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Flip the switch on new light bulb rules for 2013

SEQUELS: YEAR IN REVIEW

December 27, 2012
  • Let's talk kelvins: Celebrity photographer Matthew Rolston takes a run through the lighting aisle of Lowe's in Burbank for The Times, pausing to discuss the varying quality of light from different kinds of bulbs.
Let's talk kelvins: Celebrity photographer Matthew Rolston takes… (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles…)

When we asked photographer Matthew Rolston to give readers a primer on lamps and bulbs earlier this year, we knew more light bulb regulations were coming to California in 2013. We knew how important lighting was in Rolston's photography. And we knew that he had designed the lighting of guest rooms at the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills.

What we didn’t know: just how obsessed Rolston could be about choosing the right light bulb for his home.

Writer Alexandria Abramian Mott shadowed Rolston as he walked the aisles of Lowe’s in Burbank, explaining that good home lighting is all about making people — not spaces — look good. That means using fewer spotlights (shadows under the eyes!) and more dimmers, and when possible, buying more warm LEDs and halogens instead of CFLs, he said.

PHOTOS: Matthew Rolston's picks for budget lights

Those distinctions become more important on Tuesday, when the first day of the new year ushers in the latest phase of California’s energy efficiency standards for light bulbs. Traditional 60- and 40-watt incandescent bulbs will be phased out, like the 75-watt bulb in January 2012 and the 100-watt bulb in January 2011. In their place, consumers will choose from LEDs, halogens and CFLs that use less energy.

If you missed the pro's advice the first time around, you can read about Mott's Lowe's run with Rolston.

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