How to Choose the Best Light Bulb

Oct 30th 2015 Staff

There is so much to know when choosing a light bulb. In this post we will try to uncomplicated the process and help you choose the right one for your light. Understanding the differences between light bulbs can help you save money and create the right ambiance for the room.


Knowing the right wattage for your light is important. If you choose too high of a wattage you could damage the light or worse cause the light to overheat and risk causing a fire. A wattage that is too high for the light will also cause a strain on your energy bills.

Checking to ensure you buy the right wattage for your light bulb is easy. Most light fixture sockets, the area where the bulb screws in, will have a sticker that indicates a range of desired wattage. If that sticker is missing check the current light bulb installed to see what type is currently being used. There is always a stamp on the top, glass part of the bulb that will say a number then have a “w” listed after it.

Now that you understand how to choose what watt light bulb to buy, consider the different types of light bulbs.

Types of Bulbs

Incandescent Bulbs

  • Lasts up to 1 year
  • Spread out / Ominous Light

Incandescent bulbs are the typical bulb that is cheap and widely available. They come in a variety of shapes and can be clear glass, frosted glass, or colored glass. They vary from 15 to 150 watts and produce a soft, warm yellow-white light. They are a good standard bulb to use for everyday needs and do not contain harmful materials such as mercury.

CFL (Compact Fluorescent) Bulbs

  • Saves up to 75% each year in energy
  • Lasts up to 9 years
  • Spread out / Ominous Light

CFL bulbs last up to 10 times longer than the traditional incandescent bulb and can save up to 75% on energy costs. Unlike traditional fluorescent lighting, they have warmer color tones that compliment your space. CFL bulbs come in a variety of colors from warm whites, which have a more yellow-white tone, to cool white, which has a more blue-white tone. These bulbs would be a great choice for lamps, ceiling fans, and dinging room lighting.

LED (Light Emitting Diodes) Bulbs

  • Saves up to 85% each year in energy
  • Lasts up to 20 years
  • Directional Light

LED bulbs are the most energy efficient bulbs generally available and consume about 85% less energy than the incandescent bulb. Not only are these bulbs one of the most energy efficient choices on the market, but they also last longer than the average bulb. Another great thing about LED bulbs is that they do not contain mercury or other toxic materials, unlike the CFL bulbs. Common LED colors include tints of amber, red, green, and blue but can be described as a more “white” type of lighting. LED bulbs are great for areas of your home that need more directional light such as the kitchen, or when accenting a focal point in your home.

Choosing the right light depends not only on energy efficiency but also on the mood you are trying to set in your space as well as the functionality of the lighting. To learn more about what bulb is best for your lighting needs, visit us at one of our Hortons Home Lighting showrooms or call us at: 708-352-2110.

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