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How To Choose The Right Light Bulb For You

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How To Choose The Right Light Bulb For You

When it comes to the lights in your house, there are so many bulbs to choose from. It’s worth stocking up on spares so that when one goes you have another available. But even when you’re buying a lightbulb for a new light, how do you choose the right one for the right situation? Let’s talk through some of the main considerations.

First of all, have a look at the fittings. There’s the traditional bayonet version that sinks into place and then is fixed with a quick twist. And then there’s the screw fitting lightbulb, the needs screwing firmly into place. Finally, there are those other contemporary fittings that are specialist enough to mean you’ll be especially glad to have bought a back up so you don’t have to search for the right shop in an inconvenient moment.

So much for fittings, what about the types of bulb? Well, you have the regular sort, the energy-saving bulb (known as CFL, which stands for compact fluorescent lamp) and then we also have halogen bulbs and LEDs. Let’s consider the differences between them.

The CFLs are inexpensive, you can get them in most places, and nowadays they don’t generally have the drawback that the first generation of them had - that slow start. In terms of efficiency, they’re hard to beat, and they certainly save money on energy costs, but from an aesthetic point of view, the light they produce isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.


Halogen bulbs will last for a couple of years at most, so this choice is more expensive but brighter than the cheaper versions. 

And then we come onto LEDs. Lasting up to 25 years, they might cost a little more upfront, but the investment is worth it. What’s more, the energy saving is very impressive, and one bulb could save at least £180 over its whole lifespan.

Fittings, types of bulb, and now we come to brightness. That’s measured in lumens these days, and the higher the number, the brighter it is. If you’re looking for a lightbulb for a small lamp, you’re probably looking for around 400 lumens. If it’s to light a whole room of a decent size, then you could be looking for something more like 3000 lumens. That does depend though. 1500 lumens might be enough for your living space, depending on the dimensions.

If you’ve ever got a cheap lightbulb home and found it lasted only a few weeks, you’ll know that it’s important to go for the best quality you can afford. Decent bulbs will last a long time, saving money and blending in with your home environment, rather than causing eye strain from being too dim or artificial. With so many brands on the market, it can be tough to choose, but those guidelines should help you find the bulb you’re looking for. In terms of brands, if you would like our recommendation, the choice would be a Phillips light bulb, every time, for quality, performance and great value.

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  • Ben Moore