Residential Light Bulbs – The Different Types And Their Characteristics

There are various kinds of residential light bulbs around and each was designed with a specific purpose in mind. Primarily, the function of each is to provide illumination in a room. It can be used for task lighting or for simple mood lighting. Once a bulb burns out, it can also serve other purposes. Always keep this in mind when you are out to replace the bulbs in your home.

Incandescent Bulbs

These are standard bulbs which a lot of people are most familiar with. Incandescent lighting works by using electrical power in heating tungsten filament inside a bulb. This filament then glows.

Most of the electrical energy consumed by such bulbs is given off in the form of heat. Because of the high temperature, the tungsten has a tendency to evaporate then collect of the sides of the bulb. This eventually causes uneven thinning.

As the bulb is turned on, the sudden energy surge causes the thinning areas to heat up at a much quicker rate than the rest of the filament. This causes the filament to break and, eventually, the bulb to completely burn out.

If you want to have steady, warm light inside a room, then it would be good to invest in incandescent lighting. This bulb can last for as long as 700 to a thousand hours. You can also use a dimmer with it.

Halogen Bulbs

This is a variation of the incandescent bulb. Halogen bulbs work in the same manner as they also pass electricity through tungsten filaments. The bulb contains halogen gas in this case. This gas causes a chemical reaction that takes off the tungsten from the glass walls. They are then deposited back to the filament.

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Compared to incandescent lighting, halogen bulbs tend to last longer. They also give off more lumens per watt, meaning, they can offer better illumination.

Be careful in handling halogen bulbs since they tend to burn the fingers. Oils from people’s fingers can weaken the glass and can cause the bulb’s light to be shortened. This can even cause the bulb to burst.

Fluorescent Lighting

This is the type of light bulb that uses a tube filled with mercury and argon gas. This provides ultraviolet radiation which floods the phosphorus coating. This kind of lighting can last for as long as 10,000 to 20,000 hours.

Fluorescent lighting is quite efficient as it produces very little heat while offering more light. It is not true that fluorescent lighting is all about having cool white in your home. These days, this kind of light offers a wide array of color options.

Storage areas, basements, lockers work best with fluorescent lighting. Most fluorescent bulbs can be used with dimmers, too.

Compact Fluorescent Lamps or CFLs

These are modern types of light that work pretty much like regular fluorescent lighting, only, they come in smaller packages. CFLs produce very little heat while being energy efficient. Most of them can fit screw type base fittings, also pin or snap-in types.

Here are the equivalent wattages for CFLs and incandescent bulbs –

  • 7-10 watts of CFL is equal to 40 watts in incandescent lighting
  • 15-18 watts of CFL is to 60 watts of incandescent light
  • 20 watts of CFL is to 75 watts of incandescent light
  • 20-25 watts of CFL is to 100 watts of incandescent light
  • 32 watts of CFL is equal to 150 watts of incandescent bulb
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LED or Light Emitting Diodes

LEDs are bulbs minus the filament that consumes low amounts of energy but comes with a longer life span. LEDs are now starting to compete with conventional lighting. And with technology advancing every day, it won’t be long before LED bulbs will be at the very top of the list of residential light bulbs.