Where can I get CFLs that aren't orange or blue, but just white?
February 27, 2013 9:15 AM   Subscribe

I'm apparently part of the minority that really dislikes warm colored light. I used daylight incandescent bulbs back in the day, and I'm looking for an equivalent CFL. All I've been able to find are either pink/orange (supplied by the apartment) or blue (the GE bulbs at the grocery store). Isn't there a good, just, white? Like the tubes in an office building?
posted by hishtafel to Home & Garden (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Near me Home Depot and Lowe's both carry CFLs of several different color temperatures. You can also order them online once you know what color you want.

Also if you have fixtures that can take LED, that might be another way to go (several color temps available there too, and they last a lot longer).
posted by primethyme at 9:29 AM on February 27, 2013

Are you talking about the colour of the bulbs or the colour of the light? Most CFLs should have their colour temperature printed on the packaging. Energy Star has some basic info here.

To some extent all bulbs are slightly yellow or slightly blue, even incandescent ones. There are CFL bulbs that claim to be balanced full spectrum bulbs which is about as white as you can get.
posted by GuyZero at 9:32 AM on February 27, 2013

All bulbs have a color temperature, including the tubes in an office building.

Just pick a CFL whose color temperature is similar to whatever lighting you're used to. (here is one comparison chart; if you google for "color temperature" you'll find plenty more.)
posted by ook at 9:32 AM on February 27, 2013

You need to figure out your desired colour temperature and look for bulbs that meet that criteria. So check the packaging for those CFLs that are too blue and aim a little lower in colour temperature. Daylight incandescent bulbs are around 4800K, warm white CFLs around 3000K, daylight CFLs around 5000K. Perhaps you want something around 4000K-4500K? LEDs are an option too.

Of course, this is not so simple as colour rendering index is a factor too, but colour temperature will probably be good enough here.
posted by ssg at 9:38 AM on February 27, 2013

4000K-4500K is generally called cool white, but check the packaging to be sure.
posted by ssg at 9:40 AM on February 27, 2013

Try going to a local grow light store.

Mine used to have a large wall display with all their tubes and CFLs lit up side by side for comparison purposes, and there was a huge range of colors available.
posted by jamjam at 9:59 AM on February 27, 2013

Mine used to have a large wall display with all their tubes and CFLs lit up side by side for comparison purposes...

The local big box home improvement stores have a similar display as well; although I understand how color temperature works being able to actually see the lights side by side is the best way for me to decide what to get.
posted by TedW at 10:24 AM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

I like my lightbulbs the same way, and back before the CFL revolution my favorites were the "reveal" bulbs. It looks like they have CFLs now.
posted by phunniemee at 11:18 AM on February 27, 2013

Yes. GE Reveal bulbs have a very nice color profile.
posted by gjc at 2:02 AM on February 28, 2013

I use 6500K, which on the package says 'daylight'. They're pretty white. I've gotten them at Lowe's and I've gotten them at Menard's. Usually there's only one or two brands that carry them this bright, so you have to search for them on the shelves a little bit.
posted by MrOlenCanter at 1:48 AM on March 1, 2013

Took a chance on some 4100k bulbs and I think they're what I'm looking for. Thanks all!
posted by hishtafel at 4:25 PM on March 6, 2013

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