Live Brighter

Ideas and Inspiration

Jan 20, 2014

Lighting Tips

The Time is Right for a More Perfect Light


Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Make a Positive Change


n6996-613-l Metropolitan Winter Solstice

Most of us will not be leaders with the ability to speak and the bravery to act as Martin Luther King, Jr., but we can change the world for the better in small ways.  Even one bulb at a time…

The world of illumination is changing quickly and advancing into a new frontier with light sources that are more durable, more energy-efficient and better for the natural environment.  While we still have a choice, future lighting installations with LED (light emitting diode) lamps will provide the best light for your home or office space.

To make the best choice, there are a few lighting facts you should know.  All LEDs are not created equal, so read on to educate yourself and make a change to LED with confidence.

Before Switching to LED…

Learn what light sources are available and the limitations and benefits of each light source, so that you may choose the best one for each application.

•The right lighting will always help you look better, feel better and perform to the best of your ability.

•The right lighting will always be energy-efficient.

•The right lighting will always work well with the natural environment, making the most of sunlight streaming in during the day and delivering illumination in the most eco-friendly manner.

•The right lighting will last.  Choose good quality bulbs and light fixtures that are guaranteed to provide excellent illumination, equipped with fine finishes and components that are durable.

18264kgbo Opus outdoor LED from Maxim


5 Facts You Need to Know when Purchasing LED Lamps


New bulb cartons are required to prominently display the brightness level (measured in lumens (lm)).  In the past we have determined bulb brightness in terms of energy consumption in watts (W), but now we must learn to think in lumens (lm).  Here is a quick conversion chart to help get you started:


Lumens            Old Incandescent                                             LED

2600 lm————→150W——————————–→25-28 W

1600 lm———— →100W——————————–→16-20 W

1100 lm————→75W———————————-→9-13 W

800 lm————-→60W———————————-→8-12 W

450 lm————-→40W———————————-→6-9 W

2.  CHECK OUT COLOR QUALITY:   Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) and Color Rendering Index (CRI))

•CCT is measured in Kelvin’s (K) and is an important factor determining the quality of light for your specific application: Warm White or Soft White is about  2700-3500 Kelvin’s (K) and Bright White light is about 4000 K+

•CRI is measured on a scale of 0-100 and is an important measure of the degree to which your light source will show the true colors of all that is being illuminated.  Color rendering for decorative indoor lighting applications should be between 85-100.


Most dimmers work by reducing the amount of electricity sent to the bulb.  But with LED the correlation between brightness and energy consumption is much different than with incandescent illumination.

Because of this difference, LEDs are not always compatible with traditional dimmer switches.  You either have to replace your switch with one that is compatible with LED or look for replacement LED bulbs that are compatible with standard incandescent dimmers.


The reflector and fixture type will play a significant role in determining the light output from the light source (bulb).  Look at colored lenses and fitters, as well as shades and shielding to determine how they will help steer and direct your desired level of illumination.

When looking to replace an incandescent bulb with an LED bulb in a lighting fixture where the bulb will be totally enclosed, be sure to check that your LED is specifically made for an enclosed or recessed light fixture.  LED bulbs run cooler than others, but they do produce heat. To protect the quality of the LED chip and the performance of your LED light source, LED fixtures are specifically engineered to provide adequate heat-sinking.


“Binning” is the process by which LED chips are sorted.

Prior to being marketed in fixtures or light bulbs, LED chips are sorted into bins according to their light output (lumen output) and color temperature.  There are clear standards set to measure the lumen output of each LED chip.  LEDs chosen from bins with higher lumen output are of better quality.

Color temperature is determined by matching up each LED according to a chromatic line grid for a specific color temperature.   LEDs chosen from larger bins contain more color variation and are not as bright.

Due to the process of “binning,” LED chips vary in their quality—especially in relation to their lumen output and color, so it is important to purchase LED light bulbs and LED light fixtures from a reputable dealer.

Whether you go for it all and upgrade every bulb to LED or you start slowly and take it one LED at time, make a positive change and see your home and office environments in a new and better light with LED.

 e94788-20pc LED ceiling fixture ET2

Capitol Lighting Top Pics:

Philips medium base LED

420240 LED bulb from Philips

Philips LED reflector, perfect for landscape and outdoor lighting applications

423731 Philips LED landscape light

Dimmable LED from Philips

8w ambientled yellow_046677417048fully dimmable bulb from Philips (1)

Kolour One LED bulb offers full 180 degree illumination

s8995 LED from Kolour One

Look for all new LED bulbs from Philips, Kolour One, Satco and Bulbrite, now available at

Beyond saving money on energy bills*, LED light sources deliver additional benefits of being eco-friendly and virtually maintenance-free!

*To figure out cost per bulb, visit Bulbrite’s lightopedia at