The right light fixture can transform the ambience of a room in seconds. But if it has the wrong light bulbs, it can have the opposite effect. Use our guide on light bulb types that outline their benefits and uses to make an informed decision.
Best Types of Light Bulbs for Your Home
Some of the common light bulb types you can get for your home lighting system:
1.CFL Light Bulbs
These light bulbs are spiral in shape and known for emitting a soft glow which they can maintain without blowing up your energy bill. CFL bulbs contain mercury which can take a while to warm up to complete brightness. These are considered more cost-efficient than LED bulbs and can be used in various fixtures such as post lights and lamps.
2.Incandescent Light Bulbs
These are widely available and used in most homes, but incandescent bulbs don’t last as long as LED and CFL options. Plus, they are affected by temperature changes and need more electricity to work. The light bulbs in your refrigerator and microwave are incandescent. Install them around your bathroom vanity to make your skin glow in the mirror.
3.Fluorescent Light Bulbs
Fluorescent light bulbs are filled with mercury vapour which emits ultraviolet rays when electricity is applied. The bulbs are coated on the inside with a special coating that transforms UV rays into light and a filament that is heated till it glows. Fluorescent lights don't consume enough energy to increase your bill significantly, so you can often find them in hallways, kitchens and offices. These produce 75% less heat than incandescent bulbs and don’t contain mercury.
4.Vintage Light Bulbs
Vintage light bulbs add a touch of whimsy and enchantment that other varieties cannot. These are the perfect decorative touch to any living room or bedroom. Also known as the Edison light bulbs, vintage bulbs have an old-school filament in the centre and are available in various shapes and sizes.
5.Light Emitting Diode (LED) Bulbs
LED bulbs are considered the most cost-efficient variety for your home if you are on a budget. The bulbs give off little to no heat, don't have mercury, and still shine bright. LED bulbs are great for task lighting and for fixtures in hard-to-reach places. Install them around your home and forget about them for months.
Halogen bulbs emit a white light that mimics the daylight we get at high noon. The bulbs are dimmable and don't guzzle electricity, so they are also cost-efficient. However, halogen bulbs have the shortest lifespan out of all the bulbs mentioned here. They warm up quickly, so they can be a fire hazard. Use gloves to change these. Oil from your hands can cause an explosion. Halogen light bulbs rarely last a year but don't contain mercury.
7.Smart Light Bulbs
Smart light bulbs are designed for convenience. You can set timing and brightness using a smart device even if you are away from home. Some modes also allow people to adjust the colours. These can also help you control your electricity bill, but only if installed in bulk. They can have a noticeable effect on your bill then.
What You Should Look for When Shopping for Light Bulbs
Even the best light bulb types may not meet your needs. Here are some things you should look into before purchasing these in bulk:
The amount of energy a bulb consumes is measured in watts. The higher the wattage it needs, the more power the bulb will consume to emit light. So a 200-watt bulb will need more power than a 100-watt bulb, but it will also produce more light than the latter. Only LED light bulbs are compatible with almost all fixtures irrespective of wattage needs.
The amount of light a light bulb emits is called lumens or brightness. The higher the lumen, the brighter the light you get. To calculate the number of lumens required, calculate the square footage of the space you wish to illuminate.
Twenty lumens/square foot is recommended for most spaces, but these can vary. For extra dark rooms or spaces with dark panelling, add an additional 10 lumens to each square foot to get an accurate number. Also, consider spreading the lumens in spaced-out light fixtures throughout the room for a better ambience. Add rugs and carpets from The Rugs to take the décor to the next level.
You can find light bulbs in different shapes that complement your home's décor and design. For example, for a traditional chandelier, go for candle-angular shapes, and for pendant lights, a globe-shaped light bulb will work.
Important note: If you are shopping for outdoor light bulbs, make sure the ones you choose are moisture and damp-resistant. They should be able to handle brief moisture exposure without bursting or shorting out.
So there you have it. Use the light bulb types we have outlined in our guide to make an informed decision regarding your lighting options and to get the ambience you need. The wrong option can not only harm the ambience, but can also increase your expenses.
The right choice depends on your illumination needs, the fixtures, and the budget you wish to maintain. Take your time in choosing light bulb types so you don’t have buyer’s regret later.