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Which Type Of Light Bulb For You?

Furnishings

With the advancement in technology, picking the right type of light bulb can also mean savings in energy consumption. We take a look at the most common types used in homes.

 

image for Which Type Of Light Bulb For You?

A variety of light bulbs

 

Incandescent

                                            

These are the traditional light bulbs that come to mind whenever we think ‘light bulb’ - the one Thomas Edison perfected in the 1880s. The typical incandescent bulb emits a warm yellow-white glow. Inexpensive and widely available, they are not as efficient as the other types. Moreover, they also need to be replaced often. Go for frosted types to avoid the glare effect or the clear types for the full industrial and vintage look.

 

 
Traditional light bulbs exude a warm luminescence and bring out the vintage and industrial look in interior designs. 2nd picture from the left shows a vintage camera tripod with an edison-styled bulb.

 
From above left: Incandescent cage lamp. Industrial Chandelier. Transparent glass pendant lamp with edison bulb. Photo source: 4K Home Tech

 

 


 The above photo shows its use in dining lamps. Photo source: The 80's Studio


 

Price Range: $1.60 -$5.40 upwards

The Good: Inexpensive and readily available

The Bad: Low efficacy and needs to be replaced frequently

The Bottomline: For general home use

 

 

Halogen


Halogen bulbs (also known as tungsten halogen) produce a stronger light than other incandescent bulbs. They also last longer and are more efficient than the latter. However, since they operate at very high temperatures, you have to be careful where you place them and never touch a halogen lamp with bare hands or leave flammable materials nearby.

 


Adds a sense of luxury and beauty to a well designed area. Photo source: Piuttosto Gallery Interior Design

 

Price Range: $1.10 to $53 upwards

The Good: Brighter light than incandescent

The Bad: Burn at high temperatures

The Bottomline: Good choice for task lighting. A halogen lamp should be placed away from young children. Halogens are most often used in track lighting systems and are commonly installed on walkways, pubs and fully air conditioned places

 

  
From left above: Track lights used in the wardrobe area. Photo source: Ideal Design Interior. Dining chandelier with halogen bulbs. Photo source: House of Chandelier

 

Fluorescent

               
Much more efficient than incandescent bulbs, fluorescent bulbs use 1/5 to 1/3 of the electricity needed for the latter, for the same amount of light rendered. Furthermore, fluorescent bulbs last up to 20 times longer too. The most readily type of fluorescent lights you can find in the market are Compact Fluorescent Lamps or CFLs. Those with the screw-on connectors can largely be used in place of incandescent bulbs. Generally, CFLs are dimmable too. However, there is one drawback with using them – they contain mercury and need to be properly disposed of.

 

 

 
Cove lights using T5 tubes in the living room. Photo source: weiken.com

 

Price Range: $2.60 to $192 upwards

The Good: Long-lasting and very efficient

The Bad: Contain mercury

The Bottomline: Use in place of most incandescent bulbs. T5 tube lights are usually used for cove lighting and in signages.

 

  
From above left: T5 tubes in shop signage. Flourescent light bulb in christmas balls.

 

 
Fluorescent cove lights in bedroom

 
 

LEDs


Short for Light Emitting Diodes, these operate by charging semi-conductors to create a unit of light. By far the most efficient and durable of all the light bulb types, they also have relatively high cost per watt. This explains for their popularity in low-power usage. Increasingly, these are being developed more for home usage.

 

LED lights are use frequently around the bed's headboard and under cabinets as it emits lesser heat and cool to the touch. Photo source: Omus Living

 

Price Range: $9.30 to $83 upwards

The Good: Super long-lasting and efficient

The Bad: High cost per watt

The Bottomline: Higher cost to purchase but long-lasting compared to incandescent bulbs so it pays itself after 2 to 2.5 years of usage. Use for downlights, especially under cabinets. Lower light intensity than flourescent or halogen thus it is not suitable as a task light for reading.

 

 
In this picture above, the wall is washed with light emitting from a bright LED tube below. This combination gives off a cool blue glow. Photo source: onextrapixel.com

 

image for Which Type Of Light Bulb For You?

LED lights for stairs. Photo source: onextrapixel.com

 

image for Which Type Of Light Bulb For You?

Transparent light cubes in different LED colors.

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