Each light bulb has its pros and cons. Certain bulbs work better in different spaces of a home. Take a closer look at the different light bulbs to see where each should be used.
The incandescent bulb is the most commonly used light bulb and usually the least expensive. It has a warm, inviting quality and is complimentary to skin tones and psychologically appealing. Incandescent bulbs usually last between 700 to 1,000 hours and can be used with a dimmer; however, they’re not as energy-efficient as other options.
Halogen bulbs are a variation of incandescent. They give the closest approximation of natural daylight. Colors appear sharper under halogen light, and the bulbs can be dimmed. They’re a little more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs, but are more expensive and burn at a higher temperature.
The typical fluorescent gives a flat, cold light, often bluish and harsh. It is a daylight-equivalent and cannot be put on a dimmer. There are many types of fluorescents on the market: warm ones, cool ones and special-colored ones. They typically produce more light and last longer than incandescents. Fluorescent bulbs work well to light large areas like basements or attics.
Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) consume a quarter of the energy that incandescent bulbs do and last 10 times longer. Unlike the old fluorescent lights, CFLs are quiet, instant-on and have warmer, color-corrected tones. They can be used anywhere you would use a typical incandescent light bulb.
LED, which stands for “light-emitting diode,” is a lighting technology that is long-lasting and extremely energy-efficient — but isn’t ready to supplant all other bulbs yet. For one, these bulbs provide only directional light, not diffused light, making them ideal for under-counter task lighting, but not general room illumination. To overcome this, new models consist of large arrays of LEDs clustered together, but at prices from five to six times higher than CFLs, these bulbs are not for everybody.