An indispensable product for our lives, bulbs come in many shapes, sizes and technologies. We are going to go over the main categories of bulb types in the market, and explain their pros and cons for you, our valued customer. We hope this will allow you to make a more educated purchase for your lighting needs.
Their roots going back to the invention of electricity, incandescent bulbs are the most commonplace and cheapest bulbs in the industry. There are many variations in size, shape, socket type, and illumination. Sub types include the following:
Candelabra (Candle base) bulbs: This shape is ideal for mostly traditional chandeliers where the light source is meant to appear like a candle. This effect can further be enhanced by using a dimmer with the chandelier. The base of the bulb is narrower than regular bulbs, and therefore is ideal for smaller light fixtures as well. Candelabra bulbs’ shape also allows for the attachment of a lamp shade directly onto the bulbs. For this reason, many sconces and small table lamps with shades require candle base bulbs.
Medium Base: This type of bulb is the most common of all. Medium base with a round glass of varying sizes, the medium incandescent bulb fits most light bulbs and by far the best seller of all time.
The sale of incandescent bulbs are declining however, due to energy shortages, global warming concerns, government policy changes and improvements in new affordable lighting technology.
Halogen bulbs are a lot more compact than incandescent bulbs. In essence, they use the same technology as incandescent bulbs but offer a much smaller profile. Furthermore, halogen bulbs are slightly more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs. One thing to be careful about is the heating of halogen bulbs. Avoid at all times the handling of halogen bulbs bare handed even when they are cool, as your skin oil can cause the bulb to explode in the next use.
The history of the fluorescent technology for lighting purposes goes back to late 1800s. It is the second oldest lighting technology after incandescent lights. Fluorescent lighting is significantly more energy efficient and longer lasting than incandescent lights. Although fluorescent bulbs are more expensive than their incandescent counterparts, the savings in energy and lifetime makes them more economical than regular incandescent and halogen bulbs.
Fluorescent bulbs have become increasingly more popular in the marketplace with the introduction of compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL) and the improvement of it in terms of illumination. When the CFL’s first hit the market, the only option was to have the regular white light of fluorescent in a more compact form. This type of light is often acceptable in commercial uses. Hovever, when it comes to residential use, the general public desire a softer white light in their living areas. In the last 5-7 years, the technology in CFL’s imporved enough to offer a variety of light intensities and shades of white to allow for a full penetration of the residential lighting market for fluorescent bulbs.
A downside to the fluorescent technology is the use of mercury. All types of fluorescent lamps, including compact fluorescent bulbs, contain mercury which is an environmentally hazardous element. It is imperative to recycle fluorescent bulbs and avoid breaking them to make sure they don’t affect the environment negatively.
Light Emitting Diode (LED):
LED bulb is the latest in lighting technology. This technology is currently the most energy efficient and longest lasting lighting solution in the market. Although LED lights were expensive when they first entered the market, the prices have dropped significantly thanks to improvements in mass production and market saturation. LED bulbs have been around for about 7 years. The first examples of this type were quite bulky bulbs with more directional light than regular bulbs that provide light more evenly in every direction. LED bulbs have improved significantly over the years and today, one can find LED bulbs that illuminate almost the same way as regular bulbs. Improvement in LED technology has also provided the ability to use these bulbs with dimmers, control them from smart devices, and integrate them to a smart home setting.