. The program helps navigate the challenging new world of light bulb choices on the market. The best part about the program is that they come to YOUR house with a truck full of LED (highest performing, most energy efficient and longest lasting) lighting options.
The Bethesda Systems technician did a walk-through of each room and discussed the pros and cons of my current lighting. Not only did I wind up replacing several bulbs in my home, the technician also solved a long-standing kitchen light issue that would have cost me hundreds of dollars to fix if I stuck with my traditional lighting and had an electrician come out to the house. Instead, he replaced an old light fixture with an LED version that is much brighter and energy efficient.
I couldn’t believe how easy and convenient the service was. With one lighting fixture in particular, the LED equivalent didn’t solve the issue so we decided that, until the LED technology catches up with this particular type of lighting, I will stick with what I currently have in place. There were no sale gimmicks or requirements to purchase any products. We simply walked through my house trying out different bulbs until I got the right kind of feel. At the end of our visit, the technician was able to tell me the cost savings of switching from my previous bulbs to the new LEDs.
Because of this wonderful program, Bethesda Green has partnered with Bethesda Systems and the LED Diet to offer the program with a free at-home consultation (the consultation usually costs $29.99 with no obligation to buy anything). So, simply by going to the LED Diet website and signing up for a free consultation (enter promo code BethesdaGreen14 when signing up), Bethesda Systems will come to your house and walk you through the options. It’s that simple and so worth it! Honestly, I don’t know why anyone would bother stressing out about heading to the hardware store to buy a light bulb ever again.
Sharon D’Emidio is the Program Manager at Bethesda Green.