With the options available today, choosing a light bulb has become slightly more complicated for the average homeowner. If you find yourself wondering what bulb you need, here are a few tips to consider.

Know What's Available

There are three basic types of light bulbs available today:

  1. Halogen Incandescent
  2. CFL (Compact Fluorescent)
  3. LED (Light Emitting Diode)

The halogen incandescent is very similar to the traditional household incandescent bulb, except that it is somewhat more efficient.

The CFL is more efficient still, but its use is expected to decline due to the growing popularity of LEDs.

Today, the LED bulb is the most efficient, long-lasting, and often, the most suitable for home lighting. The new models can look very similar to traditional incandescent bulbs, and can even be decorative, such as the bulbs in the image by SATCO accompanying this post. The slightly higher up-front cost of these bulbs is mitigated by their very long life.

Consider the Following

If you're looking at light bulb options, it is important to take into consideration these aspects:

  1. Lumens - How bright is the bulb?
  2. Color - Is the light form the bulb a warm 2700K or a cool 4000K?
  3. CRI - Does the bulb render colors beautifully? 80+ is good, 90+ is great!
  4. Dimming - Can I use the bulb with a dimmer switch? What type of dimmer is compatible?

These are just a few things that you'll need to know when purchasing your next light bulb. For more information, check out ALA's guide to choosing a light bulb. As always, the best way to ensure you're getting the bulb you need is to visit an ALA-member showroom to speak with a trained professional.