The Four Main Types Of Lightbulbs

Posted on: 2 February 2016

Lightbulbs are the most common and arguably the most important electrical appliance in every home. They come in a wide range of different sizes and powers, and though they all provide the same function, work in different ways to do so. Understanding what the main types of lightbulbs are and the advantages that each type of lightbulb offers can help you choose the type that best fits your home's illumination needs.


Fluorescent lights are by far the most common type of lightbulb, mainly because of their low cost. They work by passing an electrical current between metal filaments, producing light and heat. They are best suited for homeowners who are operating under a tight budget, and can be cheaply purchased in bulk. They also do not contain mercury, which means that they are not a health hazard when broken.

However, incandescent lights are not very efficient. They use a great deal of energy to produce a relatively small amount of light, as a lot of energy is used to produce heat as well. This means that using incandescent bulbs will increase your energy bills in the long run when compared to other types of bulbs.


Fluorescent lights are the second most common type of lightbulb, and are slowly replacing incandescent lights. They work by passing an electrical current through gases within the bulb, creating light. They are more energy efficient than incandescent lightbulbs, as energy is not wasted through the creation of heat, which can help keep energy bills low.

However, fluorescent bulbs are slightly more expensive than incandescent bulbs, which can be limiting if you need to replace a large amount of lightbulbs. Furthermore, fluorescent bulbs contain mercury, which can be a serious health hazard if the bulb breaks.


LED lights are the most efficient type of lightbulb on the market. They do not produce any heat when they are plugged in, and provide greater brightness when compared to other types of lightbulbs. They can work both indoors and outdoors, and will save you a great deal of money on your energy bills.

However, LED lights are extremely expensive initially, which restricts their benefits to homeowners who are able to spend a great deal on new lightbulbs.


Halogen lightbulbs work almost identically to incandescent bulbs, heating a filament to the point of glowing. They are slightly more energy efficient, but still produce a fairly significant amount of heat. They are mainly for outdoor use, though indoor variants do exist. They do not contain mercury, which makes them the ideal choice for homeowners who want a more energy efficient option but are worried about the hazards associated with fluorescent bulbs.

Halogen bulbs are slightly more expensive initially than their incandescent counterparts, but make up for it through their improved energy savings. For more information, contact an electrician (like those at C & R Electric, Inc).