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About Light Bulbs

Light Bulbs Review

What are your choices for home lighting?

With a growing need for energy efficienct products your choice in light bulbs is greater than ever. You've already heard of CFL bulbs (compact flourescent light bulbs) and know that these "green bulbs" are the best choice for home lighting if you want to reduce the cost of your electric bill and help to conserve energy.

Another choice is the old standard incandescent. Yes, there are a lot of types of incandescent bulbs. These bulbs used to be the #1 choice but with CFL's in the market today, now, incandescent sales are down, CFL bulbs are going up. For most fixures in your home,you can generally choose between a compact flourescent or an incandescent bulb. Another bulb type you may be using is halogen.

Three Light Bulb Features Worth Understanding:

(1) Shape
Bulb shape matters and you've probably never thought much about it. Shapes are actually standardized and coded with a specific letter combination. One that we use all the time, is the standard pear shaped bulb, the A series. How about the decoratively shaped B and CA bulb series so frequently used with chandeliers. Other bulb shapes include: globe- used in bathroom vanities; decorative; fiesta; flame and cone.

(2) Diameter
The number that follows the bulb shape is the measurement of the bulbs diameter (done in 1/8 inch). So a standard A -19 bulb has a maximum diameter of 19 eighths of an inch.

(3) Base Size
Knowing your bulbs base size will help it to fit in the socket. Measurements of base sizes is done in millimeters. So if you look at base size you'll see the following:

  • E or Edison = Screw top bulbs
  • BI-PIN = bases have two contact points which protrude from the base
  • BA or Bayonet (or push-twist) are most common for European fixtures

Similiarities: CFL and Incandescent

It used to be that when you needed to replace a light bulb around the house you thought about nothing more than wattage. You'd say to yourself, "I need a 60 watt bulb to replace the burnt out one in the lamp." The bulb would likely be manufactured by Phillips Lighting Company or another manufacturer and you wouldn't think more about it. Not today, today the compact fluorescent rivals the incandescent, sharing a number of comparable characteristics. Here are a few:

  • 1. Both bulb types can satisfy most of your home lighting needs. These include fixtures like: lamps, recessed lighting, bathroom vanities, sconces, chandeliers and wall lights
  • 2. Both offer dimmable bulb solutions
  • 3. Both bulb types offer a range of finishes and soft white continues to be popular
  • 4. Both come in many different shapes, base sizes and diameters

Bulb Tips and Safety Standards

Halogen - If you are looking for something that is brighter and produces a more powerful light, halogen light bulbs are the way to go. Note: Halogen IRC & HIR are infrared energy efficient bulbs.

Fluorescent - light bulbs do not burn as hot as others and are more energy efficient. These last much longer than halogen and incandescent. Note: safe handling and disposal is essential because CFL's contain mercury.

Full spectrum - light bulbs are just regular light bulbs that produce white light. They are not the most energy efficient on the market.

LED light bulbs - are the small indicator lights often found on remote controls and other sensor operated electronics. However, watch these bulbs evolve. When these bulbs become an accessible home lighting choice and costs come down, LEDs will be the bulb leader. These bulbs offer a number of redeming features. 1) They last 10 times longer than fluorescent, and have no mercury within,

Leading Light Bulb Manufacturers:


Best Way to Buy the Right Bulb?

Whenever you need to purchase a light bulb, check the product you are currently using or visit the manufactures guide to make sure you purchase the correct one.

Many have different watts or powers and buying ones that are too powerful can burn your appliance out or not work properly. Some bulbs get very hot, and therefore cannot be used with plastics or fabrics that could melt or catch fire. Also, handle these bulbs carefully as they can cause serious burns.


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