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Smarter Living: Finding the Right Bulb

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People often say LEDs are too bright. But don't blame the bulb, just check to make sure it has the right color temperature.

LEDs are a white light source, and white light comes in a wide range of color temperatures or tints—from warm yellow light, to cool blue light.

Color temperature has nothing to do with how hot the bulb gets, only the appearance of its color. Color temperature is measured in degrees Kelvin or 'K.' Because manufacturers sometimes use different terms, this number is the best way to ensure that you get the right bulb.

To create a relaxing environment for eating or watching TV, look for LEDs with color temperatures between 2700 K and 3000 K.

If you have a home office or space for reading, consider a cooler bulb—something in the range of 3500 K to 4000 K. Cooler light reduces eye strain when we read, write or need to see in more detail.

If you're doing work that requires even more attention to detail, such as knitting or woodworking, you might want the light closer to natural daylight—5000 K or higher.

For spaces where you do a variety of things, pick up a color-tunable LED bulb. This type of bulb allows you to change the color temperature depending on your need or mood. Some models can be controlled remotely from your mobile device.

Don't get upset with your bulbs. Find the right one for the right space.

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