Light bulbs can be quite a baffling area to delve into for the untrained observer; there are so many different light bulb types that it seems simply impossible to keep track of them all. We understand that it’s a difficult job to do, so we’ve put together this simple guide to help you through the process. This bulb guide should light up the path towards your perfect bulbs, and in turn will help to make your home an exquisite place to be.
The first thing to consider when buying bulbs for your home is the cap that you are going to need to make the bulb compatible with the fitting it is being used with. There are many different types of cap, so you must be careful when trying to decipher which one is the right one. In general, you will probably be able to find the bulb type somewhere on the box, or even on the website. The main kinds of cap that you may find are:
- Bayonet Cap: This cap features a push and twist action, which is a very commonly used feature in the modern home. This style of bulb comes in two different sizes, 22mm and 15mm, so is applicable to a large range of fittings that use the Bayonet function. This is one of the most popular styles of bulb and is used on most light fittings.
- Edison Screw Cap: Named after the creative pioneer Thomas Edison, these bulbs are used all across the globe and come is a variety of different sizes. The ES/E27 fitting has a diameter of 27mm and is one of the most utilised bulb sizes in the world. Smaller sizes such as the SES fitting are great for use in decorative fittings and also things such as chandeliers which use multiple small light sources – these bulbs are mostly used in the UK and Europe.
- Capsules: Capsules are measured by the size of the gap between the pins on the base. For example, a G9 bulb has a 9mm gap between each of the pins. G4 bulbs are most used in low voltage apparatus, whereas the G9 is capable of being used at a 240v mains outlet.
Spotlights: This style of bulb is rapidly becoming a major influence within the modern home. Spotlights are discreet, stylish, and produce brilliant lighting. These bulbs come in four main varieties; GU4, GU5.3, GU10, and GZ10. The GU10 and GZ10 are the same size, except the GU10 has a bevel around the base, whereas the GZ10 has a squared edge. This means the GZ10 bulbs cannot fit into GU10 fittings, however GU10 bulbs can fit into GZ10 fittings. This makes these bulbs very versatile and useful in your home.
Shape and Size
There are many different shapes and sizes when it comes to bulbs, so it can be quite time consuming trying to find the perfect light bulb for your lights. These different shapes and sizes allow the piece to have its own style of lighting and adds its own unique twist to the interior. The major styles which you should consider for your home are:
- Classic: This is the style of bulb that you most commonly find within your home. It is the original design when it comes to light bulbs, and it hasn’t been altered ever since Thomas Edison created it when manufacturing the first ever bulb! The rounded shape gives a great spread and tone to the lighting, and the familiar look makes the entire home an extra sense of comfort.
- Candle: These bulbs come in a more flame shaped style, and this allows them to be used in completely different scenarios to other bulbs. This candle shape makes them ideal for use in vintage fittings and chandeliers, as it brings a more retro style which has an extremely elegant tone.
- Spiral and Stick: These bulbs are one of the more simple styles on the list. The bulbs are practical and energy efficient, and this makes them a very easy and functional addition to the home.
- Mini Globes: This style of bulb comes shaped in an orb shape, giving a much softer and more inviting tone to your home. This kind of bulb is perfect for lamps and light fixtures as It produces pleasant lighting that is also practical due to its wide spread.
- Spotlights: Spotlights are very different to the previous styles of bulb, as they serve a much more functional purpose. These bulbs are made to be discreet and direct, offering very focused lighting to your home which can be utilised when it is needed most. These bulbs give a narrow spread of lighting which produces a refined spread and direct light.
- Capsules: These bulbs are very small, and have a two pronged base. Typically powered by halogen, these bulbs produce soft and relaxing lighting from your smaller light fittings around the home.
There is no shortage of options when it comes to light bulbs, so you should think carefully about the vast range of styles at your disposal. You can opt for a bigger bulb such as a Globe style bulb, or maybe you could go for a more alternative style of light with something like a Candle style bulb. The choice is completely up to you, so you can pick the one that you feel is going to offer the best lighting and feel to your interiors. To view our full range of different caps and styles, pop over to our Light Bulbs & Accessories category and take a look at the fantastic light bulbs on offer there.
When it comes to the technology inside the bulb, that’s where the trickiest decisions come into play. This is the point that you really have to make a choice on which style of lighting you want inside your home. You can go down a route which is more focused on the tone of the light, or maybe go for a more efficient and technologically advanced option instead. In theory, there are 3 different light bulb types for you to choose from:
- Incandescent: This style of bulb dominated the lighting market for years. If I asked you to imagine a light bulb, chances are it looked exactly like one of these. It is the traditional style of bulb and seemed to do everything that was needed from it. However, it wasn’t to be, as after further investigation into the bulbs was conducted it was found that they are harmful to the environment and are ridiculously expensive to run when compared to their competition.
- Halogen: These bulbs were once seen as the heir to the throne after incandescent bulbs were found to be detrimental to the environment, but as technology advanced they also seemed to get left in the dust. However, halogen bulbs shouldn’t just be discounted and ignored; they are still capable of offering great lighting which is adequately energy efficient and comes in a variety of cap sizes. For more information and to see a few examples of halogen bulbs, take a look at our range of halogen light bulbs!
- LED: Now, here is a bulb which is capable of blowing its competitors out of the water. LED bulbs are widely regarded as the future of lighting, thanks to the extremely impressive attributes that they possess. This kind of bulb seemingly solves all of the issues that you may have previously faced with other bulbs, and is a huge advancement on any other style of bulb. Light Emitting Diodes (LED’s) are able to produce a wide range of effects, meaning there is always a bulb to suit you. They have the power to change colour, provide soft or bright light, and they can even be multi-functional! Mix all of these features with the 20,000 hour lifespan, or over 10 years if you’d prefer to look at it that way, and you have yourself a truly magnificent light bulb that really makes a difference to the home. LED bulbs have also been found to be extremely energy efficient, which means they could save you money on your energy bills. Take a look at our range of LED bulbs. With LED bulbs, it genuinely feels like the future of lighting may be upon us.
- Reflectors: This is a kind of bulb which serves multiple purposes. These reflector bulbs are both stylish and practical, making them perfect for any home. Reflector bulbs produce great looking light with is able to spread across large areas due to the reflective nature of the structure. This is extremely useful as it allows you to cover larger areas with far fewer bulbs and fittings.
So, you’ve now got all of the fantastic pointers and snippets of helpful information you need to light up your home in perfect fashion, you should have your home sparkling with beautiful light in no time at all. Follow these tips, and you’re sure to have a much easier time when buying your lighting. No hassle, no fuss, just brilliant lighting.
For more helpful hints and tips, visit our buying guides section today!