Bringing Choices To Light With A Light Bulb Science Project: Which Bulb Is Best? #GELighting

Over the last few months we have started switching out our bulbs from the incandescent to energy efficient bulbs. We started making the change this year when I heard about how much money could be saved on our electric bill. Honestly that was my only consideration and I just took the claims on the box as the whole truth and never thought about it again. I am glad I have started making the change because things are about to change for us all! New legislative changes in January will change what light bulbs can be manufactured and sold.  What does that mean for you and me? I wanted to be more informed and I wanted to help you with the new changes as well. So I have partnered with GE to do an experiment  As a part of my partnership I received coupons for the GE light bulbs for this project. This project idea and all opinions posted about my GE Lighting experience are my own.

When was the last time you went shopping for lights? Where you completely overwhelmed with choices? For me shopping for light bulbs makes me a little crazy. There are so many choices of brands, wattage, styles, looks, sizes, energy usage levels and prices. When things change in January things will change again and this time I want to be prepared and know my options! I understand that GE energy-efficient soft white light bulbs will be the closest available alternative to traditional incandescent bulbs.

What Are Changes in Lighting Legislation?

Between 2012 and 2014, standard 40- and 100-watt incandescent light bulbs must use 30% less energy to meet minimum efficient standards. What does it all mean for us?
  • You are not required to throw out your existing bulbs.
  • Manufacturers simply can’t manufacture certain bulbs as time goes on.
  • There is a range of specialty incandescent bulbs that are exceptions, including 3-ways, reflectors, appliance bulbs and some decorative options.
  • Moving forward, you’ll choose from better technology like energy-efficient soft white, CFL and LED options.

So what are the new options?

There are 3 different lighting technology options at Walmart: GE Energy Efficient Soft White (Halogen) ,GE CFL (spiral or Bright from the Start) and LED. GE has a very clear comparison of all of the different bulbs here. GE is making a huge point to make a difference now and in the years to come with their wide variety of options.

Our Lighting Experiment

I am a very curious person and so by nature my kids are too. This was a perfect chance to get them involved and do an at home science experiment. I recommend shopping with your son/daughter and show them the options. Show them the soon to be old options and the new options. We choose 3 different bulbs and the items needed to build a science project board. You can see what I saw and all the items I purchased here.
GE energy smart CFL spiral® 60W replacement
Elmers Tri Fold Board
Letter or markers
Ruler/ Tape Measure
Standard Thermometer
3 lamps
The test:
  • Do all energy efficient bulbs produce the same kind of light?
  • Do all energy efficient bulbs produce the same amount of heat?

Possible Hypotheses from a 3 and 6 year old:

  • They all produce the same amount of light.
  • They do not produce the same amount of light.
  • They all produce a different levels of heat.
  • They do not produce the same level of heat.


  1. Have an adult place each bulb into the each lamp and turn them on.
  2. Observe the light that is produced from each lamp.
  3. Hold a thermometer three inches above each bulb for one minute and record the temperature as well as the length of time the light has been on.
  4. Leave the lights on for an extended period of time. At different times repeat steps 2 and 3. Has the light changed? Has the temperature changed? Record all the information and the time.

We have started this project. I am excited to see how the bulbs perform over the next few days. We have already noticed that one bulb makes gives off a softer glow. But before we report our official findings we want to let them stay on and see if t hey change over time.

Bringing Choices To Light In Your Home

If you were to do this project what would you consider an important factor?

  • brightness
  • wattage
  • the way it makes your room look
  • the heat it produces
For me heat is a big deal. It is so hot here in Houston tht we do not need more heat coming from our lights. I also think the wattage and amount of energy it actually uses is important. That will help keep our monthly utilites down.
GE has an  energy saving calculator that I find very helpful! I encourage you to check it out and see what your calculated savings will be after switching.
Stay turned for our Light Bulb Science Experiement results! Which will be the ones that we choose for our home? You will find out very soon. Until then visit GE on Facebook and Twitter  for all the latest in news, savings and technology. Check out the coupon in the sidebar here on LOL&C. Print it out and be ready to make the switch.


I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and GE Lighting #CBias #SocialFabric
  • Heather,

    I love this idea of finding out more about the heat produced by the various new bulbs. I am certainly curious to hear your results on this.

    We started changing out our bulbs for more energy efficient models almost the day they came on the market. In my opinion, they have steadily gotten better since the earliest models. The one complaint I had with the earliest models was the slow start. They had to “warm” up to get to peak candescence. They still have some of those but most of them anymore are quick starts. I wish I could say all we had are quick starts but bulbs but unfortunately with the longer life comes bulbs I would now rather not have (I have traded most of them for faster bulbs and use them only for our outdoor porch light’s now)


  • I love how you got the kids involved. It’s a great way to teach them about the value of money and the necessity to conserve energy!

  • Amy

    I can’t wait to hear what you find out! I’m working on swapping out my bulbs, too!

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