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Lightbulbs

Shedding some light on light bulb changes

You’ve probably started to notice changes in the light bulbs on store shelves for everyday, general lighting. The first phase of The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which goes into effect in January 2012, requires that most household light bulbs use fewer watts of electricity while providing a similar output of lumens (measure of light bulb brightness). Manufacturers have been developing new products that produce the same light while using less energy, which will ultimately save you money.

Lumens is the way brightness will be compared

We tend to think of a bulb’s brightness in terms of watts, mainly because we’ve used the same kind of incandescent bulb for over 100 years. But a watt is actually a measure of the electrical power a light bulb consumes, not the brightness. Brightness is measured in lumens.

To help consumers understand how to buy light bulbs appropriate to their needs, the Federal Trade Commission created the lighting facts label, which provides the lumen level, estimated annual operating cost, and the color (from warm/yellowish, to white to cool/blue).

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