Understanding Different Types Of Light Bulbs

Lighting your home shouldn’t have to be an expensive proposition, but using the wrong type of bulb can have a major impact on your electricity bill. Several different types of light bulbs exist, and in order to choose the one that best suits your needs and budget, you need to know more about them.

Incandescent Bulbs

The bulbs most people are familiar with are known as incandescent, which generate light by super-heating a fine tungsten filament or wire. This older style of light bulb is still based on Thomas Edison’s original design, and has several noteworthy flaws. The most critical of these is the fact that incandescent bulbs convert only about 10% of the energy they consume into light. The rest dissipates into the surrounding environment as heat.

While the cheapest to purchase, the long term cost is significantly higher than other bulbs. You might be able to buy a dozen incandescent bulbs for less than twenty dollars, but you’ll be replacing a single bulb eight to twenty times more frequently than a comparable LED or CFL bulb.

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

Also referred to as CFL bulbs, these are vacuum sealed glass tubes which have been wound into coils so as to fit into common light bulb sockets. Instead of using a filament of metal, a CFL bulb relies on gas which emits light when heated. The resulting energy use is roughly a quarter of that used to produce the same light intensity with an incandescent bulb.

Though the cost per bulb is about eight times that of a single incandescent bulb, so is the life expectancy. The average CFL is expected to generate light for roughly ten thousand hours. That’s over 400 consecutive days without being switched off.

LED Bulbs

Far and away the longest lasting and most energy efficient lighting option on the market today. LED (light emitting diode) bulbs generate light by energizing small super-conductors that create very little heat as a by-product of their functions. Light was a side-effect of super-heating the filament in an incandescent bulb, while an LED generates virtually no heat by contrast.

Lasting up to five times longer than even a CFL bulb, these bulbs also use 1/6th of the energy needed to power older style incandescent bulbs. The real downside is that you’ll pay up to $40 for a single bulb, though that one bulb may last you between five and ten years depending on how frequently it is turned on.

There are several options to choose from when replacing burnt out light bulbs in your home. Like many choices, it’s best to look at the long term impact rather than just the initial cost of the purchase. If you think of your light bulbs as an investment in your home, you’ll often end up selecting a more energy efficient and longer lasting option. Check out shops like Pacific Lamp Wholesale Inc for more information.

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