Calgary Realtor - Karen Patterson

“Karen worked so hard to sell my home in Auburn Bay... even negotiated the deal while I was away in the States. Appreciate her communication, dedication and hard work!”  -Audra Zawada

Cell: 403-370-6442

Office: 403-259-4141


The Right Bulb, The Right Light - not only a great idea!

“The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting”

- Susan Cain, American Writer, Author of "QUIET: the power of introverts"



Moving on from the general concepts of lighting, we now narrow down and focus on a lighting specific, that of the bulb. As Angela points out, there are many different kinds of light that are produced by the science of various bulbs. See below for more information before going out and buying a light fixture, make sure that it fits the bulb and the right kind of light produced for the area of the home under consideration. 




This is a topic I could go on and on about- it's not only a conversation, it's a science! Overall, there are a few different categories designed for residential use- Incandescent, Fluorescent, Halogen (also a form of Incandescent) and the ever-popular LED. Briefly:


Incandescent and Halogen work by an electrical current pass through a thin filament, heating it and causing it to become excited, releasing thermally equilibrated photons in the process. Halogen can have different fill gasses- such as Xenon or Halogen (hence the name) offering a whiter light, but burning at a higher temperature.


Fluorescent bulbs are quite different and work by the tube contains a small bit of mercury and an inert gas, typically argon, kept under very low pressure. The tube also contains a phosphor powder, coated along the inside of the glass. The tube has two electrodes, one at each end, which are wired to an electrical circuit. When electricity flows through the electrodes in fluorescent lights, it produces a charge that causes free electrons to travel through the gas-filled tube from one electrode to the other. This energy vaporizes a small portion of the mercury inside the tube. Electrons and ions (charged atoms) collide with gaseous mercury atoms, which in turn release ultraviolet (UV) photons. This tends to produce a white light and is much lower wattage overall. It's a similar process used in compact fluorescent bulbs- which would be used in a home over a fluorescent tube.


LED's (Light Emitting Diodes) are light sources which use semiconductors and electroluminescence to create light. Simple, right? Due to recent energy changes, some of the ' standard' 60 & 100W bulbs have been discontinued and are hard to find- driving consumers to other more energy efficient sources. Compact Fluorescents were a logical choice, but their cooler colour temperatures (discussed in more depth in the next point) make them seem blue, they can be dimmable, but they don't dim as 'nicely' as an incandescent bulb (sometimes they flicker, or just don't work well), they were also costly (The prices have since dropped considerably), and most notably- they were just kind of ugly. They can however be a great choice for certain areas of the home, the garage for instance as they will provide a high lumen (measure of light) output with a relatively low wattage, they were used in kitchens for years (in 'sunshine ceilings’). That was all before the influx of pot lights. Typically, people are using pot lights in work spaces, such as kitchens- and as LED's become increasingly popular, they have more pleasing colour temperatures and are fully dimmable as well as having an outstandingly long life expectancy and minimal heat output. They have since become the option of choice for people for using through out their home in different applications, i.e., kitchen, bedrooms, lamps etc.


My one major point is- make sure you are getting the right type of bulbs for the space you need. If you have questions, please reach out to a professional at your local lighting showroom, as Lighting professionals are passionate about bulbs :)




Warm and cool light are a measure of colour temperatures related to the Kelvin Scale. 27K (2700 degrees Kelvin) refers to warmer, more yellow light where as 5k (5000 Degrees Kelvin) refers to a cooler (bluer) light. Often, 5000k is referred to as "Daylight" bulbs. Typically for a residential application, one would use a 27k or 3k, and for a more industrial/ commercial location, 4k-5k might be used. This is not measured in incandescent bulbs as they are naturally 2700k. Colour temperature is not to be confused with Colour rendering- this is a different measurement all together, and based on a scale of 0-100.


Some people think that the cooler the temperature they worse they will look and the warmer the bulb temperature, the better- this is not the case, but you can have a cool bulb with a good colour rendering index (80-90) and you will still look great! You can also have a cool bulb with a poor colour rendering index and you can look dead..and vise versa with warm bulbs.


This information is available for all LED & Fluorescent bulbs- typically on the packaging. One important point is to stick with one colour temperature in the same space- there is nothing more unpleasing to the eye to have a warm bulb next to a cool bulb in the same fixture- or space.


For more information on lighting and lighting fixtures, please contact Angela McQueen at Robinson Lighting in SE Calgary, AB.

Thank you and a for reading down to the bottom, you have earned your self and a friend a pair of tickets to the Calgary Home and Garden Show (BMO Mar 2-5, 2017). Please email Karen directly and she will arrange delivery of your complimentary tickets. First come, first served. Enjoy! 

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