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  • Writer's pictureTri City Furniture, Auburn

My Room is too Dark!

There are a lot of choices when purchasing light bulbs. How do we know what will give you more light when your room seems dark? First deciding on which type of bulb should be determined. There are several options of bulbs….

My Room is too Dark, Tri City Furniture

I have examples of 3 different bulbs…


1. LED, (light emitting diode) which offer several benefits…..

  • Which have the regular size bulb bases

  • Are energy efficient. LED Bulbs have lower wattage than incandescent bulbs so can create the same amount of light using less energy.

  • Are very long lasting, up to 20 years!

  • A light-emitting diode (LED) is a semiconductordevice that emits light when current flows through it. Electrons in the semiconductor recombine with electron holes, releasing energy in the form of photons. The color of the light (corresponding to the energy of the photons) is determined by the energy required for electrons to cross the band gap of the semiconductor.[5] White light is obtained by using multiple semiconductors or a layer of light-emitting phosphor on the semiconductor device. (Thank you Wikipedia)


2. Incandescent bulbs, are the ones we have used for years.

  • An incandescent light bulb, incandescent lamp or incandescent light globe is an electric light with a wire filament that is heated until it glows. The filament is enclosed in a glass bulb that is filled with vacuum or inert gas to protect the filament from oxidation. Current is supplied to the filament by terminals or wires embedded in the glass. A bulb socket provides mechanical support and electrical connections.

  • No longer available to purchase

  • Incandescent bulbs are much less efficient than other types of electric lighting. Less than 5% of the energy they consume is converted into visible light; the rest is lost as heat. The luminous efficacy of a typical incandescent bulb for 120 V operation is 16 lumens per watt (lm/W), compared with 60 lm/W for a compact fluorescent bulb or 100 lm/W for typical white LED lamps.(Thank you Wikipedia)


3. CFL…(Compact Fluorescent light) type bulbs.

  • A compact fluorescent lamp (CFL), also called compact fluorescent light, energy-saving light and compact fluorescent tube, is a fluorescent lamp designed to replace an incandescent light bulb; some types fit into light fixtures designed for incandescent bulbs. The lamps use a tube that is curved or folded to fit into the space of an incandescent bulb, and a compact electronic ballast in the base of the lamp.

  • Lower Energy use

  • Compared to general-service incandescent lamps giving the same amount of visible light, CFLs use one-fifth to one-third the electric power, and last eight to fifteen times longer. A CFL has a higher purchase price than an incandescent lamp, but can save over five times its purchase price in electricity costs over the lamp's lifetime. Like all fluorescent lamps, CFLs contain toxic mercury, which complicates their disposal. In many countries, governments have banned the disposal of CFLs together with regular garbage. These countries have established special collection systems for CFLs and other hazardous waste. (Thank you Wikipedia)



Lumens and Watts for Lamps

Lumens and Watts

Lumens tell us how much light output there is and watts tell us the energy use.


  • Lumens are the amount of light a light bulb emits. More lumens equal brighter light; fewer lumens equal dimmer light. Standard 100-watt bulbs produce about 1,600 lumens.

  • Watts are the amount of energy a light bulb uses. The lower the light bulb’s wattage, the less energy it uses. Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and LED bulbs have a lower




So, if your room is dark, what you need is more lumens to make it brighter. Most often that is through adding another lamp or two. But is 2 enough or should you have more? Let's figure it out!


I just googled a 12 x 16 room plan. This is the image below that came up. I find it interesting, that within this room, this 12 x 16foot room, there is not one lamp. Not one! Yes, there are a lot of windows and it looks like a skylight, but what happens in the evening? What happens in the dark months. Here in Michigan overcast days can start in October and go all the way to April. That is 7 months of darkness. No wonder we love summer and the sun so much! We have not see the bright sun for 200 days!

How many lamps needed?


So what is needed is a higher number in the lumens to get more brightness?

If we have a room that is 12 x 16 = 192 sf…Sq ft o

Then multiply your room sq footage by 20 lumens (chart number) to get the low light scale.

192 x 20 = 3,840 total lumens needed to be appropriate for low light setting.


Now mow many 100 watt bulbs is that? Well, let's take 3,840 / divided by 1600= 2.4 100 watt bulbs needed for low lighting setting of a 12 x 16 room. Medium light is 40 lumens per sf. So you would need 4- 5 100 Watt Bulbs and Bright light needs 70-80 lumens, therefore you would need 9-10 100 watt bulbs. What do your eyes need to see properly?

That is the reason that people complain about rooms being dark….not enough bulbs for the amount of space, and enough lumens!


cool vs warm light

The measurement of light color is also very important to notice when buying bulbs. This is the Kelvin temperature scale. The lower the number the more yellow the light…the higher the number the more blue (or white) light it is!


Some lamps have more than one socket, so it is easier to get more brightness. We have table lamp that offers 2 sockets, and floor lamps that take 4 bulbs that are called a 6 way…. As it has a socket for a 3 way bulb in the middle and then 3 outer sockets for 3 more bulbs! There are ways to get more light within your room, without feeling as if you are in the lighting department.


Help improve your health, by allowing your eyes to relax with the proper amount of light.

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