Looking for new light bulbs for your home or business? Buying replacement bulbs may seem like an easy feat, but the sheer number of bulbs available makes it not-so-easy. LED, fluorescent, halogen, incandescent… how do you choose?
In this short and simple guide, we’ll go over what you need to know about light bulb types so you can make your space shine.
LED bulbs use light-emitting diodes to produce light. These bulbs are easily the most environmentally friendly option out there. They produce significantly less CO2 emissions than other bulbs. LEDs also have an impressive life span between 10,000 and a whopping 100,000 hours. And don’t forget their versatility. Individual LED bulbs are extremely small, but you can bunch them together to create larger bulbs. That means you can fit LED bulbs in virtually any fixture.
If LEDs have one downside, it’s their price. While their price tag has gone down in recent years, LED bulbs are still some of the most expensive bulb types.
Fluorescent bulbs are tube-shaped bulbs that contain both phosphor and mercury vapors. When these two elements meet, they create a fluorescent shine. These bulbs are energy efficient and bright. They have a long life of around 10,000 hours, which means they don’t need replacement very often.
The most notable downside of fluorescents is their environmental impact. They contain hazardous materials, which can leak out into the surrounding environment if the bulb breaks. Their hazardous nature also means you can’t dispose of them normally.
Halogen bulbs are actually a type of incandescent bulb. They contain a tungsten filament sealed within a transparent envelope. Inside of the envelope, there’s a mixture of an inert gas and a halogen like iodide or bromine. When the halogen gas and the tungsten meet, the tungsten filament heats up and produces light. Halogens are compact and produce an impressively white and bright light.
However, they don’t last very long—around a year on average—and produce a lot of heat, which means you can’t touch them with your bare hands without getting a nasty burn. You shouldn’t touch them bare-handed even when cool, because the oil from your fingers will stick to the surface, heat up once you turn the bulb back on, and damage the halogen.
Some say incandescents are going out of style, but are they really? Incandescent bulbs are bulbs that contain a triangular metal filament that heats up until it glows. These bulbs are cheap and produce a flattering glow, which makes them a popular choice for homes.
Incandescents do have their downsides, however. They use more energy than other bulb types (which translates into higher utility bills) and last only one year on average before you need to replace them.
Now that you know all you need to know about light bulb types, you can choose the bulb that suits your fixtures the best.