We’ve all seen spiral energy saving light bulbs in stores and some of us even have them at home. However, it is not always clear how they differ from other types and which lamp is best for the job. There are three main types of light bulbs on the market: incandescent light bulbs, halogen light bulbs and compact fluorescent light bulbs (compact fluorescent light bulbs). Mark Candido, co-owner of an accessories store in Stamford, Connecticut, explains the difference in terms of aesthetics and energy use.
Incandescent light bulbs are the traditional bulbs with which we’re all familiar. They cast a warm glow but are the least efficient, and they need to be replaced most often. Use an incandescent when you want a cosier effect or want to highlight the true colour of a shade.
Halogen bulbs are more efficient than incandescent bulbs — they provide 25 to 30 per cent more light using the same amount of electricity. However, they emit a whiter light, so they’re better suited for offices, kitchens, or lamps with warm-coloured shades. Also, they burn at a very high temperature, so don’t use one in a location where you might accidentally burn yourself.
CFL (Compact Fluorescent Light) Bulbs
CFLs are the most efficient, and they’re available in a spiral or traditional shapes. The bulbs last much longer than traditional incandescent, and they use less electricity too. However, like halogens, they tend to emit a cold light, so they’re most appropriate behind shades that will cancel out their harshness. They also contain mercury, so take care when you’re handling and disposing of them.