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The Ultimate Light Bulb Guide

This post is sponsored by The Home Depot, but all text, images, and opinions are all my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Thou Swell running!

What light bulb temperature should I choose? Light bulb guide for size, color, temperature, and brightness by Kevin Francis Design #lightbulbguide #lightbulbs

The light bulb aisle at The Home Depot can be overwhelming because of all the many options – so I’m bringing you a bulb guide to demystify some of the terms and phrases that describe the different qualities of a bulb with The Home Depot's exclusive EcoSmart light bulb brand. There are terms for size and shape, color temperature, and brightness, which really give you the opportunity to truly customize the lighting inside your home! In my apartment, I only use two different color temperatures, and I select bulb shapes based on the fixtures they’re in. Find out more about the different EcoSmart light bulb options and my own lighting philosophy below!

What light bulb temperature should I choose? Light bulb guide for size, color, temperature, and brightness by Kevin Francis Design #lightbulbguide #lightbulbs

In my kitchen, I used vintage-style EcoSmart LED amber light bulbs to make them extra warm and glowy. Since these pendants are right above you when you sit at the counter, I wanted to avoid harsh, bright lighting right in my guests’ faces. I love how the style of these bulbs fits the pendants so perfectly.

What light bulb temperature should I choose? Light bulb guide for size, color, temperature, and brightness by Kevin Francis Design #lightbulbguide #lightbulbs

Popular Bulb Shapes

 

A19: This is your standard, most common bulb shape! Most table lamps take this shape.

 

 

ST19: This bulb is longer than an A19 so it looks more vintage Edison. It’s great for an open pendant!

 

 

G25: I always remember this one because I think of G for “globe!” These are larger, round bulbs.

 

 

B11 or BA11 (Candle): This is your standard candelabra bulb, which is a small skinny shape that’s commonly used in chandeliers, sconces, and small pendants.

What light bulb temperature should I choose? Light bulb guide for size, color, temperature, and brightness by Kevin Francis Design #lightbulbguide #lightbulbs

Light Bulb Base Sizes

E26: This is your standard bulb base for all large bulbs.

E12: This is a small base size that’s usually found on candelabra bulbs.

What light bulb temperature should I choose? Light bulb guide for size, color, temperature, and brightness by Kevin Francis Design #lightbulbguide #lightbulbs

I added this beautiful alabaster table lamp to my desk in the living room, and I love how tall and sculptural this piece is! The contrast of stone with my wood and leather desk is especially handsome and brings a clean, contemporary element to the area. This is the only area of my apartment where I use a Soft White A19 bulb for a slightly cooler color temperature, since I want to stay concentrated and refreshed in this work area.

What light bulb temperature should I choose? Light bulb guide for size, color, temperature, and brightness by Kevin Francis Design #lightbulbguide #lightbulbs

Understanding Wattage

Common wattages are 25, 40, and 60 watts. I don’t use over 60 watts at home, and try to install dimmers wherever possible, to bring in more of a warm, glowy look that’s cozy and inviting. Wherever bulbs are visible or are grouped together on a fixture, use a lower wattage to ensure it doesn’t hurt your eyes!

What light bulb temperature should I choose? Light bulb guide for size, color, temperature, and brightness by Kevin Francis Design #lightbulbguide #lightbulbs

In my bedroom, this contemporary three-arm fixture was calling for a larger-scale bulb. I used G25 EcoSmart LED globe light bulbs with spiral filaments for a modern statement. I love how the scale of this bulb fits the fixture so well and makes it look great whether it’s on or off. 

 

To bring some symmetry to the room, I added a pair of white leaf lamps with low wattage Warm White LED bulbs that really add that inviting glow. This eliminates shadowy corners on either side of my bed, and lights up the room without being too bright that it hurts to turn them on in the morning! 

What light bulb temperature should I choose? Light bulb guide for size, color, temperature, and brightness by Kevin Francis Design #lightbulbguide #lightbulbs

Color Temperature (The Kelvin Scale)

Warm White (2200 Kelvin): This is a warm, yellow light most similar to candlelight. Humans are naturally drawn to this color light so it’s best for living space and bedrooms!

Soft White (2700 Kelvin): This is a cleaner warm light that is great for workspaces at home like offices, craft rooms, laundry areas, and recessed lighting in the kitchen.

Bright White (3000 Kelvin): This is a cool white that’s similar to fluorescent lighting, so it’s often found in commercial spaces like offices, hospitals, and garages. 

Daylight (5000 Kelvin): This emulates daylight – so it’s very cold. It’s unlike sunlight, but rather the light on a bright, overcast day.

 

*Any “cool” lighting will give you that blue light that signals to your brain it’s time to wake-up!

What light bulb temperature should I choose? Light bulb guide for size, color, temperature, and brightness by Kevin Francis Design #lightbulbguide #lightbulbs

Lighting is such a key part of any interior, and my advice is to ensure that every “zone” of a room is covered. Think about layering ceiling, wall, and portable fixtures (table and floor lamps) to bring in both overhead and ambient lighting. Ambient lighting is especially key in living spaces where you want the lighting to be closer to eye-level to provide a flattering glow that eliminates sharp shadows.

 

I hope this guide helps clarify all the many options from EcoSmart, exclusively found in The Home Depot light bulb aisle and online!

- Kevin

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