Lighting Sizes and Types for Every Room
With rising energy costs, it is becoming more important than ever to control your lighting sources. If you haven’t already made the necessary changes to your fixtures and bulbs, now might be the time to take a closer look at what types and sizes you should be using in each room throughout your house.
There are several different types of bulbs to select from:
- Incandescent is the most common bulb that has been in use for decades but will soon be phased out of the market. Incandescent bulbs are the least expensive and least energy efficient.
- Halogen is a variation of the incandescent bulb, but the halogen light is more efficient, has a longer life-span, and produces a brighter light.
- LEDs are light emitting diodes. They work differently than other bulbs in that they don’t burn off of filaments. The light is produced by circulating electrons that give off light when electricity is applied. These are by far one of the most energy efficient bulbs.
- Fluorescent bulbs produce a brighter, whiter light. They consist of mercury filled tubes that emit ultraviolet light when electricity is supplied.
- CFLs, or compact fluorescent bulbs, are far more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs, using 67% less energy than incandescent bulbs. They also have a longer lifespan.
There are also different types and sizes of light bulbs.
- Colors. Light bulbs come in soft white, amber, blue, clear, frosted, black, yellow, and white.
- Shapes. Shapes vary depending on the type of bulb. Standard bulbs come in A-Line, reflector, globe, candle,flicker, bullet/torpedo, flame, PAR, tubular, ceiling fan, and specialty globes. CFLs come in 3-way, post, A-line, and spiral. Fluorescent bulbs come in linear, circular, and u-shaped. Halogen lights come in the A-line shape and PAR.
Choosing the right size for each room is determined by the amount of lighting the room requires and the type of bulb you choose to use. Your lighting fixture should indicate what the recommended bulb size is. With incandescent bulbs, the higher the wattage, the brighter the light. With the more energy efficient bulbs, the light emitted might actually be brighter than an incandescent bulb, with half the wattage required. If trying to switch between varieties, it is helpful to compare lumens and wattage charts. It is very important never to use a bulb that is a higher wattage than your fixture recommends. Brighter lights are better in bathrooms and kitchens, whereas, the warmer, softer bulbs work better in general living areas. Work with your electrical contractor to choose bulbs that fit your fixtures while adequately lighting each room.
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