Choosing light bulb types: light up your space in style

Light design is the art of light decoration of a person's living space. Professionals know how to visually increase the area and ceiling with the help of the proper lighting installation. This article will discuss the essential criteria for choosing light bulbs for high-quality and stylish lighting in a home or office.

Thomas Edison's universal invention 

When electrical goods stores offered customers exclusively incandescent lamps with a transparent bulb, gone are the days. The only difference between them was their power. Now the range of light sources has expanded significantly. 

The following types of light bulbs are used for home chandeliers, office lamps, and various wall and ceiling lighting devices:

– incandescent lamps;

– Energy-saving LED;

– tested fluorescent linear and CFL;

– halogen;

– metal halide

Each of these types of lamps has its design features. The functioning and cost of light sources will depend on them.

July 24, 1874, is considered the birthday of the incandescent lamp. Then, Thomas Edison invented it, although he assembled various inventions into one device. Previously, Edison carefully studied all the available world inventions in electricity, managed to organize them and thus received an incandescent lamp, which he later patented.

Alexander Lodygin invented the tungsten thread. But it began to be widely used after William David Coolidge developed a cheap and accessible method of producing tungsten filament.

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Low price and high colour rendering

The incandescent lamp is considered the most common light source because it has an affordable price and can be easily manufactured. During a hundred years of active use of incandescent lamps, the design of this device has not undergone any changes. It consists of several components – a vacuumed or gas-filled glass bulb and a metal base. The bulb contains electrodes and a filament. 

The light source is a fragile tungsten filament, which can heat up when an electric current passes through it. To minimize the oxidation and destruction of this thread, during the production of light bulbs, the bulbs are filled with inert gas.

Here are a number of the most well-known advantages of incandescent bulbs:

– low price;

– instant turn on;

– high colour rendering – the light of bulbs is close to the spectral characteristics of solar radiation;

– traditional plinth;

– wide power range.

Among the main disadvantages of incandescent bulbs is low light output. The numbers speak for themselves – 95% of the produced energy is converted into heat and only 5% into light. This bulb is a highly energy-consuming light source. The term of use of the incandescent bulb is also short – up to 1000 hours.

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Maximum energy efficiency

LED lamps are the most modern and energy-efficient light sources. Therefore, they are widely used in household, industrial, and street lighting. In addition, no harmful substances are used in their production.

The design of LED lamps includes:

– light diffuser;

– board with LEDs;

– radiator for heat removal;

– driver for stable operation;

– the plinth of various types.

One of the key advantages of LED bulbs is a very long service life – up to 50,000 hours. Also, such bulbs have very high energy efficiency indicators. Their electricity consumption is eight and sometimes nine times less than incandescent bulbs. For example, the light from a 100-watt tungsten filament bulb is equal to that of a 12-watt LED bulb. LED bulbs almost do not heat up. Their efficiency is more than 90%, so the scope of their application is much broader. Such light sources can be installed in a chandelier with a piece of fabric, plastic or even paper lampshade without worrying about possible overheating.

Their colour temperature ranges from 2000 to 6500 K. It is possible to choose bulbs with cold, neutral or warm white light.

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Thanks to the plinth, the light bulb is fixed in the socket and connected to the mains. There is a vast selection of plinths, the most popular among them threaded and pin or contact. The letter marking of the plinths has the following meanings:

E – threaded;

G – pin;

R – with recessed contacts;

S - soffit, etc.

After the letter, there is usually a number, which means the diameter of the threaded connection. The most famous are threaded plinths E14 and E27. Both LED, energy-saving CFLs and incandescent lamps have them.

Below we will briefly talk about the features of the most exciting plinths. The GX53 base is specially designed to reduce the height of the lamp. It is often used in the lighting of suspended ceilings. The most miniature capsule plinths with two pins are G4, and a voltage of 12 V is enough for them to work. They look lovely in various decorative chandeliers. 

Plinths GU5.3, GX5.3 are present, in particular, in light bulbs of the MR16 type. Such light sources can be seen in the lighting of trade halls and shop windows. Tubular energy-saving fluorescent lamps of size T8 are equipped with a G13 base. There is also a GU10 rotary contact plinth. Thanks to it, you can securely fix the light bulb in the cartridge.


Pear, spiral, tube or horseshoe?

A flask is a glass or plastic container containing a light source. The marking of the flasks consists of letters and numbers, for example, A60. The letters mean the shape of the flask, and the number means its diameter.  

The most famous is the pear-shaped flask type (A60 or A55). In most cases, it is equipped with an E27 and E14 plinth. Such bulbs are perfect for chandeliers, sconces, various decorative lamps, and floor lamps. In addition, this type of flask is used in street lamps. 

A candle (C37) and a candle in the wind (CB). These are an ideal option for interior lamps. Most often, they are bought for classic-style home chandeliers and sconces, and this is one of the most decorative light sources.

Reflective (R39, R50, R63, R80). Reflector bulbs are equipped with a mirror reflector, ensuring a directed stream of light. Perfect for spotlights, downlights and spots.

MR11 and MR16 amazingly convey the texture of different fabrics, so they are widely used in clothing stores. Unusual U-shaped light bulbs are bought for household lighting devices, and the tubular bulb is often an element of metallogenic light bulbs. Halogen and LED bulbs usually have capsule bulbs. Ideal for chandeliers and decorative lighting.

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