2020 Light Bulb Buying Guide

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I know, I know.  This has got to be a joke, right?  Just in time for the holiday season, I’m issuing my second light bulb buying guide.

Yep, light bulbs.

This started last year when I tried to buy a light bulb and went down the proverbial rabbit-hole.  18 bulbs later I had a spreadsheet and a couple of light bulbs that…weren’t too bad.

And just like smart phones and computers, there are better bulbs out there now, so I have to do it again lest you make the mistake of buying last years bulbs (gasp).

There are two major differences from the last guide: warm-dim & internet options.  I deliberately kept my per-bulb cost low last year and only tested bulbs I could be readily in my town from Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Menards.

This year I opened up to internet shopping in search of better bulbs.  I like to think of myself as a buy-local guy, but unfortunately that can mean buying bad bulbs.  So I went and looked at a few of my favorite brands from the professional side of my work but stuck to those I could purchase online.

I also leaned heavily into “warm-dim” bulbs that mimic the incandescent curve from bright white to dim warm white.  The technology has advanced considerably and I was exited to find and test a new spate of bulbs featuring this more familiar effect.  I am a huge fan of dimmers and do not like the “gray” light that results when dimming standard LEDs.  Now I can practically have it all.

Screen Shot 2019-11-18 at 6.48.43 AM

Kate, a multi-talented lighting specialist on our team, added her computer expertise and graphic skills to the guide this year so you will see that it looks, well, good.  Forget the spreadsheet, this document is more useful and has links to buy the bulbs from online retailers.

If you want the executive summary, buy TCP’s “Good Life” LED bulbs with the warm-dimming feature.  They are more expensive- think $5-$10 per bulb- but I think they’re worth it.  Until next year’s models come with more features, of course.

Download the fabulous guide here.LIGHT BULB BUYING GUIDE_191115


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