What Type of Light Bulb Should I Buy?

There are probably more different types of light bulbs on the market than you ever imagined, and finding the right one for your needs can be overwhelming. Depending on your needs, there might be a few different bulbs to choose from. Here we’ll go through a few types of light bulbs, their benefits and their disadvantages in the hopes that you can better make a decision. Since energy efficiency is our main goal here, we’re going to go through the type of bulbs in the order of efficiency.

1. LED – Light Emitting-Diodes, or LEDs, are probably the most popular light bulbs on the market today, and with good reason. They are rated to last into the tens of thousands of hours and only use a fraction of the wattage needed for traditional incandescent bulbs. Not only is this far more energy efficient, it will save you incredible costs of the long run.

2. Compact Florescent Lights – Compact florescent lights, or CFLs, were the most popular lighting source before LEDs became the ideal choice. Although they are significantly more energy-efficient than traditional bulbs, they don’t last as long as LEDs.

3. Halogen – Halogen bulbs today are just incandescent light bulbs with halogen gas trapped inside the filament. When the filament is heated and produces light, the Halogen gas “recycles” the burnt up tungsten-gas emitted from the filament and therefore makes the bulb more energy efficient. Although not as efficient and cost-effective as LEDs, they are a better choice than traditional incandescent bulbs.

4. Incandescent – Incandescent bulbs are probably the light bulbs you’re most familiar with, as they’ve been the traditional type of bulb for many years before the popularity of the LED. The original incandescent bulbs a la Thomas Edison have been phased out due to their extreme lack of energy efficiency, but more modernized incandescent bulbs are still on the market today. Although the initial cost is relatively cheap, they’re only rated to last around 1,000 hours or so.

Outside of energy efficiency, knowing what color lighting and the dimming capabilities are also important in making sure you’re going to be comfortable wherever you need to put your new bulbs. Learning about wattage, lumens and color temperature will greatly help you if you’re particular about what you want your room to look like. While LEDs are typically the best choice, some still aren’t ready to fully commit to the change and want something a little less expensive upfront. Whatever you decide, knowing the types of bulbs, their benefits and disadvantages is certainly useful.