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A Bright Idea

On a recent trip to Costco, we picked up a 6-pack of CFL light bulbs. A great idea, I thought, since I want to live a little greener. And a bulb recently burned out in our foyer.

As you may or may not know, I spent a lot of time designing our foyer. I knew I wanted an orangey paint color, and after much deliberation, Danny and I settled on one called “pumpkin butter”. I did most of the painting and then campaigned for the console table I wanted until Danny gave in and agreed to get it. I even painted a picture for the walls. Yes, yes, you get the point - I like my foyer.

Well, since one bulb had burnt out, Danny replaced both bulbs with the “daylight” cfl’s. And, with a flick of a switch, my beautiful foyer transformed into someone’s musty basement where illegal plants are grown or a creepy mad scientist’s laboratory. The walls were puce.

After I threw up a bit in my mouth, I started to complain (I’m a complainer. I admit it.) The light was completely blue. And, blue + orange = puce. Danny, who is allergic to my complaining, instantly took offense, though he had to admit the walls were indeed puce. I was told to deal with it or not turn on the lights (I chose the latter.)

So, I stopped complaining and decided to do some research to see if there were CFL’s that had a warm light similar to an incandescent bulb. I came across this great article in Popular Mechanics that compared a number of CFL’s and tested their brightness and color temperature (coolness/warmth). I learned that color temperature is measured in degrees Kelvin. The higher the number, the cooler (bluer) the light. I didn’t see our brand, but since it was called a “daylight” bulb, I guessed it would be 4000°K. The warm white light that I want is around 2700°K.

This morning, while getting a paper lunch bag out of the closet, I remembered to read the box to find out the color temperature of the bulbs. 5800°K! No wonder the light is so horribly blue! I need to make a trip to the hardware store for some new bulbs. The “daylight” bulbs will have to go in rooms where the walls are not painted a warm color.

Originally published in my journal, Stephanie's Thoughts. Leave me a comment!

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September 2011


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