Pick the Perfect Indoor Light

One of the great things about modern life is that we can have light whenever we need it. Long gone are the days where we needed to light candles and lanterns or wait for the sun to rise and rid the darkness. But with the array of options out there, you might be wondering which lights are best for your home. In this blog, we’ll explore some tips on how to pick the best light solutions for each room in your house.


Types of Light Bulbs

The first thing you want to determine when choosing a light bulb is the type of bulb you want. No one really uses incandescent bulbs anymore, as Congress passed the Energy Independence and Security Act in 2007 that sets a new standard for light bulbs. All current incandescent light bulbs are being phased out and will no longer be produced, which leaves us with two energy efficient options: CFL and LED.



CFL stands for Compact Florescent Light Bulb. These types of bulbs emit ultraviolet light and small amounts of heat while allowing users to save up to 75% over traditional incandescent bulbs and can last up to 9 years. CFLs also contain a small amount of mercury. because of this, a new regulation in 2017 made it difficult for CFLs to qualify for an Energy Star rating. Some manufacturers have already begun to phase out these types of light bulbs, making LEDs the simpler choice.



LED stands for Light Emitting Diode and is more commonly used in light applications around the world because an LED bulb can last over 20 years and contains no mercury. LED bulbs also emit no heat and allow users to save up to 86% in annual energy costs; an 11% savings over CFL bulbs.


Halogen & HID Bulbs

Halogen and HID (High Intensity Discharge) bulbs are similar to those used in many automobiles. In fact, they’re the same types of bulbs, just modified for indoor and outdoor use. Both bulbs generate heat and are widely used in commercial and warehouse applications. Halogen bulbs have an average lifespan of only one year, while HID bulbs usually last longer.


Smart Light Bulbs

These are the light bulbs of the 21st century. Smart light bulbs not only save energy by using the latest in energy saving technology, but they also allow for total lighting control in every room. Many smart light bulbs use LEDs as their light source and connect to your home’s Wi-Fi, allowing users to change brightness, hue, and time when lights come on and off; all conveniently controlled from your smartphone.


Leviton has paired with Pulte Smart Homes to integrate the latest in smart lighting technology into the homes of today. Leviton offers dimmers, switches, and plug-ins that give you the freedom of controlling your lights, lamps, and even small appliances from your smartphone or tablet from anywhere. The smart switches and light controls can even work with Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, or any of your other virtual assistants.


Light Appearance


The next thing you want to cover is brightness. A light bulb’s brightness is measured in lumens. The brighter the bulb the more lumens it will have. Before you purchase a bulb, you can find its lumens listed somewhere on its packaging. The average bulb produces about 800 lumens, which is the equivalent of 60 watts. Here is a guide to the total number of lumens you want to aim for when lighting each room:


Kitchen: 5,000-10,000 lumens

Bathroom: 4,000-8,000 lumens

Bedroom: 2,000-4,000 lumens

Living Room: 1,500-3,000 lumens

Dining Rooms: 3,000-6,000 lumens

Home Offices: 3,000-6,000 lumens


These numbers are general estimates, and you’ll have to fine tune your own lighting for your individual home and your own taste.



Temperature and Hue

Light appearance is a major factor in deciding which light color or temperature is right for each room. Not all light bulbs emit the same temperature light. Some lights produce more of a yellow or orange hue, known as a warm hue, while others emit more of a whitish and sometimes blue hue, known as a cooler temperature.


Light appearance or temperature is measured in Kelvins; the higher the number of Kelvin, the cooler the hue will be. You’ll also notice a description on the package of the light that describes not only the number of Kelvin that each bulb produces, but you should also see a description or graph that describes whether or not the bulb is more of a “soft/warm white” or more toward “daylight.” Let’s look at some suggestions:


  • Soft White/Warm White (2700 Kelvin): This temperature is best suited for bedrooms and living rooms. The warmth of the light evokes more of a warm cozy feeling that is perfect for those relaxing areas of the home.
  • Bright White/Cool White (4100 Kelvin): This temperature is best suitable in kitchens and garages. The temperature of this hue often energizes the room, giving it a bolder, whiter hue.
  • Daylight (5000-6000 Kelvin): The daylight hue is best for bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. This type of light is great for reading, and it also reveals detail. For those who apply makeup, this temperature is essential as it allows users to tell if their foundation matches their skin tone.


Choosing the proper light for your space seems like an easy task until you get to the store and realize there are more options than you could have imagined. With this helpful guide, you can navigate the process with ease! For more helpful tips and DIYs around the home, check out our array of home care guides!



Contributed to Your Home blog 

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Published 9.12.19

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