New lighting standards continue in 2014

Since 2012, peope have more options in the light bulb aisle. New standards mean more energy efficient bulbs, and a bigger price tag.

The new standards phase out 40-100 watt incandescents over a 3 year period. They will be replaced with energy-saving bulbs with a wide range of choices in color and brightness, and many of them last much longer than traditional lightbulbs.

"It's not as simple as it used to be just going to the grocery store and picking up some light bulbs off the shelf, it's much more complicated," said Jim Shaul, the president at US 31 Supply in South Bend. "But it's much more exciting and more interseting, and you can do a lot with lighting today."

One complaint about the new lights, is the color. It's another choice people now need to think about.

"You can get all the CFL, all the LED, in different colors," said Shaul. "It's called Kelvin temperature. What everybody is used to is basically 2,700K, then you can go up to 3000K, 4100K, 5000K, and as you go up, it gets a more bluer tint to it. Most people in residential houses do not like to get up that high."

Before you hit the store, you should know the wattage, the color and whether or not you need a "dimmable" light. According to Shaul, most people should stick with 2,700K to use in their homes.

Plus, be prepared to pay more for more efficient lights.

"As you go down to the most efficient bulb, the price does go up, so there is a give and take," said Shaul. "But as the new bulbs get more popular the price will start going down."

Experts say the price will pay off in the long run.

"You'll get back the cost of the bulb over the life of the bulb," said Shaul.

Check out the Energy.Gov for more information about the changes.

US 31 Supply, in South Bend, offers professional help advice on light bulbs and common fixtures, both commercial and residential. You can find more informationby clicking here.

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