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Shopping for Lights? Look for Lumens, Not Watts


When you're shopping for lightbulbs, compare lumens to be sure you're getting the amount of light, or level of brightness, you want. A new Lighting Facts Label will make it easy to compare bulb brightness, color, life, and estimated annual


operating cost.


Buy Lumens, Not Watts We typically buy things based on how much of it we get, right? When buying milk, we buy it by volume (gallons). So why should lighting be any different? But for decades, we have been buying lightbulbs based on how much energy they


consume (watts), not how much light they give us (lumens). With the arrival of new, more efficient lightbulbs, it’s time for that to change.


What's a Lumen? Lumens measure how much light you are getting from a bulb. More lumens means a brighter light; fewer lumens a


dimmer light. Lumens are to light what pounds are to bananas or gallons are to milk—they let you buy the amount of light you want. So when buying new bulbs, think lumens, not watts.


The brightness, or lumen levels, of lights in your home may vary widely, so here's a rule of thumb: • To replace a traditional 100-watt incandescent bulb, look for a bulb that gives you about 1,600 lumens. If you want something dimmer, go for less lumens; if you prefer brighter light, look for more lumens.


• Replace a 75-W bulb with an energy-saving bulb that gives you about 1,100 lumens • Replace a 60-W bulb with an energy-saving bulb that gives you about 800 lumens • Replace a 40-W bulb with an energy-saving bulb that gives you about 450 lumens


What Should I Look For? The Lighting Facts Label To help consumers better understand the switch from watts to lumens, the Federal Trade Commission will require a


new product label for lightbulbs starting in January 2012. The labels will help consumers buy bulbs that are right for them. Like the helpful nutrition label on food products, the Lighting Facts Label will help consumers understand what they


are really purchasing. The label clearly provides the lumens—or brightness—of the bulb, estimated operating cost for the year, and the color of the light (from warm/yellowish, to white to cool/blue). To learn more about lighting options and other ways to save energy at home, visit www.energysavers.gov or


TogetherWeSave.com.


4 • Kay Electric Cooperative


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