Do you feel like nothing is easy anymore? I see it in my store every day. Customers are searching for a simple product, or someone is thinking their problem has a really simple answer, but they’ve run all over and not gotten what they need. We do a pretty good job of helping customers with all sorts of problems and they often say, “Why didn’t I come here first?” (I can’t argue with them on that question.)
Case in point. Customers replacing light bulbs used to be a fairly simple task. Match the socket to the wattage and you have your light bulb. But with the rules changing, and with the government getting involved, one might say that we are going to lose yet another easy answer. But I disagree. If you look carefully at the new light bulb labels mandated by our government and slated to begin in 2011, you will see that they will shed new and better light on the situation. Today when you look at a light bulb label, it shows you mainly the wattage of the bulb. The wattage refers to the amount of energy used by a bulb, not the light output. The consumer needs different information to compare different types of light sources – for example a 100 watt incandescent A Bulb with a 32 watt T8 fluorescent bulb.
Going forward, the labels will now give you six pieces of information that will make selecting bulbs much easier.
- Brightness (Lumens)
- Light Appearance (Color Rendering)
- Estimated Yearly Energy Costs
- Life Expectancy
- Energy Used (Watts)
- Mercury Content
With the new labels, you are now able to choose a bulb that is extremely energy efficient in both the electricity it uses, and the amount of light (lumens) it emits. Of course, price is always an issue with new introductions and these new bulbs can be expensive. But if you check the bulbs life expectancy, when you do the math, most of these bulbs are cheaper over their life and this means less time and energy from you changing the bulbs. You can even choose the color of the light (light appearance) you prefer for each room – daylight, natural or soft.
We have in our lighting showroom five different light sources right next to each other so consumers can compare “old technology” to “new technology.” We show recessed lights with an incandescent flood bulb, a par halogen flood bulb, a compact fluorescent flood bulb and two different LED flood bulbs. Once consumers see the differences, the decision is easy. (Finally, something easy!) Just like when you check that box of Lucky Charms your kids (or husband) wanted, read the amount of fat and sugar on the nutrition label, and return it to the shelf for Cheerios…..soon you’ll find yourself putting back the incandescent bulb in favor of a CFL or LED.