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Bulb Buying Guide
For optimal light output, we need to find the best bulb
to get the job done. Fortunately today you have lots of great choices.
There are 4 commonly used bulb types:
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!)
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. 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.
A very energy efficient bulb, using 20-40% 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.
means light emitting diode, a semiconductor that emits light when
electricity passes through it. LED bulbs are becomming more common and
you may find them in lamps, accent and outdoor lights.
LED bulbs last up to 20 times longer than traditional incandescents.
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!
Sure LEDs cost more, but they can pay for themselves over time. Plus
prices are coming down all the time!
Steve Brielmaier – Lighting
and Lamp Design
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