The 4 main types of light bulbs and differences for your home

Choosing the right light for your space is important. Certain light bulbs will set the exact mood you’re looking for while others can help you complete important projects. Here we gave some great ideas on outdoor lighting. Today, we’ll tackle the topic of indoor lighting. How do you choose? There are 4 main types of light bulbs commonly used in the home.

Incandescent: Incandescent light bulbs are by far the most commonly used bulbs in homes. They are also the least costly. Incandescent light bulbs cast a warm light that has an inviting tone and compliments most skin tones.

  • Big pro: These types of bulbs will last you up to 1,000 hours and you can easily put them on a dimmer, which is appealing to many homeowners to set different moods.
  • Big con: A big disadvantage to incandescent bulbs is that they are not as energy efficient as other more modern choices available now.

Halogen:  Halogen bulbs provide the closest light to natural light. This is commonly referred to as “white light.”  Halogen bulbs are used often for under-cabinet lighting, recessed can lighting and pendant lights because they can be put on a dimmer and give a sharper light good for task lighting.

  • Big pro: Halogen bulbs are related to incandescent bulbs so are also frequently used but are slightly more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs.
  • Big con: These are more expensive to use and burn at a much higher temperature. In fact, use caution to not handle a halogen bulb with your bare hands. The smallest amount of skin oil on a halogen bulb can cause it to warm too quickly and explode.

Fluorescent:  Fluorescent light bulbs provide a light equal to that of daytime light and cannot be put on a dimmer. Today, there are many types of fluorescent light bulbs available from warm and cool to special colored bulbs such as black light.

  • Big pro: Fluorescent light bulbs work well in areas where flattering light or setting a mood is not important: attics and basements. They produce more light than an incandescent bulb and will last you longer.
  • Big con: These bulbs give a harsh light that comes off as bluish in certain rooms and can hurt sensitive eyes.

Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs): Compact fluorescent bulbs are by far the most energy efficient, consuming ¼ of the energy of incandescent bulbs. They also lasts ten times longer. These bulbs provide flattering light in any room room and to most all skin tones.

  • Big pro: CFL’s are a very versatile bulb you can use anywhere in your home that you would use an incandescent bulb. However, they are quieter and provide the most flattering light and to most all skin tones.
  • Big con: These bulbs do contain trace amounts of the harmful substance, mercury. This is a huge concern for some families, especially those with small children. Steer away from these if mercury is a worry and if you do use CFLs be sure to recycle when disposing of them.

We hope this makes it crystal clear which bulbs to choose next time you’re making that decision.

If you are in need of any residential or commercial electrical services in Baldwin County or Mobile, Alabama look no further than Professional Electric! Visit us online at and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! We are available 24/7 for emergency services! Mobile: (251) 473-5788 Baldwin County: (251) 929-8957.


Recent Posts