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Types of Light Bulbs: A Quick Comparison

With so many available light bulb types, which should you choose? Read below to learn some key differences in the different types of light bulbs so you can shop with confidence.

  • CFL and LED: When it comes to energy savings, CFL (compact fluorescent) and LED (light emitting diode) bulbs stand head and shoulders above the rest. Their low wattage allows for the same production of light output at a fraction of energy consumption, extending the life of your bulb and reducing your energy use. New developments in light bulb technology are quickly making LED bulbs the new normal!
  • Standard Incandescent: When you imagine a light bulb, chances are you are picturing a standard incandescent bulb. While global measures have been taken to promote alternative, more efficient options like CFL and LED bulbs in lighting designs, incandescent light bulbs are still used in many products.
  • Fluorescent Bulbs: Usually constructed in a slender tube or U-shaped form, these bulbs incorporate a mercury vapor that, when heated, produce UV rays that are then converted to light by the fluorescent light bulb's interior coating. A ballast regulates the electrical current to ensure consistent light and proper functioning.
  • Halogen Bulbs: These bulbs are named after the main ingredient used in the production of light. Filled with halogen gas, these bulbs are heated until the filament produces a glow that is diffused by the gas to light up your space. Because of the high temperature of the bulb's surface, it is important to take steps not to get the oils from your hands on a halogen bulb. Doing so can create "hot spots" that lead to faster burnout.

For help in matching a bulb, visit our bulb finder page. For a more detailed rundown on all of the light bulbs that are available at Lamps Plus, read the "Light Bulb Types" article in our Info Center, where you'll find buying guides, informational posts and more! To speak with a Lighting & Home Decor Consultant and receive additional assistance and product recommendations for your space, call 800-782-1967. We're happy to help!

*Free Shipping applies only to orders shipping to the 48 continental United States or to Canada that qualify and meet the minimum purchase requirement; standard shipping only and select products excluded, including freight and oversized items. Free Returns valid on select items in United States only; does not apply to freight, clearance, Daily Sale, designs with giclee art shades, Color Plus and Tiffany Color Plus brand items, or certain items with designer shades.