How to Choose a Lightbulb

There are several details to consider when choosing a lightbulb, including size, style and wattage. When it comes to aesthetics, however, two often-overlooked aspects are color and quality of light.

Color
Few people realize that even white lightbulbs can vary in color—or, more accurately, color temperature. A bulb’s color temperature is measured using the Kelvin scale and denoted by a number rating and the letter K. For example, an Edison bulb (the most common bulb sold in bulk at hardware stores) has a color temperature rating of 2700K, which provides a reasonably warm light. However, if you want a more pleasing effect, choose a Halogen bulb, which is rated at 3000K.

Quality of light
A bulb’s quality of light means its accuracy in rendering color. This is measured by the Color Rendering Index (CRI), a scale that runs from zero to 100, with 100 representing optimum quality. A bulb’s CRI rating can be found on the back of the box, right next to its Kelvin rating. Most high-quality light bulbs have a CRI rating of 85-95, whereas low-grade bulbs sold in bulk are typically rated at 70 CRI or lower.

All in all, to get warm, high-quality light inside your home, your best bet is to purchase individually boxed Halogen 3000K/85-95 CRI bulbs.

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