What Are the Different Types of Lightbulbs for Your Home?

There are several types of lightbulbs you have to choose from for your house. This comprehensive guide will break down the common options.

Keyword(s): types of lightbulbs

Are you using the right type of lightbulbs for your home?

Having light in our homes when we need it is something we all take for granted. You likely don't give much thought to the lightbulbs you pick up from the supermarket when one blows. But the right lightbulbs for the right spaces can make your home more comfortable to live in.

Keep reading for our guide to the different types of lightbulbs and what you need to know to make the right choice.

What Are Watts?

Before you can find the best lightbulbs for your home lighting, you need to understand what watts are. Watts refer to how much energy the bulb needs to work. The higher the wattage, the more power it needs to consume to light up.

The brighter the light, the higher the wattage has to be. For example, a bulb that's 200 watts uses more power than a 100-watt bulb, but it will also be brighter. LED lights are a little different though. You can use those with any fixture regardless of the wattage requirements.

'Watt' About Lumens?

Where watts refer to power, lumens refers to the amount of light a bulb gives off. In other words, it's the brightness scale, and like watts, the higher the number the brighter the bulb.

To first understand lumens you need to know the square footage of the room or space you're lighting. It's recommended to have 20 lumens per square foot for most rooms, but we'll break it down below (per square foot):

If the rooms are darker colours, have less natural light or use dark panelling, add an extra 10 lumens. You can spread the total number of lumens you need across a few different light fixtures. You'll get a more even light coverage this way.

Types of Lightbulbs

There are four main types of lightbulbs which are:

  • Compact fluorescent (CFL)
  • Incandescent
  • Light-emitting diode (LED)
  • Halogen

We'll explore each of these in more detail below.

Compact Fluorescent (CFL)

These are a type of energy-efficient bulb that comes with a lot of colour options. It all depends on the model you choose, but they can take a while to warm up and get to their full brightness.

You can use CFL's to light up large spaces like kitchens, great rooms and basements. They're cheaper than LED lighting and can have a longer lifespan than incandescents.

Once they've burned out or blown, you can recycle them. But they do contain mercury, so make sure you always handle them with care.

Incandescent

These bulbs are often the most common type in use and usually are the cheapest option. They give off a warm light and you can use them with dimmer switches.

Their lifespan is usually around a year or so. This is longer than halogens but not as long as CFL or LED bulbs. When it comes to energy efficiency, they're not as good as the other types.

Light-Emitting Diode (LED)

LEDs are one of the most energy-efficient bulbs you can get and they give off next to no heat. They give off a strong, bright light and don't have any mercury in them.

They can provide directional light so work well for task lighting. Some light fixtures already have LEDs built-in, called integrated LED. You can expect them to last up to 50,000 hours and work great for places that are harder to reach.

Halogen

Halogen lights give off a white light simulating daylight at high noon. With their energy efficiency and dimmable features, they're perfect for:

  • Recessed lighting
  • Under-cabinet lighting
  • pendant lighting

Of the 4 options, halogens have the shortest lifespan, let also heat up fast. Make sure you keep them away from any fire-hazardous items or materials.

When you change these lightbulbs, it's a good idea to use gloves. The oils on your hand can cause the bulbs to explode once it gets heated up.

Lightbulb Shapes

Home Lightbulbs come in a range of shapes and sizes. Getting this right can complement the style of your home. The most common lightbulb shapes include:

  • Standard
  • Capsule
  • Globe
  • Candle
  • Candle Angular
  • Tube
  • Spiral
  • Floodlight/Spotlight
  • Speciality

Want a traditional chandelier then choose candle-shaped bulbs. For modern pendant lights, globe-shaped bulbs make a real statement.

Lightbulb Bases

You need to make sure the base of the bulb matches your light fixture's requirements. The most popular bases are "Edisons", they come in many sizes but all are a screw-based design.

Others also have screw bases, twist and lock, fluorescent pins or BI bin bases. Each base will have a specific code marked on it, you'll see things like E39, E12 or E39.

Each fixture will have the base size and number written on it to check. Most fixtures have this written on a label that's near the plug. If you're shopping online, check for this information under the "specifications" section. It might also be in the product description.

Colour Temperature

The Kelvins (K) temperature scale determines the colour of a lightbulb. They come in a variety of different colours with the most common being:

  • Warm white
  • Candlelight
  • Daylight
  • Neutral white

It depends on the room, amount of natural light, colour scheme and more to decide on the right colour. We'll break them down in more detail below.

Candlelight (1,000K – 2,600K)

Lightbulbs with less than 2,000K produce a dim glow that's like candlelight. They're not usually for lighting up large workspaces but rather to give a soft glow to intimate areas. They're good for floor lamps or table lamps for that added touch of comfort.

Warm White (2,600K – 3,000K)

Warm white is the most common colour for bulbs and it's perfect for living rooms, bedrooms and dining rooms. You'll most likely see these bulbs used for wall or ceiling lighting.

Neutral White (3,000K – 5,000K)

These bulbs have a cool white colour and tend to give off a bright light. For task lighting, they're perfect, especially in kitchens under cabinets. It also works well in home offices and bathrooms.

Daylight (5,000K+)

Lights with over 5,000K mimic crisp daylight as it would be around noon. This provides the perfect light temperature for rooms where you will do tasks. For example, a home office or study space. It's also perfect for outdoor lighting and security systems.

Choosing Lightbulbs Made Easy

So, there you have it! Now you've read this guide to the different types of lightbulbs, you're sure to choose the right one for you.

Each type of bulb works best with different applications. So, you must select the right type for the look and feel you're trying to create.

If you're looking for the perfect lightbulbs, check out our catalogue today. We have a mix of vintage and modern lightbulbs to fit any design aesthetic.