How To Choose Light Bulbs

By LaytonLast update: 2023-07-24

It's simple to become perplexed about the type of light bulb to select because there are numerous distinct kinds accessible. Make the effort to choose light bulbs for the room instead of purchasing the first one that appears to suit a fixture. By choosing a bulb with both the incorrect wattage or volts for your fixture, you'll avoid a potential accident, save money over the long term, and have the most beautiful lighting for the home.

If you're uncertain of what kind of lamp to get, we can assist you in making the best decision based on your particular needs. Use our article to know how to choose light bulbs through our large range of light bulbs after you've reduced your size, kind, and brightness options.

How to choose light bulbs

Focus on lumens more than watts

In the past, we used to buy vintage incandescent lights based on how many watts of power they consumed. Light bulbs now provide the same quantity of light utilizing far fewer electricity thanks to the electricity new technologies that are now readily available. Shopping for watts is no longer a good idea. The current method for selecting the right light is to use lumens.

The quantity of light that a light bulb produces is measured in lumens. A modern, energy-efficient LED requires only 10W compared to the 700 lumens and 60W of an outdated incandescent light bulb. Each bulb would save about $16 in energy annually.

While you can get the lumens you need using a number of different technologies, halogen headlights are less effective and more expensive to operate than CFL or LED equivalent solutions.

Think about the lifelong cost

Select the light bulb which might end up costing you the least overall.

The longevity and efficiency of various lighting solutions are two key variations. For instance, while an incandescent bulb costs less to purchase than even an LED, a quality LED will last 5–10 hours harder and use just 25% as much energy.

For instance, the cost of electricity is 28.55 cents per kilowatt/hour (kWh). Over the course of ten years, a 10W LED might cost $39 to purchase and operate. Five 42W halogen lights would have to be used throughout this period, costing $148 total, or 2 12W CFL bulbs, costing $48 total. Based on durations of 6000 hrs for CFLs and 2000 hrs for halogens, these numbers assume that LEDs cost $10, CFLs cost $6, and halogens cost $3.

Set the correct tone for your lighting

On the left, a Warm White bulb is utilized, and on the right, a Cool White bulb.

You can alter the ambiance of your room by choosing from a variety of color temperatures offered by CFL or LED light bulbs.

  • Warm White is a pleasant, warm light that works well in living areas and bedrooms. It is comparable to conventional and halogen bulbs.
  • For task-based applications like kitchen tables, garage, and workplaces, Cool White provides a neutral light that is suitable for studies, kitchens, and other rooms.
  • Midday natural lighting temperatures are warmer than daylight. It can seem stern, dispassionate, and even sterile, yet it might be useful in restrooms and laundry rooms.

Lightening up your house

Basic and ambient lighting combined. The majority of spaces require both broad ambient lighting and task-specific accent lighting.

Overall, ambient illumination emits at a pleasant brightness level. Each room should have a single source of ambient light.

Additionally, have illumination that you may turn on and off based on your need. For instance, additional illumination over kitchen tables and bathroom mirrors, lights for studying or stitching, etc.

Accent lighting can be excellent for highlighting collectibles, indoor plants, and paintings. For this use, directed downlights are appropriate.

Choose the appropriate fitting or capping type.

This is probably the most important thing to know when choosing new bulbs since your light bulb will not fit if you select the incorrect fitting or cap. Considering this, one of the most frequent and annoying errors made when buying light bulbs is picking a bulb with the incorrect fitting or cap type.

Both numbers and letters are used to identify caps and bases. The number represents the base's diameter in millimeters, and the letter designates its type of base (mm). When there are one, 2, or 3 pins, a third word may also be present.

Several of the most popular cap and base designs are listed below:

  • Bayonet

In the UK, bayonet foundations are the most commonly used style of base. These bulbs are typically used in conventional and CFL bulbs, and they are inserted into a socket that uses a shove and twist motion.

  • Screw

The letter "E" is used to identify screw bases, also referred to as "Edison" bases. There are several sizes of these bases.

Two wires link the filaments to the base of screw-base bulbs, where electromagnetic voltage connects and controls the bulb.

  • Pegs or Pins

Two tiny pins or pegs are included on these bases.

The base kind code contains information about the pin or peg spacing in millimeters.

Different kinds of bulbs

Before very long, you had to purchase an incandescent bulb if you needed a light bulb. Old-fashioned fluorescent light bulbs, which feature a filament for which the brightness varies according to the amount of electricity passing through it, are still available to purchase. The moment is passing: If incandescent lights are your preferred choice, stock up now before they are gradually phased out by new energy-saving laws this year. But you'll have other options:

  • Although lamp diode (LED) bulbs used to be the most expensive option, their cost has considerably decreased. For $1 or less, you can get certain off-brand LEDs that are as bright as a 60-watt incandescent; name-brand bulbs are often more expensive. 25,000 hours is the average lifespan of LEDs, compared to 750 days for incandescent light bulbs.
  • The twisted fluorescent bulbs known as compact fluorescent (CFL) are more energy-efficient than incandescent ones. They cost between $2 and $3 each and have an 8,000-hour lifespan. CFLs must be recycled since they have trace quantities of mercury in them. Some retailers, including Lowe's and Home Depot, offer free CFL recycling.
  • Halogen bulbs, which are extremely bright, are frequently used to illuminate confined spaces like kitchen countertops. Wait until one has cooled off before handling it because they typically burn hotter than incandescents and have a lifespan of around 2,500 hours.

However, the price you pay for just a bulb is only a portion of the total. You should also consider how frequently you'll need to change the bulbs and the amount of energy the light will consume. The Consumer Organization of America estimates that using a 60-watt conventional bulb would cost around $70 over the course of ten years, including the price of the bulb as well as the electricity used to power it. (That expense also covers the ten years' worth of replacement incandescent bulb purchases.) Over the same time period, an LED costs a median of $13.70 and a CFL costs roughly $20.

Since the average home contains over 20 bulbs, upgrading from incandescent to LED lighting may save you roughly $1,100 over the course of ten years, or a little over $100 each year.


Overall, do not let the numerous options amid the endless columns of light bulbs intimidate you. Simply getting acclimated to a few characteristics that older bulbs didn't provide can help you find the ideal one by reading this article. The incorrect one can result in a further visit to the store or, worst, a set of inoperable bulbs. Bring the light bulb you intend to replace along when you go to the store if you require something other than a conventional light bulb and wish to avoid making a return visit to the bulb aisle.

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