Ever since Thomas Edison and Joseph Swan made a genius invention, lightbulbs are an inseparable part of our life. Needless to say, they have undergone tremendous development in the quality of light, efficiency, energy conservation, and design since the 19th century.
We might carry the same iconic image of the lightbulb in mind, but the modern lightbulbs that are illuminating our homes, offices, and buildings come in various sizes, shapes, material, and voltage.
Lightbulbs do more than simply illuminating spaces, they set the mood and create an atmosphere in our homes. The design of the lightbulb might not be a choosing factor for you, however, decorative lightbulbs have become quite trendy in modern home design.
This expert guide will introduce the most popular light bulb options on the market and help you choose the right ones for your home.
LED Light Bulbs
LED light bulbs which also include smart light bulbs can fit a variety of fixtures and are a perfect option for everyday use. They are energy-efficient as they use less electricity compared to incandescent light bulbs, without compromising the amount of light. It’s good to know that with LED light bulbs the brightness is measured in lumens, not watts.
LED light bulbs are generally more expensive than incandescent varieties, but they are a wise, long-term investment. Despite having to pay a higher price upfront, LED lightbulbs will save you a lot of money in the long run. LED lightbulbs are made without hazardous ingredients and are environmentally friendly and durable. When investing in LED lightbulbs, you will not only cut down your electricity bills but also will not have to constantly worry about replacing them, as they have a long lifespan.
CFL light bulbs typically have a spiral-shaped form. They use a minimal amount of electricity and emit a soft glow. CFL lightbulbs might take a bit longer to warm up to full brightness compared to other varieties. This is because they contain mercury.
These light bulbs are more affordable than the LED ones and are used in various fixtures both in and around your home.
Fluorescent Light Bulbs
Florescent light bulbs consume a minimal amount of energy and are ideal for kitchens, laundry rooms, and other utility spaces. They offer a sufficient amount of brightness and produce a crisp, white glow. These types of light bulbs can last well over 20,000 hours.
Halogen Light Bulbs
Halogen light bulbs emit a similar glow to incandescent lighting, however, they are a much more affordable and energy-efficient option. These types of light bulbs can be the right option for both indoor and outdoor flood light applications.
Unlike other options, Halogen light bulbs do not take a long time to reach the full brightness, however, they are less durable and usually burn out within less than a year of usage.
Incandescent Light Bulbs
Incandescent light bulbs are perhaps the most widespread option across the world. They do not offer great quality and burn out quite often. Incandescent light bulbs consume a lot of energy, but on the plus side, they are inexpensive and easy to replace.
Vintage & Decorative Light Bulbs
Vintage light bulbs (also known as Edison light bulbs) add an antique touch to your home. They are known for their traditional filament in the center. Vintage light bulbs have these candelabra bulbs for chandeliers.
Automotive Bulbs & HID Headlights
You can find a variety of automotive light bulbs to match your car. These lightbulbs emit a bright light for driving in various conditions.
When choosing an automotive light bulb make sure that it is compliant with the Department of Transportation regulations.
What Are Watts?
Watts measure the energy the lightbulb consumes to emit light. The higher the wattage the brighter the glow emitted by the bulb.
LED lights for example are compatible with all fixtures, no matter the wattage requirement.
How Many Lumens Do I Need?
Lumens measure the amount of light emitted by the light bulb.
The recommendation for properly illuminating a room is 20 lumens per square. If you are dealing with extra dark space, just add 10 more lumens per square foot.
You can spread the number of lumens across different fixtures throughout the room.
Light Bulb FAQ
How long do incandescent bulbs last?
As mentioned above, incandescent lightbulbs have a short lifespan from 750 hours to 2,000 hours. Factors that can contribute to decreasing longevity are overheating, electrical surges, power outages, and also how often the bulb is turned on and off.
Incandescent lights are inexpensive and usually, come with a poor quality filament that burns out very quickly.
If you are looking for a long-term investment to cut down the energy bills and not have to worry about constant replacement, incandescent light bulbs are not a good option.
How long do LED bulbs last?
The average lifespan of a LED light bulb is about 50,000 hours, which is significantly longer than that of incandescent light bulbs.
LED light bulbs save energy and do not contain harmful elements such as mercury, which makes them a great investment.
Even though they cost a bit more upfront, considering the durability and other benefits, these lightbulbs are worth the splurge.
Can light bulbs be recycled? If so, where?
Incandescent light bulbs are not environmentally friendly and can’t be recycled. You should avoid throwing them in the trash.
LED bulbs, however, do not contain hazardous elements and you can dispose of them in the trash. They can also be recycled, therefore are a good choice for environmentally conscious consumers who go the extra mile of taking them to recycling centers.
Similar to led lights, halogen light bulbs also do not contain hazardous waste. These light bulbs are considered eco-friendly, however, they require a special recycling process, so not all recycling centers will accept them.
As for CFL and fluorescent bulbs, they do contain a tiny amount of mercury and should be taken to a recycling center.
Can light bulbs expire?
Incandescent lights work as long as the filament is intact, so they do not have an expiration date. The same goes for CFL lights, however, if they break, you will need to be careful about the disposal of the hazardous waste, as they contain some amount of mercury which can lead to health issues.
LED bulbs also do not have a shelf life and work as long as they are intact.
That being said, it’s important to know that all light bulbs, regardless of their classification, should be stored in a dry, safe space.
The lifespan of the light bulbs depends on all elements being intact.
Which light bulbs work with Google Nest?
If you are looking for light bulbs compatible with Google Nest, go for Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance or LIFX. These light bulbs are available at most home improvement stores with various brightness to choose from.
Which light bulbs work with Alexa?
For compatibility with Alexa, again go for Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance, LIFX as well as Cree Connected bulbs.
You can find them at most home improvement stores and choose from a variety of brightness options.
Greeni PRISMA, Sylvania SMART+, and Sengled are also designed to work with Alexa.
Which light bulbs work with Hive?
Most lightbulbs compatible with Google Nest and Alexa will also be compatible with Hive. You will need to link them via the dashboard and they will be good to go.
Which types of light bulbs contain mercury?
A small amount of mercury is contained in CFL bulbs, metal or ceramic ones, high-pressure sodium and mercury vapor bulbs.
It is important to understand, that in case of breaking such bulbs, you should be careful with disposing of the hazardous element to avoid health risks.
Why do some light bulbs buzz?
If you are tired of the buzzing sound that comes from light bulbs, avoid buying bulbs with a filament.
The buzzing is caused by the current interruption which causes the filament to vibrate inside the bulb and produce this unpleasant sound. This is usually the case with incandescent light bulbs and can be solved by replacing them with other options like LED lights.
What are smart light bulbs?
Smart light bulbs are a variety of LED bulbs that have the option of connecting to the internet. They can be controlled remotely and are very durable. An average smart lightbulb can serve you around 15-25 years.