How many people does it take to change a light bulb?

Although this may seem like a joke, changing a light bulb isn’t so simple these days!!  With so many choices, choosing the right light bulb has become a complicated task.light bulb ice cream photo

First things first when heading to your local hardware store is to make a list of the light bulbs that you need and the area you want to light.  Is this for an outdoor lantern, reading light, kitchen fixture, or a dimmable fixture, etc.

The next thing is to know what type of bulb to buy for the area you want to light. 

Incandescent.  The one that Thomas Edison perfected, which is the most popular and well-known light bulb in use is prized for its warm color.  Drawbacks of this bulb include low efficiency, high heat generation and fragility.

Halogen.  This contains a tungsten filament and a small amount of halogen gas.  Halogen bulbs produce a chemical reaction that aids in the longevity of the light bulb.  They are more energy efficient than traditional incandescents and have similar color.  These bulbs are commonly used in recessed fixtures.  Small pin-pronged halogen bulbs are used for reading lamps or undercabinet lighting.  They are less popular as they require delicate handling and the oil on human hands can shorten the light bulb’s lifespan.

Fluorescent.  A fluorescent light bulb contains mercury that is ionized by an electric arc, producing ultraviolet energy that causes phosphors, coating the inside of the lamp to illuminate.  These bulbs are prized for their energy efficiency, but are sometimes criticized for their poor color.  New fluorescents are being produced eliminating the flickering and buzzing that often occurred with linear fluorescent light bulbs.  The size of the tubes have decreased becoming a favorite for undercabinet lighting.

CFL (compact fluorescent light).  Many homeowners are changing out their incandescent bulbs in favor of their spiral cousins.  CFL’s use 75 percent less energy than incandescent light bulbs, requiring less wattage to produce an equivalent amount of light.  This bulb is more expensive to buy than the traditional incandescent bulb, but replacing a standard 60-watt bulb with a 13-watt CFL, will save the homeowner $30 in energy costs over the life of the bulb.  Special CFL’s are needed for 3-way lamps, dimmers and outdoor lights.  CFL’s do contain mercury.  The mercury is used to make the CFL’s more energy efficient.  This should be considered when handling and disposing of a CFL bulb.

LED (light-emitting diode).  Advancements in LED technology have made these bulbs a more practical lighting solution.  LED bulbs have a life span that far outlasts that of the incandescent bulbs that we have used for many years.  They are also very energy efficient which is better for the environment.  The bulb is more expensive to buy but will save you money in the long-run.  This bulb also does not generate heat or UV rays.  For these reasons, LED is quickly becoming the light bulb of choice in the home.  

To give you an idea of approximately how many hours each of these bulbs will last:

Incandescent:  800 – 1,500

Halogen:  2,000 – 3,000

Fluorescent:  18,000 – 24,000

CFL:  8,000 – 10,000

LED:  25,000 – 45,000

Hopefully the next time you purchase a light bulb for your Quoizel fixture, the information listed will make the process a little less confusing so that you can choose the bulb that is best for the space and fixture you want to light.