Shed some light on LED light bulbs

I know light bulbs aren’t the most interesting thing in the world, but hear me out.

Lots of research has been done lately on sources of blue light and how they can mess with our circadian rhythms, especially in children and adolescents. Other people, especially those on the autism spectrum and those with sleep disorders, are especially sensitive to blue light because it may suppress already-disordered melatonin production.

There are a number of apps available that filter blue light on your mobile devices (actually they cast a red mask over the display, which doesn’t quite do the job). You can wear special blue filtering glasses late at night, or adjust your home lighting using Smart LED bulbs. I use f.lux on my computer to gradually transition my display’s light to contain less blue in the evening hours.

If you are shopping for new light bulbs, let me make a recommendation and try warm (less than 3000K) LED bulbs. I just got a 6-pack to try from Mulcolor on Amazon and they exceeded my expectations. They were bright (60 watt equivalent), lit up fast, didn’t flicker, and basically outperformed the aging CFLs I had been using previously.

In case you don’t understand color temperatures or Kelvins, check out this chart of light color comparisons:

Image © 2010 Seesmart, Inc.

I think it explains exactly why sunsets are the colors they are. It also explains why the hottest stars burn with blue lights and the coolest, oldest stars are red. The less energy output, the less Kelvins, the warmer the color.

Back to LEDs. They are finally coming down in price, so it’s time to start switching your incandescent or CFLs over. They last an amazingly long time, some say more than twenty years, and they use only a tiny bit of electricity (up to a 80% reduction in consumption). Target the fixtures that you leave on the longest for the biggest energy saving when deciding which bulbs to replace first.

Gianna Pfister-LaPin

Gianna is a product reviewer and usability expert with 15+ years of real-world experience. She is happy to offer constructive advice and social media feedback to companies who want to make better products. When she's not trying out new products on herself or her family, Gianna plays with yarn and watches movies. She can also be bribed with stroopwafels.

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