With so many different light bulbs to choose from one might feel a little overwhelmed when trying to choose the right one.
If you go into one of the big box stores to purchase a light bulb for your home then you might get the feeling that this particular isle could be a store unto itself. Too many choices can be a problem that can paralyze you. Let’s try to shed some light on this subject (go ahead you can cringe at that one).
Incandescent is the most commonly used light bulb and usually the least expensive. This type of light has a warm, inviting quality and is very complimentary to skin tones and psychologically appealing. Incandescent bulbs usually last between 700 to 1,000 hours and can be used with a dimmer; however, they’re not as energy efficient as other options.
Halogen bulbs give the closest approximation of natural daylight, known as “white light.” Colors appear sharper under halogen light and the bulbs can be dimmed. They’re a little more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs, but are more expensive and burn at a higher temperature. Most often halogen bulbs are used in under-cabinet lighting, pendant lights and recessed cans. Remember not to use bare hands when changing the halogen bulb. The smallest residue of oil from a human hand can rub off on the bulb, creating an atmosphere where the bulb warms too quickly when the lamp is turned on, which can cause the bulb to explode.
Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) consume a quarter of the energy that incandescent bulbs do and last 10 times longer. Unlike the old fluorescent lights, CFLs are quiet, instant-on and have warmer, color-corrected tones. They can be used anywhere you would use a typical incandescent light bulb. CFLs contain trace amounts of mercury, a harmful substance. Although the bulbs contain far less mercury than other household items, care needs to be taken to prevent breakage. Also, when CFLs burn out, they should be properly recycled.
LED, which stands for “light-emitting diode,” is a lighting technology that is long-lasting and extremely energy-efficient, but they’re not ready to supplant all other bulbs yet. For one, they provide only directional light, not diffused light, making them ideal for under-counter task lighting, but not general room illumination. To overcome this, new models consist of large arrays of LEDs clustered together, but at prices from five to six times higher than CFLs, the bulbs are not for everybody.
The incandescent light bulb has always been my go to lighting source for my own bottle lamps. You really can’t beat the nice warm soft glow that it gives off. Usually used for night stands, these bulbs offer the perfect light for reading.
For a more energy conscious consideration, the LED bulb does offer no heat that is emitted while in use.
Your own personal preference will allow you to decide which light bulb is right for you.