Author Topic: Finding brighter lighting suitable for our place  (Read 3063 times)

jeromedawg

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Finding brighter lighting suitable for our place
« on: December 30, 2015, 08:35:07 PM »
Hey guys,

I've been noticing, especially tonight, that the lighting in our place just stinks and isn't very sufficient. I converted over to LED lights in the past several years to save on money but even before that it always felt dim in our place. Do you guys have recommendations as to bulbs I should get?

I picked up a bunch of those A19 (2700k white) L-prize bulbs and installed them but they're not *that* bright. And the chandelier in our dining room has those 25watt equivalent candelabra bulbs that are 2700k. But it all just seems very dim.

Any suggestions on how to brighten things up?

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Finding brighter lighting suitable for our place
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2015, 04:57:12 AM »
Well, it is the dimmest part of the year. Only going to get better from now until June.

You want new fixtures that an handle bigger bulbs. Lowe's has pretty good store brand fixtures. Replacing light fixtures is just about patience with your hands above your head.

former player

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Re: Finding brighter lighting suitable for our place
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2015, 08:22:58 AM »
Assuming you are in the northern hemisphere, then you are mostly dealing with the effects of the time of the year, and this is already getting better.

Start by cleaning the windows, inside and out, and making sure that curtains and blinds can be drawn back so that they do not block natural light.  If there are trees, bushes and undergrowth blocking natural light to your rooms, deal with these too.

My understanding is that a k value is about the colour of light produced not the amount.  Low output bulbs are good in table lamps but for general room lighting you probably want stronger.  There are plenty of internet resources about how to light different types of rooms.


Greg

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Re: Finding brighter lighting suitable for our place
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2015, 10:50:20 AM »
A19 LEDs come in a variety of wattage-equivalents, from 25 to 125.  You may want to get some higher wattage equivalent bulbs in strategic locations.  If you also get dimmable, it allows you to really tailor the light output, but only downward, and only to a point.

BudgetSlasher

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Re: Finding brighter lighting suitable for our place
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2016, 12:33:02 PM »
I am going to agree with Greg.

There is a wattage restriction on your existing light fixtures, which is actual wattage not wattage equivalent. For example a 60 watt-equivalent LED draws less than 10 watts, which means that you can put a much higher watt-equivalent into the fixture and still not exceed its rating or need to replace the fixture.

The kitchen in our current house has 5 can lights rated for 60 watts, when we moved in they contained incandescent bulbs and made the kitchen feel like a dreary place when you were relying on the light fixtures for all or most of the lighting. We replaced the bulbs with 125 watt-equivalent daylight (~5000-65000k) bulbs and it really worked wonders.

We also installed a dimmer on the bulbs, because well sometimes it is too bright.

It is hard to tell from your post, but just so everything is clean the number you provide (####K) is the color/temperature and not the brightness. We have chosen to use daylight in the kitchen and bathrooms and warm white (the 2700k) in the bedrooms and living spaces; lumens in the number that will indicate brightness.

When buying LEDS bulbs do not rely strictly on the wattage equivalent written on the package, I've picked up two different brands of 60w equivalents and one was 660 lumens and the other was 800 lumens, of course there was a similar increase in power consumption between the two.

justajane

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Re: Finding brighter lighting suitable for our place
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2016, 12:56:26 PM »
There is a wattage restriction on your existing light fixtures, which is actual wattage not wattage equivalent. For example a 60 watt-equivalent LED draws less than 10 watts, which means that you can put a much higher watt-equivalent into the fixture and still not exceed its rating or need to replace the fixture.

I did not know this. Thanks for sharing! Have you verified this in your own home? In particular, I have a 60 watt max ceiling fan fixture that is very dim. It would be awesome if I could put a 100 watt equivalent in there instead.

Greg

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Re: Finding brighter lighting suitable for our place
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2016, 04:51:31 PM »
That 60W limit is for the socket and wiring.  This is because of the heat generated by the light, and the heat limit the parts can accept.  Using CFL or LED often reduces the heat.  The 60W limit is also for the fixture wiring, in that it can only safely pass so much current. 

A 14W CFL makes the same light as a 60W incandescent bulb, so you could go bigger, like a 200W equivalent CFL (about 50W) but they're quite large.  Certainly you could use a 100W equivalent CFL (about 24W) or LED (about 19W).

These are generalities though, it will depend on what fits the fixture and also the bulb and fixture design.  For instance, some LED and CFL bulbs aren't meant to point down because of the heat affecting the electronics in the base.

BudgetSlasher

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Re: Finding brighter lighting suitable for our place
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2016, 05:25:02 PM »
There is a wattage restriction on your existing light fixtures, which is actual wattage not wattage equivalent. For example a 60 watt-equivalent LED draws less than 10 watts, which means that you can put a much higher watt-equivalent into the fixture and still not exceed its rating or need to replace the fixture.

I did not know this. Thanks for sharing! Have you verified this in your own home? In particular, I have a 60 watt max ceiling fan fixture that is very dim. It would be awesome if I could put a 100 watt equivalent in there instead.

The kitchen lights I am sitting under right now are 120 watt equivalent bulbs in sockets that are rated for 60 watts.

One thing to read carefully when purchasing LEDS (depending on your light fixtures) is that some are suited for use in fully enclosed fixtures and others are not.

Greg

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Re: Finding brighter lighting suitable for our place
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2016, 06:48:24 PM »
Another thing to consider is wall and ceiling paint color.  Unless it's white, it will affect how bright the lighting feels.  I've found this to be especially true with LEDs as the color temperature can make such a difference depending on the paint color.

MsPeacock

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Re: Finding brighter lighting suitable for our place
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2016, 06:41:50 AM »
I found with the LED bulbs that even with the same wattage the amount of lumens produced varies from brand to brand. I initially put new bulbs in the basement and it was dim and dark. Replaced with new bulbs with high lumens and had much better results.

jeromedawg

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Re: Finding brighter lighting suitable for our place
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2016, 03:08:02 PM »
Hmm, I'm thinking I may just need or want to replace the chandelier fixture in our living room. Even with standard candelabra bulbs, it was still pretty dim.

reader2580

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Re: Finding brighter lighting suitable for our place
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2016, 08:50:44 PM »
Candelabra base bulbs are horrible if you want to use LED or CFL bulbs.  The LED bulbs available are around 400 to 500 lumens which is not much.

I bought new ceiling fans with light fixtures about 18 months ago.  The light fixtures have candelabra base bulbs.  I went out on Ebay and bought NOS fan light kits that still have standard bulb bases and put in 60 watt equiv LED bulbs.  Pretty much all new ceiling fan light kits are candelabra base due to the 2007 energy act.