Understanding The Differences In Light Bulbs

The next time you need to change a light bulb, consider the different types regarding safety, expense, and functionality.

When it is time to change a light bulb, we rarely stop to think about the different types of bulbs there are available. The most thought any of us put into changing a light bulb are the various jokes told about the job! When we walk through a home improvement or hardware store and come to the section with light bulbs and fixtures, the experience is bright and overwhelming. Most of us simply look for the cheapest, general 60 watt bulbs that fit into most lamps and light fixtures, and then we go on our way. But the basic light bulb is not the only one out there any more. It has many family members that do a similar job but give, often, a completely different result.

Incandescent light bulbs are the types most of us are used to using. They come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, and will offer a wattage size from 15 to over 150. These bulbs are used in regular lamps, chandeliers, as flood lights, and in night lights and decorative Christmas lights. They are the most common and widely available, and they produce a soft, soothing light in all directions. Incandescent bulbs are the least expensive light bulbs on the market. They are easy to change and cool almost as soon as they are turned off.

Halogen light bulbs are brighter and are thought to more closely imitate the light from the sun. Many of today's more modern lamps require halogen bulbs which are smaller and have a longer life than their incandescent counterparts. Halogens burn hotter than incandescent bulbs and must be allowed to cool before changing. Always take proper care when changing a Halogen bulb: after the bulb cools, use a soft cloth to remove the old bulb and handle the new bulb, as oils from the skin can damage the bulb.

We all are familiar with fluorescent lighting, as these are the lights every child sees on the ceiling in his school room. In addition to the long narrow bulbs meant only for ceiling lights, fluorescent bulbs now are available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. They are much more energy efficient than either incandescent bulbs or halogen bulbs, using up to 40% less electricity, and lasting 15-20 times longer. Many homeowners are now using smaller, easy-to-use fluorescent light bulbs in standard lamp sockets, in place of incandescent bulbs. Experts have worked on fluorescent bulbs to make their light softer and warmer than the icy blue of the school room.

Light emitting diodes, also known as LEDs are the latest invention in lighting. Used in digital clocks, on appliances, televisions, and traffic signals, LEDs are simply very tiny light bulbs that fit into an electrical circuit. Unlike their incandescent relatives, they do not get very warm and they do not have a filament that will burn out. They rely on the electrical charges of electrons for illumination.

The next time you need to change a light bulb, consider the different types regarding safety, expense, and functionality.

© High Speed Ventures 2011