Light bulb guide

Do you feel like you’ve been left in the dark when it comes to new light bulb technology?

Light bulb guide


Due to their inefficiency, incandescent light bulbs are being phased out of sale, at least for home use. You can still find some varieties, but unless you are replacing a specific bulb (such as an oven light), you’ll be better off going for its similar but more efficient counterpart, the halogen.


The halogen bulb functions the same as the traditional incandescent, but contains a small amount of halogen gas around the light filament. This greatly improves the light bulb’s life span. They have a life span of around 1000 hours, a warm yellow colour light and are slightly more energy efficient than the traditional incandescent.


Over the past decade, compact fluorescent lamps are likely to be the energy-saving bulbs that you’ve come to know. They are very energy efficient, typically produce a bluish-white coloured light, and are usually quite affordable too. But cheaper models are not likely to live out their estimated life span, so it might be worth investing in a more expensive model. While they have a lifespan of approximately 10,000 hours, using the bulbs for short durations will reduce their lifespan. They will also produce less light in very cold temperatures, sometimes not turning on at all. Most CFL bulbs are not dimmable and will take a bit of time after turning on to reach their maximum brightness.


Light emitting diodes are the little indicator lights you’ve probably seen on anything electronic since the 1980s, usually appearing as a small red or green light to tell you whether or not a device is turned on. Your TV or computer probably has a few installed for this purpose. Recent breakthroughs in technology and significant drops in price have introduced the humble LED into home light bulbs, and it is looking as if they will be the number one choice in the coming years. This is due to their incredible life spans (with some models having life expectancies of 25,000 hours), and energy efficiency that typically trumps that of the CFL.

LED bulbs are available in a variety of colour temperatures and some models come with warranties lasting up to 10 years. The high initial cost has shied customers away in the past, but as prices are continuing to drop, these bulbs should pay for themselves many times over.

Read more at Tom’s Guide and CNET.

Do you have energy-efficient bulbs installed in your house? Or do you prefer traditional lighting with its high CRI and warm colour?

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    8th Sep 2015
    Thanks for this! Biddi
    8th Sep 2015
    Yes, we try to be as energy efficient as we can. So far seem to have chosen the right ones for the particular need. Thanks for this guide.
    8th Sep 2015
    We have been changing our light bulbs to LED gradually, almost done, and there is a definite change for the better in our last Electricity a/c
    8th Sep 2015
    Yes, I made the mistake of joining the Compact Fluorescent revolution early. Most of those globes have now been replaced with 10 or 14W Philips LED globes. The 14W are particularly good giving 1400Lumen output, equivalent to 100W incandescent. It's a shame the guide provided said very little and pointed to two US websites for reference which gave no real idea of what globes should cost here. Tom's guide was from two years ago which is ages ago as far as LED development is concerned. The 1400L 14W Philips is around $18 from Bunnings.
    8th Sep 2015
    You can buy them for a third of that price on Ebay, delivered to your door.
    8th Sep 2015
    Thanks for this guide. We are gradually changing to LED & the new warmer LED's are lovely in areas where you dont need bright light. A probelem we had with Compacts was that many light fittings could not take their size & bulk. But the LED's seem to fit better.
    A problem we have been having is not all LED's have clear labelling defining that they are LED & not CFL ! So may be your guide will help here. I have printed it off & put it on our notice board. Thanks again.
    8th Sep 2015
    Darn I bought some globes yesterday. Didn't see all of these.
    8th Sep 2015
    Was very upset a few weeks ago, a bulb blew on a newish kitchen setting of four in the ceiling, went to Beacon where we had bought the lighting system, they didn't have that type of globe anymore so I showed her the lighting system we had purchased and she sold us 4 LED globes, they are terrific but we'll not shop there again, the globes were $45.95 each.
    8th Sep 2015
    And they call THAT saving money!! I have also found these new fangled globes do NOT last that long at all
    14th Sep 2015
    Ditto, my 'everlasting' expensive lights don't last all that long! I keep on replacing them all the time!
    8th Sep 2015
    I thought I was the only one on the planet who did not grasp these "new" light bulbs. I never mentioned it to any one, because I felt I was the dimmest light in the chandelier!! I dreaded a light bulb blowing and would just swap them around. Longed for the days I could go out and buy a 60 or 75 w pearl/clear light bulb. So simple before more energy efficient bulbs became the norm. I now have more confidence in purchasing a replacement bulb! Thanks for the advice
    8th Sep 2015
    Plus you have to dispose of them properly can't just chuck in the bin and if they break danger of mercury -- unless they have fixed that??

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