Thanks to the wide range of energy-efficient bulbs, there is no end of light bulb options. They run the gamut from standard 60-watt incandescents to energy-saving LEDs. These various types of light bulbs have different brightness factors, color temperatures, and more.
How do light bulbs work?
Classic incandescent bulbs work thanks to a tungsten filament, which is encased in the glass bulb. When an electric current passes through the tungsten filament, its temperature increases. When it gets hot enough, it lights up. Other bulbs, such as LEDs, use different technology to produce light.
What are the different types of bulbs?
- Incandescent Bulbs: Incandescent bulbs are the classic option, but they're not as efficient as other bulbs. They're still available in 100-, 75-, 60-, and 40-watt iterations.
- LED Bulbs: LEDs use light-emitting diodes to produce light. Because this technology does not naturally produce white light, the diodes in LEDs are combined to produce light on the white spectrum. Because LED bulbs are inherently color-based, they can be found in a wide range of color temperatures from cool blue to warm yellow. These LED bulbs are extremely efficient, and they can last up to 50,000 hours.
- Compact Fluorescent Bulbs: Fluorescents are energy-efficient and available in a number of colors. They can take a few minutes to reach their full brightness, however, and fluorescents don't tend to be dimmable.
- Halogen Bulbs: Halogen light bulbs are the modern form of incandescents. These bulbs use less energy than their predecessors, and they are compatible with almost every type of lighting fixture. Halogens turn on instantly, are compatible with dimmer switches, and produce bright, accurate lighting.
What's the difference between lumens and watts?
When shopping for light bulbs, there are a few terms that are important to know:
- Lumens: Lumens refers to the amount of light that a light bulb emits. Higher quantities of lumens ensure brighter lighting. There are about 1600 lumens in one ordinary 100-watt bulb.
- Watts: Watts refers to energy usage. The fewer watts used, the less people spend on monthly electric bills. Higher watts and higher lumens do not always go hand in hand. Energy-saving light bulbs, like LEDs and CFLs, offer the same amount of light as traditional light bulbs but have lower wattage.
What is light color?
Some light bulbs also have a light color. This is measured via the Kelvin scale, which ranges from yellow to blue. The color of lighting has a big impact on the ambiance of a room.
- Soft White: This is the most common color, typically found in incandescents. It's ideal for indoor spaces and lamps.
- Warm White: This color lies between yellow and white on the Kelvin scale, and it's often used in kitchen fixtures and bathrooms.
- Bright White: This shade falls between white and blue on the color spectrum, and it's typically used to brighten kitchens and workspaces or complement white lighting fixtures.