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All About Light Bulbs

With new lighting comes new responsibility, namely having to replace light bulbs when the ones that came with the light have burned out. Light bulb purchases are an inevitable part of being a lighting fixture owner, but finding the perfect glow bulb doesn’t have to be a mission. This guide will go over the different kinds of light bulbs available as well as their advantages and disadvantages.

  •  • Incandescent Bulbs - The traditional light bulb that has been lighting things up since the time of Thomas Edison. On the most basic level, an incandescent light works when an electric current passes through a thin piece of filament inside the bulb which creates heat which leads to light. Incandescent bulbs are available from 1.5 – 300 volts which translates into how bright the bulbs shine. Incandescent also come in a variety of shapes and sizes including pear shape, decorative and flood light acceptable bulbs. Incandescent bulbs are an old, dependable stand by, however these days there are many more efficient options becoming available to lighting owners. Uses: general lighting
  •  • Fluorescent Light Bulbs - Fluorescent of Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) are also a widely available and used light bulb. The fluorescent bulb creates light by exciting the electrons from an electric current inside the bulb which is filled with mercury vapor which creates ultraviolet light that reflects off the phosphor painted on the inside of the bulb creating a light humans can perceive. Fluorescent bulbs use approximately 75% less energy than a incandescent and is available in a variety of shapes and sizes including tubes, bulbs (recognizable by their distinct spiral look) and more. Some fluorescent light bulbs twist in while others features two prongs, be sure to choose the one that will fit the light you have. Uses: general lighting, stage lighting, commercial lighting (CFLs are an energy efficient replacement for incandescent bulbs)
  •  • LED Bulbs - An LED (light emitting diode) works when it is switched on and electrons hop into holes that are inside the bulb and release energy in the form of light. LEDs require significantly less energy than incandescent, are durable, reliable and can be created in a very compact size, making them a promising fresh new face in the lighting field. Uses: street lights, architectural lighting, aquarium lighting, general lighting
  • Feit Electric Q53A/CL/2 Energy Saving 53 Watts Clear Halogen A19
  •  • Halogen Bulbs - Halogen bulbs are simply incandescent light bulbs with a twist. The bulbs themselves are filled with a small amount of halogen (iodine or bromine). When the tungsten filament is lit in the same way it is in an incandescent bulb, there is a chemical reaction with the halogen which leads to the tungsten essentially being rejuvenated which leads to a longer bulb life. Halogen bulbs shine brightly, even if they are a small size. Uses: general lighting, track lighting, recessed lighting, outdoor lighting
  •  • Krypton and Xenon Bulbs - Similar to the concept of halogen bulbs, and less about warding off superman than the name might imply, krypton and xenon bulbs contain an inert gas that will also reduce the loss of tungsten in a bulb allowing the bulb to run at a higher temperature and give off more light per watt of energy input. Uses: Camera flashes, lasers, flashlights
  •  • Metal Halide Bulbs - Metal halide bulbs, most known for their ability to light up massive sports stadiums, are a member of the high-intensity discharge family of bulbs. Mercury vapor and a bit of rare earth metal salts creates to increase light output even for a small bulb. Metal halide bulbs require a special fixture because they operate under high pressure and high temperature. Uses: general lightings, indoor growing, stadium lighting
  •  • Full Spectrum Bulbs - Full spectrum light bulbs are simply electrical light bulbs which release light waves from infrared through near ultraviolet. Sunlight is the natural light that is said to be full-spectrum and there are light bulbs available that achieve the same effects. People use full spectrum light bulbs for art (to use to light subjects they are painting), for gardening (to grow plants year around), and in the treatment of seasonal affective disorder.Uses: lighting to create art and match colors, indoor gardening
  •  • High Pressure Sodium Vapor Bulbs - The other player in the indoor year-around gardening game would be the high pressure sodium vapor bulb. Sodium vapor bulbs (both low and high pressure) use sodium to product light when it is excited by an electric current. The light produced by these bulbs creates less light pollution and is often used by astronomical observatories and by cities for outdoor lighting. High pressure sodium vapor bulbs also contain mercury which creates the blue and violet rays that fill out the spectrum (sodium causes the yellow-red and turquoise) which makes them suitable for cost-efficient lighting. Uses: street lighting, building illumination
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