What are the types of Light Bulbs?

by Team HomeServe |
Energy Efficient Light

The light flickers and then poof - I’m sitting in the dark, asking myself “didn’t I just replace that light bulb recently?” Learning which are best for which lighting situations is my advice. Here's a quick guide:


Compact fluorescent bulbs are the curvy twisted bulbs known for their energy saving benefits. According to the Department of Energy, CFLs can last three to 25 times longer than traditional light bulbs. They give off a relatively natural light, which makes them great for overhead lights and desk lamps. CFL bulbs do contain traces of mercury, so they must be recycled properly.


Light-emitting diodes are the long-lasting, eco-friendly heroes of the light bulb world. Residential LEDs use roughly 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, according to the Department of Energy. LED technology also allows for color-changing light bulbs, perfect for custom lighting systems. As the most energy efficient option on the market, you can use LED light bulbs pretty much anywhere in your home.


These light bulbs last between 700 and 1,000 hours, but usually aren't as energy efficient as other options, according to HGTV. In fact, many standard incandescent bulbs have been phased out of production due to their poor energy performance. However, the ones that are available today are often the cheapest option and give off a warm, yellow glow.


A member of the incandescent family, halogen bulbs use less energy than the standard versions. They're often used for under-cabinet, pendant, recessed and accent lighting because they emit a similar color to natural daylight. On average, halogen light bulbs last for about a year, as estimated by Lowes.


You probably won't need high intensity discharge bulbs in your home, as they're typically used in commercial and industrial settings, such as warehouses or streetlights - and they're mainly powered by mercury. They don't contain any filaments like many other light bulbs, which makes them last longer, according to Lowes.


Often referred to as "black lights," UVA light bulbs create a glow-in-the-dark effect. You may use these bulbs for pet care, such as in reptile cages. Lightbulbs Direct listed other typical uses, which include anti-theft protection, carpet cleaning and nightclub lighting.

Once you know which light bulb you need to purchase, you can select the lumens and wattage necessary for the space or light fixture. Lowes recommended comparing the lumens and life of different bulbs that have the same wattage in order to determine which one can provide the best performance for your needs.

Along with brightening your home with the right bulbs, make sure you install safe light switches, consider energy saving lighting control systems and maintain a healthy electrical system.

Being prepared for electrical home repairs is always a good strategy. See how plans from HomeServe can help with the costs of covered repairs.