As simple as turning on a light can be, it is good to know the different types of light bulbs that are available to you, and which ones are the best for your home or office.

Below labels out the different types of lightbulbs you can purchase, and what the benefits are for each bulb so that you can choose the right bulb for you.

Incandescent

Typically the cheapest of all bulbs, it is also the most common, but they are not as energy efficient as other options out there. It has a warm light, and is very complimentary to skin tones. It also has a psychological appeal. Typically a bulb will last for 700 – 1,000 hours. They can also be used with a dimmer in the house.

Halogen

These are a variation of Incandescent bulbs, but use a “white light” instead of a warm light, giving you the feel of natural daylight. Colors tend to appear more vibrant under halogen bulbs. While they are a little more expensive and burn at a higher temperature than incandescent bulbs, they are more energy efficient.

An important note is to NOT touch a halogen bulb with your bare hands. If you get any skin oil on the bulb, it could explode when it’s turned on because it can warm up too quickly.

Fluorescent

Similar to Halogen, these are daylight-equivalent, but are often blue-ish and harsh, bright lights. These bulbs will typically last longer than an incandescent bulb, but are not able to be put on a dimmer. Typically, these are used to light large areas, such as an attic or basement.

Compact Fluorescent Lights/Bulbs (CFLs)

One of the more popular options. These bulbs last 10 times longer than an incandescent bulb, and consumer 1/4 of the energy as a them. They are quiet, and turn on instantly. They have warmer, color-corrected tones, and can be used anywhere you’d use an incandescent bulb. This is the second most common one found in homes today.

IMPORTANT: These bulbs do contain mercury, so extra care is needed to be safe. They will need to be recycled once they have burnt out.

LED

LED stands for “light-emitting diode”. These bulbs are not really for everyone, even though they are energy efficient and long-lasting. They only provide directional light, which makes them idea for under-counter task lighting, but not to light up an entire room. These types of bulbs are also much more expensive than CFLs.

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