Choosing by Location

Shopping by location

In addition to varying degrees of brightness, light bulbs also come in a range of light colors, sometimes called light appearance. Bulbs that give off a soft, yellowish glow are considered warm, while those that emit crisp, blue light are considered cool. Light color is measured in degrees kelvin (K). The higher the kelvin value, the cooler the light. For reference, a typical incandescent light bulb is around 2,700K.

Use the chart below to find the Kelvin range typically used in certain areas of the home.

Living room, den, bedroom or hallway

IDEAL LIGHTING

Soft white
(warm, yellowish glow)

KELVIN (K)

2,500–3,000K

Kitchen, bathroom or work area

IDEAL LIGHTING

Bright white
(crisp, white light)

KELVIN (K)

3,500-4,100K

Reading area, workspace or outdoor

IDEAL LIGHTING

Daylight
(similar to natural sunlight)

KELVIN (K)

5,000-6,500K

Shopping by fixture

Even with all this great information, sometimes the best way to shop for a bulb is simply by remembering where the old one came from. Incandescent bulbs have always come in an array of shapes and sizes—and energy-efficient CFLs and LEDs do, too.

Whether you’re looking to fit a decorative chandelier, a dimmable fixture, a three-way lamp or virtually anything else you can think of, there is a CFL or LED option that will save you energy and money. Below you’ll find some common household fixtures along with a couple of bulb choices that might work well in them.

Chandelier

chandelier icon
candelabra base CFL

Candelabra base CFL

dimmable LED lamp

Dimmable LED
 

Vanity

vanity icon
vanity CFL lamp

Globe-covered CFL

vanity LED Lamp

Daylight LED
 

Three-way Lamp

Three-way icon
Three-way CFL lamp

Three-way CFL

Three-way LED lamp

Three-way LED
 

Recessed

recessed icon
CFL indoor floodlight

CFL indoor floodlight

dimmable LED floodlight

Dimmable LED floodlight

Outdoor

outdoor icon
security LED/CFL floodlight icon

Security LED/CFL floodlight

landscape capsule LED lamp

Landscape capsule LED

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