Light bulbs are the cornerstone of electricity, and over the years, different types of light bulbs have emerged for more efficient purposes. Whether it’s using fluorescent tubes in your office or smaller, energy efficient light bulbs in your bedroom, it’s important to know which light bulbs are most efficient for your appliances or setting. Here’s some types of light bulbs you are likely most familiar with.
Incandescent light bulbs have been used for household lighting for a long time. These bulbs contain a tungsten filament heated with electricity until it begins to glow, producing light. Inside the glass bulb is either a vacuum or a mixture of nitrogen and argon gas. They come in a variety of watts depending on the lamp or light fixture they will be used in. Although these bulbs have been very popular, they are not energy efficient. Most of the energy used to create the glow in incandescent bulbs emits heat. A typical incandescent bulb will last around 700-1000 hours before burning out.
Halogen bulbs are similar to incandescent because they both use tungsten filaments. Halogens, however, contain halogen gas in a tube. These bulbs produce a very bright, white light that makes them ideal to use for work. A halogen light bulb is slightly more energy efficient than its incandescent counterpart with 1700-2500 hours of lamp life, but they are expensive. Recessed lighting, stage lighting and portable work lights are common uses for halogen bulbs. These bulbs do have drawbacks in their versatility because they become so hot that they are a fire hazard. The bulbs also should not be handled with bare hands because oily residue from the skin can damage the bulb and cause it to break.
LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, are extremely energy-efficient light bulbs. They do not contain a filament which is why they last so much longer than incandescent or halogen bulbs. Because the light given off by an LED is only directional, they are not ideal for lighting a large space such as a room. LEDs are typically used in smaller lights such as flashlights and car tail lights. LED lights usually last up to 50,000 hours, up to 50 times longer than an incandescent light bulb.
Fluorescent lights work by passing a current through a tube filled with argon and mercury. These bulbs are efficient, give off minimum heat and are inexpensive compared to other bulbs, making them ideal for office space or commercial lighting. Fluorescent lights will usually have about 10,000-20,000 hours of life before needing to be replaced. Another type of fluorescent bulb is the CFL, or compact fluorescent light bulbs. These bulbs feature a base that can be screwed into most household lamps. They are starting to replace incandescent as the preferred bulb because they last about ten times longer than incandescent.