Tips to choosing the right bulb
- Choose the type of bulb
- Choose the right fitting
- Choose the appropriate brightness
- Decide on the colour temperature
- Aim for the highest colour rendition
Bulb types</strong >
Incandescent light bulbs
Incandescent bulbs were those that we all traditionally used until the development of energy-saving lightbulbs. However, these have since been phased out as they use a lot electricity and have a very short life span, therefore being very energy and cost inefficient. What was great about these old bulbs is that the light they emitted was warm and complementary to skin tones. However, these qualities can still be achieved if you choose the right LED light.
Halogen light bulbs
These lights have essentially replaced the traditional incandescent bulb of the past. Although they both produce light in a similar way, the halogen light bulb does this in a more efficient manner than traditional incandescent light bulbs. For example, a 42-watt halogen light bulb gives out the same light as a 60-watt traditional incandescent light bulb.
Price-wise they are quite affordable, averaging around $3 per light bulb. They are also readily available at supermarkets. While they are the cheaper up-front option, be aware that they are not as energy and cost efficient as LEDs over the long term.
Fluorescent light bulbs
The light bulbs are more energy efficient than incandescent and halogen as they generate more light than heat. However, the colour temperature of the light emitted and the tone they create in the home is not ideal. These light bulbs create a cool, often greenish tone, which is not flattering to skin tones or when trying to create a romantic mood.
LED light bulbs
An LED light bulb (which stands for light emitting diode) is the most energy efficient bulb available, producing the most light with the least electricity. An LED light may cost around $10, but will last 13 times longer than a halogen bulb and 42 times longer than an incandescent bulb.
LED bulbs come in cool, neutral and warm colour temperatures. Note that colour temperature (CT) is different from colour rendition (CR). Always enquire about the CR and try to get the highest possible (85-95%) to ensure the colours around your home are vibrant and not dull. Finding high percentage CR LED bulbs is not always easy and the information is not always clearly marked on the bulb, so always asks about the CR level. At Christophe Living we only work with high CR bulbs and we sell these to our customers.
- Bayonet fitting: This is the most common fitting. These require a turn and click in, and are usually 22 mm in diameter.
- Screw fitting: Also very common and work by turning the bulb into place.
- Bi pin fitting: For straight fluorescent tubes – the G13 is the most common size.
Light bulb shapes and styles
- Pear shaped light bulb: Omnidirectional and the most common shape.
- Vintage light bulbs: These provide a retro look with the benefits of modern technology. Some even use LED but give the appearance of the tungsten wire inside
- Directional lights: Perfect for lighting a specific area like an antique or painting. The shape stops light from coming outside and focuses light forward, also helped by a reflective surface at the back. These come in different beam angles so note the angle you need.
- Compact fluorescent Lamp: These often come in a twisted spiral shape