Choosing the Right Light Bulb

Not all lightbulbs are created equally, and they are not created equally on purpose. Lightbulbs have different designs for different purposes: they are used in the home, in industrial settings, commercial settings, and exterior lighting in public and private spaces. Of these many different areas in which lightbulbs are used, we want to introduce you to the different types of lightbulbs and the purpose for each type of light bulb.

Choosing the Right Light Bulb

Types of Lightbulbs Used in the Home

The four most popular lightbulbs used in the home are: incandescent, compact fluorescent (CFL), halogen, and light-emitting diode (LED).

Incandescent Lightbulbs

The incandescent lightbulb has been the most commonly used lightbulb in the home because it is the least expensive, but this trend is changing as LED bulbs are becoming less expensive and last longer. The incandescent lightbulb emits a warm light, can be used with a dimmer, and will last up to a year. They last longer than halogen lightbulbs but not as long as CFL or LED lightbulbs and are also the least energy-efficient of the different types of lightbulbs.

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb (CFL)

CFLs emit the range of light colors from warm to cool and are energy efficient. They contain mercury so they have to be handled carefully and can take some time to warm up to get to their peak brightness output. CFLs are typically used to illuminate large spaces because of the brightness of the bulb. While they are less expensive than LED bulbs they are not as energy-efficient but do last longer than an incandescent light bulb.


Halogen lights emit a white light that simulates natural light at high-noon and are dimmable. Because they are energy-efficient they are most often used in difficult to reach places such as recessed lighting, pendant lighting, or under cabinet lighting. They do have the shortest lifespan of the four types of lighting and warm quickly so they should be kept away from fire-hazardous materials. You should also wear gloves or use a cloth to hold the bulb when installing it because the oils from your hands can heat the bulb quicker and further with the possibility of the bulb exploding from heat.

Light-Emitting Diode (LED)

LED’s are the most energy-efficient lightbulbs and they give off no heat, are made without mercury, emit a bright light, and are cheaper over the life of the bulb and because of this have become the preferred type of lightbulb in the household. There are some instances when other bulbs are used because LEDs provide directional lighting. The life of an LED bulb is 50,000 hours and so are used in hard-to-reach places where a lightbulb is needed.

Smart Light Bulbs

Smart lightbulbs are not one of the four most popular types of lightbulbs…yet. Smart lightbulbs are gaining in popularity as smart applications become more and more integrated into homes. What makes these bulbs gaining quickly in popularity is that they are an internet-capable LED light bulb that can be customized, scheduled, and controlled.

Technical Specifications of Lightbulbs

When deciding on what type of lightbulb is needed in different areas you will come across watts and lumens. Watts, or the wattage used, is the measurement of energy a lightbulb uses every hour, so the higher the wattage the more energy used per hour. Lumens the measure of how much light you are getting from the bulb, so the more lumens the brighter the lightbulb. Knowing what wattage and lumens are also means that the more lumens you need the more wattage will be used. It is recommended that you have 20 lumens per square foot for proper lighting. Following this advice you will need 400 lumens for a 20 foot by 20 foot room, so here is a comparison on how many watts it takes to produce 400 lumens for each type of bulb:

  • Incandescent bulb – 40 watts
  • Halogen bulb – 29 watts
  • CFL – 9 watts
  • LED – 6 watts

This means that using LEDs instead of incandescent lightbulbs you will use ⅙ the amount of energy to produce the same amount of light. In the United Kingdom our main electric supply is 230 V of alternating current (AC) but LEDs work on direct current (DC). LEDs that are used in the UK have a driver that changes the electricity from AC to DC so they can be used in the home. When purchasing LED bulbs for your home in the UK ensure that your bulbs have this driver or they will not work in your home.

International Chandeliers has years of experience with chandeliers, we also have an extensive understanding of the lightbulbs. If you have any further questions about light bulbs in general or specific questions about light bulbs in chandeliers please email, call, or contact us at your earliest convenience.