There’s something about having perfect lighting. Whether it be for photography, dinner parties, or even working from home– there are many different types of light you can use. In this post we feature the characteristics of various lighting types. Since they are all designed with a certain use in mind, let’s go over where they would work best in your home.
The oldest form of lighting, incandescent is the most common bulb most people are familiar with. It provides a warm, steady light and is used mostly in residential applications. It is also compatible with control dimmers, timers, and photo sensors so they are also widely used in commercial lighting. Life span is between 700 – 1000 hours. Incandescent light is inexpensive to manufacture, however, it is not as energy sufficient as other lighting options. Fun Fact- Incandescent light is on its way out, as part of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) mandating that low-efficiency light bulbs be gradually removed from production.
Halogen lighting has the advantage of being more efficient and a longer life than the incandescent bulb. Halogen lights are smaller in size and are compatible with dimmers. They are more expensive and burn at a higher temperature. They emit “white light”, similar to natural daylight in which colors appear sharper. Halogen bulbs are fragile, so be careful with handling- never use your bare hands to change the bulb as the oil can shorten or even end the light bulb’s lifespan. Design Tip- Halogen bulbs are used for car headlamps and work lights. At home, they work best as under-cabinet lighting.
Fluorescent light gives a flat, cold light, often bluish and harsh and can also be loud and flickery. CFLs are the compact fluorescent bulbs- they can be used anywhere you would use an incandescent light bulb. Contrary to regular fluorescent lights, CFLs are quiet, instant-on and have warmer, color-corrected tones. A normal lifespan is up to 10,000 hours and because of the small amount of mercury contained in the bulbs, they should be recycled when burnt out. Unlike incandescent and halogen light, most CFL bulbs cannot be used with dimmers. Design Tip- Use CFL bulbs for indoor and outdoor lamps, and decorative lighting.
LED light, or “Light-emitting diode,” provide only directional light, making them ideal for task lighting. They are low in power consumption and have a long life span. LEDs are small, with common colors such as amber, red, green, and blue. Many LEDs have a rated lifespan of up to 50,000 hours. Since LED is not diffused light, the bulb will not work solely for general room illumination. Because of these features, LED lights provide unique design opportunities. Design Tip- LED strip lights = unlimited DIY projects, including illuminated closet rods. How brilliant!
**images courtesy of houzz.com**