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Light Bulbs; Understanding the different types and what to buy

You may already be privy to fluorescent bulbs, incandescent bulbs, and LED lights – but did you know there is a wide array of light bulbs? They have different purposes. So it is essential to understand the types of light bulbs to choose what works best for you, especially if you are looking for a durable light bulb or an energy-efficient.  Knowledge of the different light bulbs will help you find your way around the light bulb aisle.

What are light bulbs?

It is one of the most common electronic devices found in every home or commercial area; we see them on the streets and public spaces. Light bulbs, in simple terms, refer to a device that can convert electrical current into light and is covered in a transparent glass-like casing. In our modern age today, there are so many forms and types of light bulbs, each coming in different sizes and unique colors. 

Types of Light Bulbs

Incandescent light bulbs.

Incandescent light bulbs were the first type of light bulb invented. We credit this type of light bulb to Thomas Edison, who created the first incandescent bulbs. Some decades ago, this was the most popular light bulb, with every home using it. It was a great invention in its time, but we found that it has so many downfalls. One of the noticeable demerits was that it produced so much heat. We discovered that incandescent light bulbs used about 10% of the electricity they received to create the needed light, whiles we used the rest to produce heat. Another disadvantage of the incandescent bulb was that the average efficiency was low. It meant that they did not last and were not able to withstand high currents.

Compact Fluorescent lamps/ light bulbs

The Compact fluorescent lamps are an improvement from their predecessors, which is the incandescent bulbs. These light bulbs or, better still, fluorescent lamps were brought into the market in 1980 to replace incandescent light bulbs. The main advantage of fluorescent lamps is that they are very efficient in terms of their use of electricity with lower heat emission. In addition, compact fluorescent lamps mostly came in a spiral shape, unlike incandescent light bulbs.

Halogen Bulbs

Halogen bulbs were quite similar to incandescent light bulbs. However, the goal was to be more efficient and to bring the cost of using it low. As the same says, we use halogen gas in making these light bulbs. The halogen gas had the potential to increase the efficiency and the life of the bulb. Therefore, they became more preferred to incandescent light bulbs.

Light-Emitting Diode Bulbs

The Light-Emitting Diode, known as LED, is today’s most efficient and low-cost saving type of light bulb. It is the best kind of light bulb compared to the other types of light bulbs. Like any other improved electronic device, the initial cost was high due to the revolutionary technology. Still, we saw the cost reduce drastically, thereby giving more people the chance to own an LED. LED bulbs lasted 25 times compared to the various types of light bulbs that have existed. You can use these light bulbs in any part of your home and commercial areas.

Light Bulb Shapes

You may see Type A, Type S, or Type B light bulb inscriptions on your package, but what does it mean? First, it shows the shape and size of the bulb and mount. Why is this information needed? Because different fixtures will call for different types of light bulbs.

Type A light bulb


It is round and has a relatively wide mount on the bottom. Therefore, most light bulbs, namely, CFL, LED, can use it.

Type B light bulb


Smaller than the Type A mount. 

It is narrow and bullet/flame shaped

Primarily used for decorative purposes

Type S light bulb


Shorter and rounder-shaped bulbs

Type PS light bulb


Pear shaped 

It can be used indoors or outdoors

Designed for bulbs with a longer neck than the Type A

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