Bright Ideas

What’s in a Label?

Carin Manetti March 25, 2017
Understanding What Lighting Fact Labels Are and Are Not Telling You

As part of this new federally-mandated energy-efficient post-incandescent age of lighting, we are not just being asked to accept bluer, off-color light as the norm; we are expected to digest and understand an entirely new vocabulary. It’s not enough that we have to navigate shelf-after-shelf of ungainly LEDs and cork-screwed CFLs, light bulb purchasers (virtually everyone) now have to become fluent with concepts like lumens and light appearance as measured in Kelvin. In fact, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission mandates that most light bulb packages uniformly display certain information – much like the nutrition information labels you find on packaged foods.

The problem is, just like food labels don’t tell you if the food inside tastes good, the lighting labels don’t tell you if the light produced by the bulb inside looks good!

Here’s what the label does tell you:

1. Brightness is measured in lumens. The more lumens a bulb emits, the brighter it will be. Incandescent bulbs were traditionally measured in Watts, or the amount of energy required to produce the light. According to the equivalencies published by Energy Star if you are replacing a:

  • 40W bulb, look for 450 lumens
  • 60W bulb, look for 800 lumens
  • 100W bulb, look for 1600 lumens

2. Estimated Energy Cost is measured based on a usage rate of three (3) hours per day and 11 cents ($0.11) per kilowatt hour. Similarly, the lifespan of the bulb is calculated based on the same assumption that the light will be on for three (3) hours a day.

3. Light Appearance is measured as a Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) in Kelvin (K). CCT is simply a method of describing how warm or cool a light appears. Lights with a CCT of 3000K or below are usually considered “warm” – they pull mostly from yellows and reds – and temperatures above 4100K are considered “cool” – they pull mostly from blues and greens. 3500K is considered neutral. Incandescent bulbs, and almost all bulbs that market themselves as incandescent replacements, produce light in the 2700K to 3000K range.

The label fails to inform the consumer whether a light is omnidirectional. Many LED lights, as an example, emit light in one direction.

So what should you do?

There is one lighting company that was created for the sole purpose of developing a light technology that truly replicates the look and warm glow of incandescence while meeting the energy savings requirements established by the government. This is how Tesla Technology™ was born. Check out the Finally™ Bulb. You’ll like what you see on the label. More important, you’ll love the light inside.

Purchase your Finally™ light bulbs here.