Does lighting make a big difference? And I don’t just mean changing out fixtures? Does the amount of light or color of light make a difference? I’m guessing in your head right now you’re thinking … absolutely. Lighting, fixtures and light bulbs, can change the difference in how a room feels as dramatically as changing the paint color and more dramatically than changing furniture.
Eradicate the Boob-Light
I’m sorry for using such an indelicate term, but boob-lights are the worst. I do not understand builders’ fascination with using them everywhere. (Okay, I know it’s because they’re the cheapest thing, but can’t we find a new standard inexpensive look to replace it?!)
Some Changes Around Here
When we moved into this house, I knew I was going to be changing a lot of the lights. Boob-lights were everywhere. None of the kid rooms’ or the office had ceiling fans, just you know, my least favorite light fixture of all. We changed out all of the light fixtures in those rooms to ceiling fans. The time-consuming part was putting together the fan before it goes up. Little man created a sculpture of some of the pieces while he “helped.”
The new ceiling fans look so much better that that blasted boob-light!
The builder or first home-owner, not sure which one, chose to dangle boob-lights above the foyer and at the center of my little rotunda. I truly didn’t understand this design decision from the first minute I walked into the house. It wasn’t in the budget to replace with very expensive chandeliers, but I thought anything would be better than what was there.
We also changed out the light above the kitchen table. There wasn’t anything specifically repulsive about what was there before, but I wanted the change anyway.
Fixtures can make a big difference, but even if you can’t change a fixture, at least make sure you’ve got the right lightbulb.
This may be old news to you, but if you don’t already understand the differences between kinds of lightbulbs, let me help. I think this graph really explains it best.
I know about 10 years ago, we were all supposed to happily switch to CFLs, but I never did. I am so happy that technology has finally caught up with preferences. I love that I can get a long-lasting LED light that saves energy and money, but still looks good.
*And this chart shows that it really does make sense that LED lights are more expensive to start with.
Bulb Temperature (i.e. Brightness & Color)
Lightbulbs have really been changing. Years ago when CFLs became all the rage, I attempted a switch, but it was really hard. The light felt so much harsher and it glowed a different color. I didn’t like pulling in to my house at night to see blue light glowing from within, it felt unnatural. And there was a reason I was feeling that way. Take a look at this chart:
Since then I’ve figured out that I have a preference with light temperature and color, and something tells me that you might have a preference too.
I love BRIGHT. I Like things to feel bright, open, and I like to be be able to see well when there are lights on. I’ve figured out my preference for color is between Soft White and Bright White, which is a little brighter than is normally recommended for most rooms. I think it is important to know what YOU LOVE. What light suits you best?
And when you’re shopping for lights, don’t just go off of name, because one company’s “bright white” might look like another company’s “daylight” – and both are vastly different to me. Use the number. I usually aim for between 3,000k to 3,500k. When you shop with the Degrees in Kelvin, you can be confident that you’re getting just the right color temperature that you want.
Have you thought about it? What is your color preference?
Where to Buy – Recommendations
You can get LED lights everywhere now. Unfortunately, all packaging doesn’t make it extremely clear about what you’re getting.
I’ve found some light choices on Amazon that are very descriptive about color warmth so that you can choose what you want.
- Traditional Lightbulb – 60w equivalent
- Candelabra base with pointy top
- Candelabra base with round top (for ceiling fan)
I hope this helps! I feel like I’m always teaching people about lightbulbs, and wanted to share what I’ve learned.
From my home to yours,
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Many aspects of the home building process have been excrutiating, but alive been amazed how fun lighting is! I was giddy after our first visit to a real lighting store. Amazing options out there. Fight against builder grade! Even if you really need a flush mount, like the boob light, there are millions of better options. I’m pretty sure this is an area I will enjoy going over-budget in! Thanks for the light color info – so helpful!
Lighting was my FAVORITE part when we custom-built our last home. And yes, I totally went over budget, but no one told me until it was time to close. (Ugh, timing!)
There are so many good options and no need for the boob light. Can’t wait to see your beautiful home!
Michelle Jensen says
I like bulbs in the 2700-3000 range, so pretty close to you. For anywhere the bulbs are visible, CFLs are the worst! We recently switched out all light switches on our main level for smart switches, some dimmable, which meant we needed dimmable LEDs. This has been a difficult struggle, and we have yet to find a standard size LED bulb which doesn’t hum at low light levels. We have tried 4 brands now, I think? Have you tried and found any dimmable LEDs you like? We had more luck with the recessed can light bulb (BR30 size) when we tried Feit Electric LED bulbs from Costco, but the same brand’s standard size bulbs have an audible hum.
We don’t have any dimmable lights, so I don’t have recommendations … but that is crazy about the humming. That would be downright intolerably annoying!!
I think 2700-3000 is a really good range. Maybe I need dimmable, because I wish I could start my day with 3300, then have it gradually dim throughout the day down to 2700.
Light in the blue range can severely affect sleep. Warm white is was “blue” as you should go. Believe it or not, by decreasing melatonin, excess blue light can increase cancer risk!