Lighting Guide Index  - Buyer's Guides - How To's & Tips - Lighting Galleries - Get The Look - Blog
Buyer's Guides - Light Bulb Buying Guide

Light Bulb Buying Guide

Posted on April 25, 2015 by Ed L | 0 comments

For optimal light output, we need to find the best bulb to get the job done. Fortunately today you have lots of great choices and bulb innovations are rampant. Over the next ten years, light bulbs will make a complete change. Today we have four main types of light bulbs, incandescent, halogen, fluorescent and LED (light emitting diode). 

1. Incandescent
The most common bulb used in lamps today because they are inexpensive, dimmable and widely available. Common incandescent bulbs vary from 15 to 150 watts and produce a warm, soft yellow-white light, emitted in all directions. They are generally available in clear, frosted, or colored. Incandescent bulbs are great for standard ambient lighting and higher wattages are good for task lighting. (Never exceed the maximum wattage recommended for your lamp!)
The problem with incandescent light bulbs is that they are not very efficient. If you ever touched a 100 watt bulb, you know it is HOT!. 90% of that 100 watts is wasted in unneeded heat! All the uproar you have heard about "banning light bulbs" is related to inefficient incandescent bulbs. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 is designed to help America convert to more efficient sources. However, regular CFL bulbs are not always compatible with dimmers, and may have other light quality issues.

2. Halogen
Many of today's lamps use halogen bulbs, which produce a bright, crisp, white light. They most closely replicate the color spectrum of the sun. Halogen bulbs have a longer life and provide more light (lumens) per watt than regular incandescent bulbs. Their small size and intensity make halogens great for task lighting. Like incandescents, Halogen bulbs waste most of their energy in heat. Since halogen bulbs burn hotter than other types, they require more caution. All halogen lamps sold today in the USA have approved safety shields to reduce fire risk. When changing a halogen bulb, be sure to wait until the bulb cools to touch it. Always use a clean rag to handle a halogen bulb, as oils from your hand will cause the bulb to burn hotter and can greatly reduce the life of your bulb.

3. Fluorescent
A very energy efficient bulb, using 50-75% less electricity than standard incandescent bulbs, and can last up to 20 times longer. Many new compact styles make fluorescent bulbs practical for task lighting. Screw-in types can be used in place of incandescent bulbs in standard lamp sockets. Fluorescent lighting feature a soft, diffused light. Fluorescent light bulbs are currently still popular because they are relatively low priced and very efficient. But they are difficult to dim and do not always produce the warm yellow light homeowners expect. Plus fluorescent bulbs do contain a trace of mercury and require special disposal handling.

4. LED
LED means light emitting diode, a semiconductor that emits light when electricity passes through it. LED bulbs are MUCH more common today and you may find them in lamps, accent and outdoor lights. LED bulbs last up to 20 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. Imagine not changing a bulb for 17 years! (great for hard-to-reach lights.) LEDs produce almost no heat or UV rays, all while using 80% less energy! Holding back LEDs is the high cost. You could pay $30-$60 for one bulb, but they can pay for themselves over time. Plus prices are coming down all the time! Many LED lights are fully dimmable, and contain NO mercury. By 2020, most bulbs sold will be LED. One popular application of LED bulbs is in replacement cans for recessed lights.

See other articles with these tags: guides-lighting-buying-guides,light-bulbs
Previous   Next



Please tell us what you thought of this, and feel free to ask questions...

LampsUSA Experts will moderate your comment before we display it. Thank you for your feedback!

Other Related Articles in Buyer's Guides...

Restoration Style Tips
Posted on July 24, 2015 by Angela V | 0 comments
Buyer's Guides - Restoration Style Tips
Restoration Style was derived from Charles II after he was restored to the throne of England in 1660. During this period a big richness was noted in English design, architecture and art. Upon his return from the Netherlands and France he and his followers brought with them the latest European styles. 

Take a trip back to 1920's Venice with delicate milk glass sconces in your powder room, or the regal elegance of an embellished Victorian crystal chandelier in your staircase or foyer. Bring a taste of medieval Europe to your dining room with a dramatic round iron chandelier. Most Vintage style collections span throughout time including ceiling lights, pendants, sconces, chandeliers and bathroom fixtures, as well as floor lamps and table lamps.

Continue reading →

Lampshade Buyer's Guide
Posted on June 24, 2015 by Paul West | 3 comments
Buyer's Guides - Lampshade Buyer's Guide
Consider the Use

Reading lamps need a wider shade to provide plenty of light. 

Consider the Room - What is the color and style of your room? Will the lamp have a starring role or compliment its surroundings?

Consider the Bulb
Be sure you have 2-3 inch separation from bulb to shade, especially for higher wattage bulbs. Be sure the top opening is wide enough to vent the heat. Compact Fluorescent bulbs are great for most lamps because they burn cooler, but you may need larger harp since CFL's are taller than standard light bulbs.

Continue reading →

Book Reading Lights
Posted on June 13, 2015 by Daniel B | 0 comments
Buyer's Guides - Book Reading Lights
Book lights are important if you want to keep your vision healthy over the years. Position your lamps and other lighting sources in such a way that it reflects directly onto the page without creating shadows. Many lighting fixtures like desk lamps and bedside table lamps are good examples of book lights, while other direct sources of lighting (like pendant lighting) can also work.

Continue reading →

Search Articles:

Have you seen this?

Related Shopping:
Related Articles:
Hot Articles:
Buyer's Guides - Lampshade Buyer's Guide
Lampshade Buyer's Guide

Buyer's Guides - Table Lamp Buyer's Guide
Table Lamp Buyer's Guide

Top 10 Light Bulbs
View all Light Bulbs

$0.99    $19.99 In Stock

Maxlite Spiral 11 Watt Compact Fluorescent Bulb SKS11EAWW

$29.50    $44.25 0 left!

Blue Max BlueMax 70 Watt Full Spectrum Replacement Bulb BL7096595

$7.74    $34.99 0 left!

Lampsusa 27 Watt Full Spectrum Replacement Bulb PL27QBX4PC

$14.95    $19.99 In Stock

Verilux Lamps 26 Watt Fluorescent Full Spectrum Light Bulb CFS26GU24VLX

$24.50    $32.99 In Stock

Blue Max BlueMax 42 Watt Full Spectrum Replacement Bulb BL4296595

$19.95    $39.95 In Stock

Verilux Lamps Natural Light 27 Watt Bulb CFML27LUX

$3.74    $6.99 In Stock

Lampsusa Bright Halogen/Xenon Set of 2 Replacement Bulbs Warm White S2404

$19.95    $35.99 In Stock

Verilux Lamps Natural Spectrum 23 Watt Compact Fluorescent Bulb 2 Pack CFS23VLX

$24.95    $43.99 0 left!

Verilux Lamps Natural Light 36 Watt Bulb CFML36VLX


View all Light Bulbs
More Guides:
How-To's & Tips
Learn how to achieve brilliant success in your projects - learn from the Pro's!
Lighting Galleries
View the hottest trends in interior design and get inspired to give your rooms a makeover!
Get The Look
Want a sneak peek into what America's best interior decorators are using this year? We bring you the HOTTEST room looks. Plus we show how you can "get the look" from America's top lighting designers for less
Catch up on the latest news, trends and stories through our dedicated LampsUSA Blog
Scroll to top