Choosing The Light Bulb: Pros And Cons Of Different Light Bulb Types

When we buy a light fixture, we expect a certain performance from it. And it's obvious that the amount and color temperature of light it produces depends most of all on the light bulbs installed. There are a few different types of light bulbs, and it is better to know more about them to choose the most appropriate light source for your house. Modern bulbs vary widely in performance, effectiveness, energy consumption and price. The rule of thumb is to choose the most energy saving bulb available. Still, let's take a closer look at different types of light bulbs and their characteristics.

LED filament bulb

Conventional incandescent lights are the less effective type of light bulbs. They need a lot of electric power to produce light, while nearly 90% of this energy is wasted (actually it's used to produce the unnecessary heat). These obsolete bulbs are no longer produced, and newer energy saving light bulbs are now manufactured in accordance with the new lighting standards approved in 2012. These new types of light bulbs include halogen incandescent, CFL bulbs and LED lights. They are much more efficient (to a different degree though) and thus more cost-saving. These lights are produced with different technologies which has a significant impact on their effectiveness, performance and price.

The most popular types of light bulbs are:

Incandescent bulbs

This type of lights was factually the only existing source of electric powered light for more than 100 years. These lights are most cheap and thus most popular for now, but consume a lot of electric power. The energy is used to heat up the filament, and when it is hot enough it begins to glow. The benefits of incandescent bulbs are that they are cheap and produce a beautiful warm light, while the problem is that 90% of energy is simply wasted. Also the lifespan of these bulbs is very short about 1000 hours.

Halogen bulbs

This s a more efficient variation of incandescent lights. These bulbs give off a bright white light and can be dimmable. Although halogen bulbs are more effective and last longer than common incandescent lights, they are more expensive and heat up to higher temperatures. This makes them flammable in certain conditions, so they should be treated carefully.

There are significantly more effective types of bulbs available on the market today. These are fluorescent lights, CFLs, and LED bulbs.

Fluorescent lights

The typical fluorescent light consists of a long tube containing an inert gas argon together with a bit of mercury. in brief, as the current flows through the tube, the gas inside begins to glow. These bulbs are usually used to illuminate some spacious areas like basements, stores or workshops. The lifespan of fluorescent bulbs is about 20000 hours, which is up to 20 times better than incandescent lights. These lights are efficient and cost saving, they also don't produce heat. But they contain mercury which is a hazardous substance, so they are not too eco friendly and should not be broken up or thrown away in a dumpster.

Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs)

These light bulbs are extremely popular last time in the USA because of their effectiveness and long lifespan. Their operating principle is the same as fluorescent lamps, but they are very compact and can be screwed into the same sockets as incandescent bulbs. CFL bulbs last 10 times (!) longer than incandescent bulbs and consume 70% less electric power. CFLs are more expensive, but they can significantly lower your electricity bill, and in this way end up as a more cost effective option. They still have the same drawback as all fluorescent lamps: containing small amount of mercury.

LED lights

LED lights are now the absolutely best choice of light source for the home. They are most efficient and long lasting among all of the types of light bulbs. LED bulbs use 90% less electric power than incandescent bulbs with equivalent brightness, and 2 times less than CFLs. Also LED light bulbs can work up to 10 years without replacing, and this is truly amazing! They are of course significantly pricier than incandescent lights, but last dozens of times longer and consume much less power, so in the end LED lights are unquestionably more economical than their rivals. Comparing to incandescent bulbs, the savings can be up to $50 seeing the extremely long lifespan of LED lights. When compared to CFL bulbs, LEDs can be more expensive over a few years period, but considering the 10 year warranty (and sometimes LED bulbs can work even longer), they will win again. Also LED bulbs don't need a warm up time, they produce the maximum amount of light instantly. They have some more advantages over the other types of lighting. Read the article 8 Amazing LED Lights Facts You Didn't Know to learn more about LED lights. LED light bulb consists of light emitting chip in a plastic case, sometimes with glass lens. The light is produced by the electrons moved by the current in a semiconductor material. Thus LED lights don't contain any mercury or other toxic substances. LED bulbs come in a wide range of color temperature, from warm yellow to cold bluish white light. So considering all of the above, we can definitely recommend LED light bulbs for every homeowner or interior designer.

LED filament bulbs

One of the hottest trends now is using antique looking bulbs with LED filament. This technology combines the attractiveness of vintage Edison bulbs with the effectiveness and durability of LED lighting. Read more about Edison LED bulbs on our site.