When adding energy-efficient upgrades to your home, it's important to ensure even the most fundamental of enhancements—such as lighting—offers the ease of use, reliability and value expected from traditional, incandescent options.
Advancements in bulb technology
Though they have had a presence in homes for the last three decades, the compact fluorescent (CFL) light bulb has greatly improved since its infancy. Some enhancements include reduced price, availability in standard warm tones and "A-line" shaped bulbs that mimic the look and feel of traditional incandescent bulbs.
New technologies include GE's Bright from the Start CFL. This hybrid halogen-CFL light bulb provides instant brightness, and is now available at Target in a 100-watt incandescent replacement -- in addition to other wattages -- for table or floor lamps, as well as globe lights for vanity lighting and floodlights for recessed lighting used in rooms throughout the home.
While new lighting advancements bring a wealth of benefits to many homeowners, there are still some mixed messages about the value of CFL bulbs, as a whole.
Common myths related to CFL bulbs
As the lighting industry shifts to provide more energy-efficient lighting options, more and more homeowners are giving CFLs a try. However, a variety of myths about CFL lighting still exist today, many of which are no longer true, including:
1. CFLs produce an unattractive blue light. Today's CFLs can produce a soft white color similar to incandescent bulbs. Check the packaging for Kelvin numbers within a range of 2,700 to 3,000 for a warmer light appearance.
2. CFLs take a long time to get bright. While many CFLs takes up to a minute to reach full brightness, there are now more advanced options. GE's hybrid-halogen CFL, uses a Brightness Booster, or a halogen capsule, for instant brightness, eliminating to wait for bright light.
3. CFLs are only available in corkscrew shapes. Many options are now available that mirror the traditional shape of incandescent bulbs for a variety of applications. One option is a 100-watt replacement bulb for table or floor lamps, as well as globe lights commonly used for bathroom vanity lighting and recessed lighting in kitchen, living and dining rooms.