Types of light bulbs

Despite the time that has elapsed, light bulbs are still a key piece in the lighting of our home. The good news is that compared to old light bulbs, modern light bulbs save energy and help you customize your environment however you want.

It was the year 1880 when Thomas Alva Edison patented the first light bulb in history and began to market it. A model that, at that time, was very inefficient: it spent 80% of the energy on generating heat and only 20% of the energy on emitting light.

Since those distant years, incandescent lamps have changed a lot, although unfortunately their lack of efficiency has killed them. And it is that, despite the fact that today it is still possible to find them in some establishments, their manufacture is prohibited by the European Union for reasons of energy efficiency.

Fortunately, the current variety of light bulbs is more than considerable, having different types of lamps, bulbs and elements with which to save energy and even adjust the color and brightness of the lighting to what we need at any given time. Something that has the drawback that we get lost among the different kinds of existing light bulbs. Luckily, we’ve done the hard work for you, resulting in the bulb guide below.

Types of light bulb sockets

Within the parts of a light bulb, the cap is one of the most characteristic when it comes to classifying them. In general, most of us think that light bulbs have nothing more than the “thin and fat cap”, equivalent to the E14 and E27 sizes. However, GU-type connectors are also common, which we find in the different types of halogen bulbs designed for recessed spotlights.

Apart from these elements, we have other types of light bulb sockets such as G-type pins for fluorescent tubes and bulbs, as well as other types of traditional E-type threads, the same as the most classic light bulbs, although their dimensions vary. As is logical, it is key that when buying light bulbs we hit the right type of cap, because if we do not, it will be impossible to use them.

Types of light bulbs by technology

Another important aspect that defines current light bulbs is the operating technology they offer us. An issue where the variety has increased significantly. However, the dominance among consumers of the different types of LED bulbs that exist on the market is increasing.

The first technology we have to talk about is halogen. This system has replaced the classic incandescent bulbs, offering energy savings of approximately 30% compared to them. This system can be found in the form of a traditional bulb or a flat bulb, ideal for placement in recessed spotlights.

Somewhat greater is the saving of fluorescent bulbs, which have a system similar to that of the usual fluorescent tubes and save 75% energy compared to the usual incandescent bulb.

However, where we find the biggest savings is in LED technology. This is capable of reducing consumption by up to 90% compared to the traditional incandescent bulb, having the additional advantage of having a much longer useful life. Therefore, the different types of existing LED bulbs not only allow us to save energy, but also lengthen their change times, using fewer bulbs during their useful life.

Types of light bulbs by power

We come to one of the most complex aspects, given the differences in consumption between models. All the bulbs of all the classes that we have mentioned are presented in variable wattages, ranging from 1 watt for the LED models to more than 600 for the highest wattage halogen bulbs.

This leaves us with two problems. 

One of them is to choose the number of watts needed to light each room. We think that the power we need in an office or a kitchen is not the same as in a bedroom. Therefore, you will have to see the space of the room and the degree of lighting that area should have.

The other problem is that of equivalences. For a 60-watt incandescent bulb, suitable for a not very large room, the equivalents would be 46 watts in halogen mode, 12 in fluorescent mode and just 9 watts in an LED product. Luckily, all the light bulb boxes include the corresponding equivalent in incandescent terms, which at least gives you a reference when choosing light bulbs for your home.

Light bulbs by types of light

Technological improvement is another interesting novelty when it comes to having different bulbs depending on the type of light they generate . This makes it possible to choose products with a certain specific temperature or color index.

The temperature of the light allows us to know the color that it offers, within the approach of “white” light. Products with levels around 2,700 K offer a more yellow light, suitable for the home, while those with 3,000 K are suitable for offices and warehouses. If you prefer a white light bulb, turn to models of around 6,000 K, while those of 6,500 K or more give a light more similar to that of the day.

Something similar happens with the chromatic index. This scale goes from 0 to 100 and compares natural light with that of the light bulb. The closer this value is to 100, the higher end of the scale, the more similar to daylight the bulb generates.

Types of bulbs by finish

Another novelty that current light bulbs have are the finishes they offer us. One of the latest fashions, for example, are the light bulbs with an industrial finish, which imitate the usual incandescent products, although with elongated and very showy light bulbs. In this decorative aspect we also have to talk about artistic light bulbs that, thanks to the versatility of this technology, allow lighting elements to be created with all kinds of shapes and finishes. Ideal for finishing off all kinds of lamps without breaking their aesthetics.

The other large interesting group is made up of light bulbs for complex areas. These have been manufactured so that dust and humidity do not pose a risk when using them, simplifying assembly. So, if you have a particularly humid bathroom, in addition to anti- humidity paint, you can use these light bulbs to illuminate it.

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