Light Bulb Buying Guide
Over the many years, the lighting industry has created its own jargon. Hopefully some of the explanations of the terms below will help you in finding the right light globe
- Watts: Watts is a measure of the amount of electricity being used by a specific device, which in other words is the rate of electrical power consumption.
- Lumens: Lumens are the way we measure the amount of light that a specific globe can produce. On average, your standard 100 watt globe is capable of producing approximately 1600 lumens
- Life: This term is an easy one and it simply estimates the amount of hours that you should get out of the globe. When looking for a globe, you would want to make the right decision by getting the balance right with the life and the amount of lumens the globe produces. You would effectively choose the globe with the best combination of lumens and longevity
Some different types of Globes:
- Fluorescent light bulbs: Fluorescent tubes are different to your normal globe and are filled with a substance called mercury vapour. This vapour emits ultraviolet light when electricity is conducted. Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL's) are very rapidly replacing Incandescent lamps as the most common light used in the home. CFL's are now available in beautiful warm white colour temperatures and the very high quality manufacturers like Megaman are now producing dimmable CFL lamps.
- Incandescent light bulbs: Incandescent light globes work by including a filament that when heated to a certain point, it begins to glow. In other words, the glowing filament is what creates the light. Incandescent light bulbs were historically the most commonly used globes in households around the world, however because they generate light by generating heat, they are extremely inefficient. In the EU sales of incandescent globes are banned and in Australia, very few retailers will still sell them. The new range of high quality CFL's and LED's will be replacing these in every household around the world in the coming years.
- Halogen Light Bulbs: Halogen light Bulbs are a type of incandescent light bulb which is capable of burning more brightly than your traditional incandescent light bulb. It creates light by using electricity to ignite the halogen gas which effectively creates the light. In recent years these have been made a lot more efficient. The light is crisp and clear and halogen lights are also extremely popular. They do generate a lot of heat (roughly 220 degrees C) and so these days it is important to have some sort of downlight cover which will protect insulation in the ceiling from igniting.
- Led Light Bulbs: LED (light emitting diode) light bulbs are one of the most energy efficient bulbs in the market place, using about 10% of the electricity that a normal bulb will use. They will also last longer than any other lamp on the market however their current price point is still keeping many people away. In years to come the prices will drop and LED's will replace CFL's as the most common globe options because the light is crisper, they don't take time to warm up and they will last longer (depending on quality - please don't buy cheap LED's - you will be disappointed).
Important things to consider when buying or replacing a light bulb:
- Existing fitting at home: It's important to know what base your existing light fitting has. You must make sure to purchase a globe that has the same base as your existing light fitting. For example, low voltage halogens use an MR16 base, high-voltage halogens use a GU10 base. A standard screw-in base is called an ES and the bayonet type is referred to as a B22 base.
- Energy efficiency: Looking after our planet and reducing our carbon footprint are very important factors when deciding which globes to purchase. The other point to make is energy efficient light bulbs will also reduce your energy bill.
- The longevity of the light globe: Its important to check the estimated life of the bulb before you purchase because you would want a globe which is long lasting, especially if your light fittings are in hard to reach places.
Browse Ozlightings most popular light bulbs: