Catching Up to the Light Bulb Evolution

If you’re anything like me, light bulbs aren’t high on your list of things to think about. So, you may be suffering the same pain that I am trying to buy them. Here’s what you need to know to get up to speed.

The Evolution of the Light Bulb

Actually, the U.S. stopped manufacturing incd bulbs on January 1, 2014. That’s because Congress passed a law in 2007 about energy efficiency, and incd bulbs stopped meeting the federal requirements as of 2014. But, we all know that incd bulbs were available in stores long after the date when they could no longer be manufactured.

Around the same time, manufacturers tried to sell us on buying Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs. Those bulbs are just small fluorescent lights, and anyone working in an office knows that fluorescent lights can drive you crazy. They do use less energy and last 7 to 10 times longer than incd bulbs, but they’re weird things. Once you turn on a CFL bulb, it takes a while for them to actually light up. Besides that, you can’t dim them, and you need to recycle because they contain mercury.

Finally, the Light-Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs were introduced to the market. Luckily, those bulbs light up right away when you turn them on. They don’t get as hot as an incd bulb. In addition, they use a bit less energy than CFLs and they say they last 20,000 to 50,000 hours.

In fact, the last pack of LED bulbs I bought are reputed to last 13 years. I just hope I can find the bulbs that were left in the package when the first ones I used burn out. The LED bulbs do cost more initially, but with a 13-year life, I imagine it won’t hurt my budget.

What You Need to Know About LED Bulbs

LED bulbs measure the brightness in terms of Lumens, not Watts. Right now, the packages have a translation for you, but I imagine that won’t last forever. So, just to simplify things, here’s a conversion chart you may find useful.

Incandescent Bulb Wattage LED Bulb Lumens
45 675
60 900
65 975
75 1125
100 1500
125 1875
150 2250


Those may not be the exact lumens you see on a package of light bulbs, but it will give you a general idea of what you’re looking for. So, if you need a 100-watt bulb, just buy an LED with approximately 1500 lumens. Easy, right? If we convert to the metric system, this might seem easy. But, I don’t like having to learn something new just to buy a light bulb!

Types of LED Bulbs

Here’s an example from Home Depot of the types of LED bulbs you can buy:

  • General purpose bulbs. You’d normally use these bulbs in a lamp, and they throw light at a wide angle.
  • Can light bulbs. These bulbs are good for recessed lights.
  • Flood light bulbs. If you have exterior lights, these bulbs will shine a strong but narrow beam of light.
  • Globe light bulbs. These bulbs work well in a bathroom light fixture, for example, where you want light to shine in all directions.
  • Candle light bulbs. There are LED bulbs that look like a candle flame and work in accent lighting such as wall sconces.
  • Track Light Bulbs. If you have a light shining on your fireplace or a piece of art, you can use these bulbs which shine brightly in a limited direction.
  • Vintage Light Bulbs. These bulbs look like old fashioned bulbs – back when incandescent was cool and are often used in decorative fixtures.
  • Dimmable Light Bulbs. You can find LED bulbs that can be used with a light dimmer switch. If you have a Home Depot nearby, these are the bulbs that can be dimmed.

If you need a bulb that works in a fully enclosed case, make sure that you buy an LED bulb that is fit for that purpose. You’ll also need to buy carefully if you need a bulb to work outdoors, with a motion sensor or with a photocell.

I hope this information is helpful to you. And, if you need information about buying or selling Davie real estate, be sure to give me a call at 954-242-8030 or send us an email. Our team is knowledgeable, experienced and passionate about working with buyers and sellers in the area. We’ll make sure you have the information you need to make informed decisions. Just take a look at what our clients say about us. We’re proud that we have 43 Google reviews and a 5.0 rating We’re the best Broward County REALTORS® in town!



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