What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Compact Fluorescent Light Output Equivalency Chart

Compact fluorescent lights (CFL) have changed dramatically from the early days of large ballasts that would only allow the bulbs to fit into certain style fixtures.  Not only are the ballasts small the lights themselves are compact and come in a variety of shapes for both indoor and outdoor use.  The lights CFL spiral bulbs are available in a range of wattages and light outputs (lumins) ranging from cool natural light to soft white light.  They are even available in red, green, blue and yellow!  Where you use these bulbs really determines the type of light output your want.

Pictured is the light output equivalency chart for CFL bulbs.  My rule of thumb is to go to lower wattage where possible so most of our bulbs are in the 9 - 13 W range equivalent to 40 W incandescent bulbs.  Notice that both 9 W and 13 W CFL put out the same lumins?  There is no difference in light output to go to 13 W if a 9 W bulb is available and going to 9 W saves 4 W in energy use.  Given the design of our house (main living area including kitchen below grade) I use 15 W CFL bulbs on the lower level because it does need the extra light.  The colour of the light output does make a difference.  The softer lights tend towards a yellowish tone.  I switched out the lower level soft white CFL for daylight CFL and what a huge difference it made.  The light is cleaner and crisper. 

Garden Gnome