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Home Lighting: Knowing Your Bulbs




Today, buying a light bulb isn’t quite so simple as just running to the store and picking one up. That’s not because you can’t find light bulbs anymore, it’s just that there are quite a few different types of light bulbs. It can be hard to pick the right one. If you keep having to replace your light bulbs because they are constantly burning out, is there a better light bulb out there? And what about the kind of light? Do you want a softer light, or a white light? If you get too bright of a light, your entire house could suddenly look and feel like a hospital because of the harshness of the light.

Of course, picking a light bulb goes far beyond just the color and quality of the light. With the desire to lower electricity bills, and finding light bulbs that don’t have to be replaced as often, you can easily become overwhelmed by the options. Fortunately, learning about the different kinds of light bulbs isn’t hard, and soon you’ll be able to pick out a light bulb like a pro.

The Ins and Outs of Light Bulbs

Finding the right light bulb goes beyond energy efficiency and savings. It even goes beyond finding the right quality and color of light. Some light bulbs are better used in certain situations than others. Right now, we’re going to look at five different types of bulbs, and where each one shines brightest.

· Incandescent Bulbs. This light bulb has been around for a long time, and it’s the most commonly and widely used light bulb. They are inexpensive and have set the standard for some of the best light. They illuminate with a warm light that’s appealing and calm. They aren’t too harsh. However, they don’t have a very long life. You probably already know this, and I’m guessing you’ve had to change your fair share of incandescent light bulbs in the past.

· Halogen Bulbs. Halogen bulbs are quite similar to incandescent bulbs because they are a variation. In terms of light quality, they illuminate with a white light that’s very close to natural daylight. Because of this, colors are more vibrant, and appear sharper with halogen lights. They are more expensive, but they are a little more energy efficient. These lights do get quite warm, and you’ll need to be careful not to touch them. The oil from your skin could cause the halogen bulbs to heat up unevenly and quickly, and there’s the potential that they could explode. Halogen bulbs are typically used as lighting under cabinets or in recessed lights.

· Fluorescent Bulbs. You’ll know these bulbs from hospitals, stores, restaurants, and schools. They illuminate with a very flat light that can be cold and harsh. Fluorescent bulbs do provide more light than incandescent bulbs, and they last longer as well. The best application for fluorescent lighting is large areas that need a lot of light, such as your basement.

· Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFLs). CFLs are a popular light bulb choice, and odds are, much of the light bulbs in your home are already CFLs. They use a fraction of the electricity that incandescent bulbs do, and they last up to ten times longer. CFLs do away with the cold, harsh light of fluorescent bulbs, and illuminate with a warmer light. They also turn on almost instantly, unlike like traditional fluorescent bulbs, and they are quiet. They don’t have that hum.

· Light-Emitting Diode (LED). LED light bulbs are still relatively new. They are quickly gaining in popularity, and for good reason. LEDs are incredibly energy efficient and long lasting, beating even CFLs. LEDs can last for decades, and they generate virtually no heat. You’ll be able to find LED light bulbs in almost any color you could want, from a cold and harsh light, a soft and warm light, or a veritable rainbow of colors. The surge of smart light bulbs are LEDs.

Picking the Perfect Bulb

Each light bulb will help you solve your lighting needs. While some, like fluorescent bulbs and halogen bulbs, are tailored more toward a specific purpose, most of your light bulb choices will work for any of your lighting needs. LEDs are quickly becoming a popular and affordable choice, but they are still far more expensive than the usual incandescent bulbs. Don’t like the price deter you though. LEDs use a fraction of the energy and they can last for decades.

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