Overwhelmed by the options in the bulb aisle? Our room-by-room guide makes it easy to pick the right bulb for the right job, improving your home’s mood and safety—and your bottom line. Not all are created the same—you wouldn’t want to use a bathroom vanity bulb for your bedroom lamp and vice versa. When choosing a bulb think about what kind of mood or lighting you’ll want to have in a specific room: calming or energizing; a dim, cozy glow or a bright and vivid light. Keep in mind that in a bedroom you’ll want to have a versatile bulb that will help you go to sleep at night, but will energize you when you wake up (especially on those early winter mornings when the sun isn’t up yet). On the other hand, in a kitchen, you’ll want to choose a brighter light that provides clarity for cooking and other tasks. When purchasing a bulb at the hardware store, abide to the recommended-wattage label taped to the lamp cord, or specified on the lighting fixture. It’s a safety issue—that label lets you know how much heat the fixture can handle without damaging the socket and internal wiring. If you’re using a standard incandescent bulb, you should be especially obedient about the wattage guide. With CFLs and LEDs, you have a little more flexibility: “They use significantly less energy than standard bulbs, so you can go up in wattage if you want a brighter light,” says Tim Rider, LED product manager at Philips Lighting North America. No label on your lamp? “Use a CFL or LED to avoid exceeding its wattage,” he advises.