Different Light Bulb Types – Common Light Bulb Types, Explained


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Lighting can change the atmosphere in a room and even impact your mood. It’s also key for engaging in the wide range of activities that occur in your home every day. On any given day, you find yourself relying on the right lighting to boost your productivity or, on the other hand, create the perfect ambience to relax. Whether you’re searching for the best light bulb to work in your home office, cook in your kitchen, highlight art in your living room, or complete your bathroom set-up, we have you covered. Here’s a rundown of common light bulb types you need to know, including insights from the Good Housekeeping Institute.

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Incandescent Light Bulbs

Known to be energy drainers, these traditional bulbs have a short life span. However, among their pros are that they are inexpensive (you can find them for just $2 each), they provide warm light, and turn on instantly.

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

This bulb, which contains a small amount of mercury, is popular due to its energy efficiency—it uses 75% less than incandescents. It’s best for spaces that require lighting for extended periods of time, which is why you might have spotted them in airports or hospitals. Just keep in mind that turning them on and off frequently can take a toll on their lifespan. Compact fluorescent bulbs can also be recycled, so visit earth911.com to pinpoint your local waste collection agency for details.

LED Light Bulbs

If you’re searching for a durable light bulb that doesn’t have to changed often (these last for up to a decade) and is dimmable, an LED or light-emitting diode is your best bet. It’s great for hard-to-reach areas and is available in a variety of colors, from cool to warm white. The main selling point, though, is that LED bulbs help curb your energy costs. Just know that you’ll have to pay upfront, since each bulb retails for about $8.

Halogen Light Bulbs

Think of halogen bulbs as upgraded incandescents. Along with being akin to natural daylight, they use about 25% less energy than incandescents and work well for spaces like bathrooms and hallways, where lights tend to be turned on and off constantly. According to the Good Housekeeping Institute, these bulbs tend to last for up to three years (three times as long as a standard 60-watt bulb).

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