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Light Bulb Buying Guide | Lampeee

Light Bulb Buying Guide

Choosing Light Bulb Types

Lamp lit by bulbs in a room with blue walls.
There are many types of light options. Learn how lighting affects your daily life, the different types of light bulbs and which bulbs can create the perfect lighting for your home.

Table of Contents
Your Best Light Bulb Choice
The Facts of Light
Lumens and Watts
Light Color
Wattage Breakdown
Reading the Package Label
Incandescent Bulbs
Fluorescent Bulbs
Halogen Bulbs
HID Bulbs
Light Bulb Shapes and Bases
Lighting Innovations
Your Best Light Bulb Choice
There are tons of choices for buying light bulbs, but choosing the right kind doesn't have to be difficult. Today’s light bulbs are primarily light-emitting diodes (LED). LED bulbs fit standard light sockets and are the most energy-efficient option. LEDs have lower wattage than incandescent bulbs but emit the same light output. This allows them to produce the same amount of light but use less energy. LEDs can last over 20 years and don't contain mercury.

LEDs work by using an electrical current passed through semiconductive material to illuminate the tiny diodes. The heat produced is absorbed into a heat sink, keeping the bulbs cool to the touch. That also means they don't contribute to heat buildup, which helps save on air conditioning. LEDs can be used outside too — just make sure the packaging indicates the bulb is rated for outdoor use.

Shop Light Bulbs
Shop LED Bulbs
Shop Lighting
The Facts of Light
The type of lighting you choose for a room directly affects its atmosphere and mood. Combining the correct light fixtures and light bulbs illuminate your home and gets both flattering and useful results. To get the best light bulbs for your lifestyle and home, it helps to know a bit about the science of lighting. For more on lighting and its role in home décor, read Home Lighting Tips.

Lumens and Watts
Light output watts to lumen chart.
Lumens and watts are important for determining light output and energy use.

Lumens: The amount of light emitted from a light bulb. More lumens equal brighter light; fewer lumens equal dimmer light. Standard 100-watt bulbs produce about 1600 lumens.

Watts: The amount of energy a light bulb uses. The lower the light bulb wattage, the lower the electric bill. Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and LEDs have a lower wattage than incandescent bulbs but emit the same light output.
Tip
Never exceed the maximum wattage recommended for your lamp or fixture.

Light Color
Light color measured on kelvin temperature scale.
Light color or appearance is measured on the Kelvin (K) temperature scale, and it's the difference in soft white versus daylight bulbs. Lower Kelvin numbers mean more yellow light; the higher the Kelvin number, the whiter or bluer the light.

Soft White (Yellowish Range) 2700K to 3000K: This is the standard color of incandescent bulbs. Perfect for bedrooms, living rooms or dens and highlighting dark woods.
Warm White (Between the Yellowish and White Ranges) 3000K to 4000K: Perfect for kitchens, workspaces and bathrooms.
Bright White (Between the White and Blue Ranges) 4000K to 5000K: These bulbs, like GE Reveal Light Bulbs, work best in kitchens and bathrooms with chrome or white fixtures.
Daylight (Blue Range) 5000K to 6500K: Perfect for reading as they're easy on the eyes and provide bright illumination.
Wattage Breakdown
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 requires that light bulbs must use 25% less energy, leading to the phaseout of standard incandescent light bulbs and CFLs. Use this chart to locate an energy-saving equivalent.

LED Halogen CFL Incandescent
14 – 16 watts
72 watts  23 watts 100 watts
12 – 13 watts
53 watts 20 watts 75 watts
8 – 9 watts
43 watts 15 watts 60 watts
Reading the Package Label
Lighting facts per bulb.
Lighting labels provide quick hints to help you get the most bang for your buck. They're now required by the Federal Trade Commission to appear on light bulb packaging. Facts include brightness, estimated yearly cost, life expectancy, light appearance, energy used and mercury information.

Tip
By comparing the lumens and life of different bulbs of the same wattage, you can select the light bulb that provides the best combination of light output and length of life.

Incandescent Bulbs
Incandescent light bulb.
Incandescent bulbs used to be the industry standard, but laws now require new energy-efficient standards for basic light bulbs. All standard 100-, 75-, 60- and 40-watt incandescent bulbs have been phased out and will no longer be produced. Many specialty incandescent bulbs, such as chandelier bulbs, will remain available.

Incandescent bulbs use a filament that’s heated to the point of glowing. The glowing filament produces the bulb’s light.

Incandescent bulbs last one year on average.
Incandescent bulbs don't contain mercury.
They can be used with a dimmer switch.
Fluorescent Bulbs
Fluorescent light bulb.
Fluorescent bulbs or tubes are filled with mercury vapor that emits ultraviolet (UV) light when electricity is applied. The bulbs/tubes have a coating inside that turns the UV rays into visible light. They use less energy than an incandescent bulb and are ideal for offices, kitchens, hallways and other areas that need a large area of light. Fluorescent bulbs also produce about 75% less heat than incandescent bulbs, so they keep rooms cool with less energy.

Fluorescent lights are usually long and tube-shaped but also come in U-shaped bulbs.
Fluorescent tubes won't work without a ballast, a device that regulates the current to the bulb.
Shop Fluorescent Bulbs
Halogen Bulbs
Halogen light bulb.
Halogen bulbs use a filament that’s heated to the point of glowing. They're the same as incandescent bulbs but use less energy.

Halogen bulbs last one year on average.
Halogen bulbs don't contain mercury.
Shop Halogen Bulbs
HID Bulbs
High-intensity discharge (HID) bulbs are primarily used in larger spaces, such as warehouses, commercial buildings or in streetlights. They're filled with sodium or mercury vapor that conducts electricity. HID bulbs don't have filaments like most light bulbs so they last longer.

Light Bulb Shapes and Bases
Light bulbs are available in a variety of shapes and bases to fit your needs. Different types of LED bulbs can be used in table lamps, pendant lights, ceiling fans, wall sconces and other lighting fixtures. Vintage and decorative bulbs are perfect for adding a bit of style to your room décor.

If you're looking to replace a broken bulb, have your old bulb with you when you shop so you can buy the correct replacement. You can also check out other available energy-saving and stylish options.

Lighting Innovations
If you like to keep up with the latest technological innovations, there are several new lighting features to choose from.

Voice-Enabled
Manufacturers have created bulbs that turn on and off via voice recognition.

Music
These LED light bulbs have a built-in Bluetooth speaker so you can stream your playlists wirelessly. There's also color-changing technology that's synced with the music or can be independently lit and features up to 16 colors to fit any occasion or mood.

Smartphone Technology
Want to turn the lights on in your home before you get there? Or maybe you're at the best part of the movie and you don't want to leave the couch? You can control your lighting from your smartphone with smart lights. Dim lights, turn them on or off, or schedule your lighting to turn on.

Choosing Light Bulb Types

Lamp lit by bulbs in a room with blue walls.
There are many types of light options. Learn how lighting affects your daily life, the different types of light bulbs and which bulbs can create the perfect lighting for your home.

Table of Contents
Your Best Light Bulb Choice
The Facts of Light
Lumens and Watts
Light Color
Wattage Breakdown
Reading the Package Label
Incandescent Bulbs
Fluorescent Bulbs
Halogen Bulbs
HID Bulbs
Light Bulb Shapes and Bases
Lighting Innovations
Your Best Light Bulb Choice
There are tons of choices for buying light bulbs, but choosing the right kind doesn't have to be difficult. Today’s light bulbs are primarily light-emitting diodes (LED). LED bulbs fit standard light sockets and are the most energy-efficient option. LEDs have lower wattage than incandescent bulbs but emit the same light output. This allows them to produce the same amount of light but use less energy. LEDs can last over 20 years and don't contain mercury.

LEDs work by using an electrical current passed through semiconductive material to illuminate the tiny diodes. The heat produced is absorbed into a heat sink, keeping the bulbs cool to the touch. That also means they don't contribute to heat buildup, which helps save on air conditioning. LEDs can be used outside too — just make sure the packaging indicates the bulb is rated for outdoor use.

Shop Light Bulbs
Shop LED Bulbs
Shop Lighting
The Facts of Light
The type of lighting you choose for a room directly affects its atmosphere and mood. Combining the correct light fixtures and light bulbs illuminate your home and gets both flattering and useful results. To get the best light bulbs for your lifestyle and home, it helps to know a bit about the science of lighting. For more on lighting and its role in home décor, read Home Lighting Tips.

Lumens and Watts
Light output watts to lumen chart.
Lumens and watts are important for determining light output and energy use.

Lumens: The amount of light emitted from a light bulb. More lumens equal brighter light; fewer lumens equal dimmer light. Standard 100-watt bulbs produce about 1600 lumens.

Watts: The amount of energy a light bulb uses. The lower the light bulb wattage, the lower the electric bill. Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and LEDs have a lower wattage than incandescent bulbs but emit the same light output.
Tip
Never exceed the maximum wattage recommended for your lamp or fixture.

Light Color
Light color measured on kelvin temperature scale.
Light color or appearance is measured on the Kelvin (K) temperature scale, and it's the difference in soft white versus daylight bulbs. Lower Kelvin numbers mean more yellow light; the higher the Kelvin number, the whiter or bluer the light.

Soft White (Yellowish Range) 2700K to 3000K: This is the standard color of incandescent bulbs. Perfect for bedrooms, living rooms or dens and highlighting dark woods.
Warm White (Between the Yellowish and White Ranges) 3000K to 4000K: Perfect for kitchens, workspaces and bathrooms.
Bright White (Between the White and Blue Ranges) 4000K to 5000K: These bulbs, like GE Reveal Light Bulbs, work best in kitchens and bathrooms with chrome or white fixtures.
Daylight (Blue Range) 5000K to 6500K: Perfect for reading as they're easy on the eyes and provide bright illumination.
Wattage Breakdown
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 requires that light bulbs must use 25% less energy, leading to the phaseout of standard incandescent light bulbs and CFLs. Use this chart to locate an energy-saving equivalent.

LED Halogen CFL Incandescent
14 – 16 watts
72 watts  23 watts 100 watts
12 – 13 watts
53 watts 20 watts 75 watts
8 – 9 watts
43 watts 15 watts 60 watts
Reading the Package Label
Lighting facts per bulb.
Lighting labels provide quick hints to help you get the most bang for your buck. They're now required by the Federal Trade Commission to appear on light bulb packaging. Facts include brightness, estimated yearly cost, life expectancy, light appearance, energy used and mercury information.

Tip
By comparing the lumens and life of different bulbs of the same wattage, you can select the light bulb that provides the best combination of light output and length of life.

Incandescent Bulbs
Incandescent light bulb.
Incandescent bulbs used to be the industry standard, but laws now require new energy-efficient standards for basic light bulbs. All standard 100-, 75-, 60- and 40-watt incandescent bulbs have been phased out and will no longer be produced. Many specialty incandescent bulbs, such as chandelier bulbs, will remain available.

Incandescent bulbs use a filament that’s heated to the point of glowing. The glowing filament produces the bulb’s light.

Incandescent bulbs last one year on average.
Incandescent bulbs don't contain mercury.
They can be used with a dimmer switch.
Fluorescent Bulbs
Fluorescent light bulb.
Fluorescent bulbs or tubes are filled with mercury vapor that emits ultraviolet (UV) light when electricity is applied. The bulbs/tubes have a coating inside that turns the UV rays into visible light. They use less energy than an incandescent bulb and are ideal for offices, kitchens, hallways and other areas that need a large area of light. Fluorescent bulbs also produce about 75% less heat than incandescent bulbs, so they keep rooms cool with less energy.

Fluorescent lights are usually long and tube-shaped but also come in U-shaped bulbs.
Fluorescent tubes won't work without a ballast, a device that regulates the current to the bulb.
Shop Fluorescent Bulbs
Halogen Bulbs
Halogen light bulb.
Halogen bulbs use a filament that’s heated to the point of glowing. They're the same as incandescent bulbs but use less energy.

Halogen bulbs last one year on average.
Halogen bulbs don't contain mercury.
Shop Halogen Bulbs
HID Bulbs
High-intensity discharge (HID) bulbs are primarily used in larger spaces, such as warehouses, commercial buildings or in streetlights. They're filled with sodium or mercury vapor that conducts electricity. HID bulbs don't have filaments like most light bulbs so they last longer.

Light Bulb Shapes and Bases
Light bulbs are available in a variety of shapes and bases to fit your needs. Different types of LED bulbs can be used in table lamps, pendant lights, ceiling fans, wall sconces and other lighting fixtures. Vintage and decorative bulbs are perfect for adding a bit of style to your room décor.

If you're looking to replace a broken bulb, have your old bulb with you when you shop so you can buy the correct replacement. You can also check out other available energy-saving and stylish options.

Lighting Innovations
If you like to keep up with the latest technological innovations, there are several new lighting features to choose from.

Voice-Enabled
Manufacturers have created bulbs that turn on and off via voice recognition.

Music
These LED light bulbs have a built-in Bluetooth speaker so you can stream your playlists wirelessly. There's also color-changing technology that's synced with the music or can be independently lit and features up to 16 colors to fit any occasion or mood.

Smartphone Technology
Want to turn the lights on in your home before you get there? Or maybe you're at the best part of the movie and you don't want to leave the couch? You can control your lighting from your smartphone with smart lights. Dim lights, turn them on or off, or schedule your lighting to turn on.

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