(Family Features) When adding energy-efficient upgrades to your home, it's important to ensure even the most fundamental of enhancements - such as lighting - offers the ease of use, reliability and value expected from traditional, incandescent options.
Advancements in bulb technology
Though they have had a presence in homes for the last three decades, the compact fluorescent (CFL) light bulb has greatly improved since its infancy. Some enhancements include reduced price, availability in standard warm tones and "A-line" shaped bulbs that mimic the look and feel of traditional incandescent bulbs.
New technologies include GE's Bright from the Start CFL. This hybrid halogen-CFL light bulb provides instant brightness, and is now available at Target in a 100-watt incandescent replacement - in addition to other wattages - for table or floor lamps, as well as globe lights for vanity lighting and floodlights for recessed lighting used in rooms throughout the home.
While new lighting advancements bring a wealth of benefits to many homeowners, there are still some mixed messages about the value of CFL bulbs, as a whole. To see for themselves, Target NASCAR driver, Juan Pablo Montoya, his wife, Connie, and their three kids put these new bulbs to the test in their own home to see if they could keep up with their fast-paced lifestyle.
"I love the energy savings that CFLs provide, but didn't like the amount of time it took to warm-up for full brightness," said Connie. "GE's Bright from the Start bulbs are instantly bright, but use a lot less energy than traditional bulbs."
Common myths related to CFL bulbs
As the lighting industry shifts to provide more energy-efficient lighting options, more and more homeowners are giving CFLs a try. However, a variety of myths about CFL lighting still exist today, many of which are no longer true, including:
- CFLs produce an unattractive blue light.
Today's CFLs can produce a soft white color similar to incandescent bulbs. Check the packaging for Kelvin numbers within a range of 2,700 to 3,000 for a warmer light appearance.
- CFLs take a long time to get bright
While many CFLs takes up to a minute to reach full brightness, there are now more advanced options. GE's hybrid-halogen CFL, uses a Brightness Booster, or a halogen capsule, for instant brightness, eliminating to wait for bright light.
- CFLs are only available in corkscrew shapes.
Many options are now available that mirror the traditional shape of incandescent bulbs for a variety of applications. One option is a 100-watt replacement bulb for table or floor lamps, as well as globe lights commonly used for bathroom vanity lighting and recessed lighting in kitchen, living and dining rooms.
Whether you're using CFLs in your bathroom, kitchen or dining room, these bulbs provide a similar soft, warm light like an incandescent. Great for high-use table lamps and fixtures where you want instant illumination and energy-efficient lighting, CFL bulbs have the familiar shape of their incandescent counterparts - so you won't notice any difference.
"We really like the flow of our home - especially when entertaining all of our family and friends - but we wanted to use energy-efficient lighting in the busy areas of our condo and create visual separation from our kitchen to the dining room," continued Connie. "By using a mixture of CFL bulbs, we were able to have functional lighting in the kitchen, while creating a more inviting and relaxing environment in the dining room."
Make every second count
Visit Target for a full selection of GE's new Bright from the Start CFLs. In celebration of its product offering expansion, GE Lighting is giving consumers the chance to win and spend a day with the Target Chevrolet SS driver and pit crew. To enter to win, simply visit www.facebook.com/GELighting through October 31, 2013. For more information, visit www.gelighting.com.