A Guide to Buying Light Bulbs
Unlike the team at Tala, lighting isn’t everyone’s specialist subject. So, for customers shopping for a new bulb it can be hard to know how many lumens you need or how many kelvins are required. Here’s an easy guide to buying the right light bulb.
Key terms to know:
This is the measure of how bright a bulb is – the higher the lumen count, the brighter your light will be. Consider how your light will be used when deciding which bulb to buy. This will determine how many lumens to look out for.
The wattage of a bulb indicates how much energy it uses; the lower the wattage, the more efficient it will be. Consider this alongside the lumen count to get the best performance.
Colour Temperature indicates the colour quality of the light emitted and is measured in kelvins. 2800K produces blue light, while 2000K will emit a more orange hue.
CRI, or Colour Rendering Index, measures the bulbs capacity to expose the true colour of an object or space under the light. CRI 95 is generally the gold standard for interior lighting.
Shape and size
Consider the size of the bulb you require before making your purchase, ensuring it matches the specifications of your fixture.
The Edison Screw, or E27, is the most common light bulb fitting. For other fixtures, such as chandeliers or wall lamps, an E14 is most suitable. For older fixtures, B22 (Bayonet) may be the cap you need.
Decorative bulbs do not require a light shade, while smaller bulbs can be comfortable either hidden or exposed in a fixture. Make sure the bulb you choose complements the fixture, or visa versa.
When selecting your bulb, consider the surrounding interior space and purpose of the light. For functional rooms where illumination is important for carrying out tasks, like a kitchen or study, consider a higher kelvin light source, such as 2700K. For rooms with multiple light sources, or where mood is important, choose a lower kelvin bulb, such as 2200K, to achieve warmth and atmosphere.
CRI is important when considering the accuracy of the light emitted. For interior spaces where true colour is needed, such as bathrooms and bedrooms, make sure you choose a bulb with a high CRI. Anything lower than 80 will not reflect an accurate picture of wall colours or furniture details.
A dimming system is essential for getting the most out of LED bulbs. A good dimming system will deliver smooth, responsive and stable performance from 100% power to 5% or lower. When choosing a light bulb, aim for any source that can dim to at least 5%, giving you the biggest and best range for your desired light output. Refer to our Recommended Dimmers page for more information on which system to match your bulbs with.
Historically, people have tended to look at wattage to indicate the light output of a lamp. However, with advancements in LED lamps you can now enjoy more light from a less watts. This means you should look at lumen output and colour temperature to find the right light for you. In short, think high lumens and low watts to get the most energy efficient lamp for your needs.
Shop our Light Bulbs page and find the right match for your fixture.