World Environment Day - Selective Lighting

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Quality Lighting?

Our idea of Quality Lighting is the lighting solution that balances economic and environmental costs with practical needs and aesthetic considerations. The infographic below illustrates the idea:

What is Quality Lighting? Selective Lighting


In short, quality lighting:

  • Ensures task-appropriate light levels
  • Is energy efficient, reducing operating costs while reducing consumption of natural resources and carbon emissions
  • Incorporates visual comfort
  • Offers good colour rendering and a choice of colour appearance
  • Promotes safety, security and well being.

What is the Colour Rendering Index or CRI?

CRI represents the quality of light and its faithfulness to render colours correctly, that is, to enable us to perceive colours as we know them. The ideal CRI is 100, and some incandescent bulbs approach this level. LEDs and CFLs use different design components in trying to equal the CRI of incandescent bulbs. LED bulbs CRI ratings range from 70 to 95, and the best CFLs have ratings in the mid 80s.

What is Correlated Colour Temperature or CCT?

CCT is the measure used to describe the relative colour appearance of a white light source. CCT indicates whether a light source appears more yellow/orange/golden or more blue, in terms of the range of available shades of white. CCT is given in Kelvins. 2700 is warm and 5000 is cool. The typical light colour we are used to in indoor home lighting is warm (2700 – 2800K).

What is a lumen?

A unit of standard measurement that is used to describe the amount of light contained in an area as perceived by the human eye. The more lumens, the brighter the light. You can use lumens to compare the brightness of any bulb, regardless of the technology behind it, and regardless of whether it is incandescent, CFL or LED.

What is luminous flux?

The flow of light measured in Lumens. With light bulbs, it provides an estimate of the apparent amount of light the bulb will produce depending on the application. Much of an incandescent’s light is wasted because it is emitted in every direction while, LED bulbs, on the other hand, put out directional light, sending all the light to where it is needed.

How do LEDs, CFLs and Incandescent bulbs compare?

Did you know that Watts don’t tell you how bright a light will be? To compare different light bulbs, you need to know about lumens. Lumens, not Watts, tell you how bright a light bulb is, no matter the type of bulb. The more lumens, the brighter the light.

The chart below shows the amount of brightness, in lumens, you can expect from different Wattage bulbs. The LED bulbs require much less Wattage than the CFL or incandescent light bulbs, which is why LED bulbs are more energy-efficient and long-lasting than the other types of bulbs.

Incandescent Wattage CFL Wattage LED Wattage Lumens (Brightness)
40 8 – 12 6 – 9 400 – 500
60 13 – 18 8 – 12.5 650 – 900
75 – 100 18 – 22 13+ 1 100 – 1 750
100 23 – 30 16 – 20 1 800+
150 30 – 55 25 – 28 2 780

All About CFL Lighting

CFL Light Bulbs Explained

CFL Light Bulbs - Selective LightingCFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lights) are simply miniature versions of full-sized fluorescents. They screw into standard lamp sockets, and give off light that looks similar to the common incandescent bulbs – nothing like the fluorescent lighting we associate with factories and schools.

What are the benefits of CFL lighting?

CFL Lighting is:

  • Efficient:
    • CFLs are four times more efficient and last up to 10 times longer than incandescents.
    • A 22 Watt CFL has about the same light output as a 100 Watt incandescent.
    • CFLs use 50 – 80% less energy than incandescents.
  • Less Expensive:
    Although initially more expensive, you save money in the long run because CFLs use one-third the electricity and last up to 10 times as long as incandescents. A single 18 Watt CFL used in the place of a 75 Watt incandescent will save you about 570 kW over its lifetime.
  • Reduces Air and Water Pollution:
    Replacing a single incandescent bulb with a CFL will keep a half ton of CO2 out of the atmosphere over the life of the bulb. Saving electricity reduces CO2 emissions, sulphur oxide and high-level nuclear waste.
  • Quality Light:
    Newer CFLs give a warm, inviting light instead of the “cool white” light of older fluorescents. They use rare earth phosphors for excellent colour and warmth. New electronically ballasted CFLs don’t flicker or hum.
  • Versatile:
    CFLs can be applied nearly anywhere that incandescent lights are used. Energy-efficient CFLs can be used in recessed fixtures, table lamps, track lighting, ceiling fixtures and outdoor lights, as well as lights with dimmer switches.

How to choose your CFL bulbs ...

CFLs come in many shapes and sizes. When purchasing CFLs, as your sales consultant at Selective Lighting for recommendations and consider the following:

  • Light Quality
    Choose your preferred light quality. CFL bulbs have a Kelvin or ‘K’ number listed on the packaging. CFLs with K numbers between 2700 – 3000 give a soft bright light like incandescents. CFLs with K numbers between 3500 – 6000 give off a bright light. As you up the K number scale, the light gets bluish and closer to daylight.
    Approximately 2700 K = Warm White (looks just like incandescent)
    Approximately 5000 K = Cool White (white/blue, bright light)
  • Lumens
    Match lumens to the incandescent bulb being replaced. Lumens indicate the amount of light generated.
  • Shape
    CFLs are available in a variety of shapes to fit a range of lamps and lighting fixtures. (See below for the most popular CFL shapes.)

What CFL bulb models are available?

Standard CFL Lamp - Selective Lighting

Standard Lamps
These are regular CFL spiral lamps which are placed inside a dome cover and fitted with a standard base which fits common lamp sockets. They are designed to give the appearance of the traditional light bulb for consumers looking for the more familiar light bulb appearance. The glass diffuser provides a quality of light similar to the “soft white” type of incandescent bulb.

CFL Globe Lamp - Selective Lighting

Globe Lamps
This shape is commonly used in bathroom vanity mirrors or open hanging lamps, and bare bulb applications. Bathroom vanities usually require multiple bulbs, which generate radiant heat. The CFL globe will reduce this heat build up while saving energy. The glass diffuser provides a soft-white light.

Does CFL lighting have any limitations?

Although CFLs are an excellent source of energy-efficient lighting, they are not always the best choice for all lighting applications. Click on the limitations to consider below to learn more:

CFLs are sensitive to frequent on/off cycling. Their rated lifetimes of 10 000 hours are reduced in applications where the light is switched on and off very often. Closets and other places where lights are needed for brief illumination should use incandescents or LED bulbs.
Dimmable CFLs are available for lights using a dimmer switch, but check the packaging; not all CFLs can be used on dimmer switches. Using a regular CFL with a dimmer can shorten the bulb’s life span.
CFLs can be used outdoors, but should be covered or shaded from the elements. Low temperatures may reduce light levels. Check the package label to see if the bulb is suited for outdoor use.
CFLs are not spot lights. Retail store display lighting usually requires narrow focus beams for stronger spot lighting. CFLs are better for area lighting.
CFLs contain small amounts of mercury which is a toxic metal. This metal may be released if the bulb is broken, or during disposal.
The principle reason for reduced lifespan of CFLs is heat. CFLs exhibit shorter lifespans in light fixtures and sockets where there is low air flow and heat build up, such as recessed lighting. For these types of sockets, it is recommended to use specially designed CFLs for recessed lighting or LEDs.

What safety tips can you recommend when using CFL bulbs?

CFLs are perfectly safe around your home. However, all CFLs contain a tiny amount (about 5 mg) of Mercury. That’s 100 times less than the amount of mercury in a silver tooth filling. While that does not pose a health risk, if you added up a few thousand old CFLs you might accumulate a significant amount of mercury. This is why it is important to dispose of old CFLs in a safe, responsible manner.

  • Handling a Broken CFL Bulb

    The mercury in CFLs poses no threat when in the bulb, but – if you break one:

    • Open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes or more.
    • Use a wet rag to clean it up and put all of the pieces, and the rag, into a plastic bag.
    • Place all materials in a second, sealed plastic bag.
    • Wash your hands.
  • Safe Disposal of old CFL Bulbs

    To avoid creating any risk to the environment, please follow these tips when discarding used CFL bulb:

    • Take care not to break the lamps.
    • Always store used CFLs in a safe place, in a non-breakable container or plastic bag, until they may be disposed of safely.
    • Drop off old CFLs at participating retailers who offer a take-back service.
    • Use municipal collection services for hazardous waste, if these are available in your area.
    • Only dispose of CFLs with your general household garbage as a last resort. If you do, wrap the bulb in newspaper and place it in a plastic bag to reduce the risk of breakage, contamination of recyclable waste, and physical contact with yourself and waste removal staff.

All About LED Lighting

LED Light Bulbs Explained

LED Light Bulbs - Selective LightingLEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) are small, very effective solid bulbs. New LED bulbs are grouped in clusters with diffuser lenses which have broadened the applications for LED use in the home. LED technology is advancing rapidly, with many new bulb styles available.

Initially more expensive than CFLs, LEDs bring more value since they last longer. Also, the price of LED bulbs is going down each year as the manufacturing technology continues to improve.

Why should I choose LED?

LED Light Bulbs are:

  • Long lasting:
    LED bulbs last up to 10 times as long as CFLs, and far longer than typical incandescents.
  • Durable:
    Since LEDs do not have a filament, they are not damaged under circumstances when a regular incandescent bulb would be broken. Because they are solid, LED bulbs hold up well to jarring and bumping.
  • Cool:
    These bulbs do not cause heat build-up. LEDs produce 3,4 BTUs per hour (compared to a regular incandescent’s 85); they do not contribute to heat build up in a room and, therefore, reduce the costs of keeping your home cool.
  • Mercury-Free:
    No mercury is used in the manufacture of LED bulbs.
  • More efficient:
    LED light bulbs use only 2 – 17 Watts of electricity and last 10 to 15 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
  • Cost effective:
    Although LEDs are initially expensive, the cost is recouped over time.

How do I select the right LED bulb?

Many different models and styles of LED bulbs are emerging in today’s marketplace. When choosing a bulb, keep in mind the following:

  • Estimate desired brightness
    Read the package to choose your desired brightness level. You can use Wattage to compete bulb illumination, for example, a 9 W LED is equivalent to a 45 W incandescent. However, the new method for comparing bulbs is lumens. Lumens is the measure of perceived brightness, and the higher the lumens, the brighter the bulb.
  • Choose between warm light and cool light
    New LED bulbs are available in ‘cool’ white light (ideal for task lighting) and ‘warm’ white light (commonly used for accent or small area lighting.
  • Do you need a screw-in base or pin-base?
    LEDs are available in several types of sockets, including those suitable for recessed or track lighting.
  • Do you want standard or dimmable bulbs?
    LED bulbs compatible with standard dimmer switches are now available.

Are there different LED light bulb styles?


Diffused LED Bulb - Selective Lighting

Diffused bulbs

In this style LED bulb, clusters of LEDs are covered by a dimpled lens which spreads the light over a wider area. Available in standard bases, these LED bulbs have many uses, such as area lighting for rooms, patios, reading lamps, accent lamps, hallways and low-light applications where lights remain on for extended periods.

Dimmable Globe LED Bulb - Selective Lighting

Dimmable Globe LED bulbs

Designed for bathroom vanities or anywhere a globe bulb is required, these bulbs produce light equivalent to a 40 Watt incandescent bulb, yet only consumes 10 Watts of power. Dimmable from 100% to 10%, these bulbs have a 200 degree beam angle to cast light in a wide area.

Track Lighting, Pin Base - Selective Lighting

Track Lighting, Pin Base
Available in pin base, LEDs are ideal for track lighting. LEDs do not contribute to heat build up in a room because no matter how long they remain on, they do not get hot to the touch. Also, because they are 90% more efficient than incandescents, and last 10 times longer than CFLs, the frequency of changing bulbs is greatly reduced.

Flood Reflector LEDs for Recessed Cans and Track Lights - Selective Lighting Flood Reflector LEDs for Recessed Cans and Track Lights, Screw-in Base
LEDs are now available for standard recessed lighting pots and housings. They range from 7,5 Watts to 17 Watts, with beam widths from PAR 20 to PAR 38. Several models are dimmable. Also, because they are 90% more efficient than incandescents, and last 10 times longer than CFLs, the frequency of changing bulbs is greatly reduced.
Flame Tip, Candelabra Base LEDs - Selective Lighting Flame Tip, Candelabra Base LEDs
Designed to replace incandescent candelabra bulbs, these flame tip LEDs deliver the equivalent light of 25 – 35 Watt incandescents while only drawing 3,5 Watts of electricity. Because of the heat sink in the base, light doesn’t disperse downwards as much as a typical incandescent candelabra bulb.
LED Tube Lights - Selective Lighting LED Tube Lights
Designed to replace fluorescent tube bulbs, these LED tubes are available in 8 and 16 Watts, which replace traditional 25 Watt and 40 Watt fluorescent tubes. Because fluorescent lights are often installed in high ceiling in commercial sites, there are additional savings because the frequency of changing bulbs is greatly reduced.

Do LED bulbs come in a variety of colours?


Most LED bulbs in use today are clear or white bulbs, commonly available in ‘cool’ or ‘warm’ light; but LEDs are also available in colours and used as individuals, or in clusters, for special applications.

  • Red
    Red is the traditional colour for maintaining night vision. Some LED headlamps and flashlights have the option of switching to red light for night use.
  • Green
    Green is now the preferred colour for pilots and the military. The green colour is also great for retaining night vision, and it doesn’t erase or render invisible the red markings on maps and charts.
  • Blue
    Many people like the blue because it is easy on the eyes. Blue appears to be a good reading light for elderly eyes.
  • White
    The most popular of the LED colours, it is a soft light without harsh reflection, glare or shadows.
  • Amber
    LED amber bulbs of not attract flying insects. Amber LEDs are used outdoors in areas such as patios or decks where insects can become a nuisance.