Mrs. Fixit: Light Bulb Options

May 29, 2008 6:51:14 AM PDT
Wondering what light bulb you should use for energy efficiency, cost savings and light output? Well, I have an idea.

The bulbs that most of us know and use are incandescent bulbs, electricity heats a tungsten filament (you know the little spiral wire that you can see in the bulb) until it's so hot that it can be seen as white light. The problem is that the filament is fragile and subject to breaking or burning out.

Another type of incandescent bulb is a halogen bulb. If you look inside the bulb you can see another long bulb, this is actually an envelope of quartz which holds the filament in a halogen gas which together with electricity produce visible light. Halogen bulbs produce more light per unit of energy so they last much longer than normal incandescent bulbs.

A much more efficient option is a compact florescent bulb with a traditional lamp base. An incandescent lasts two thousand hours at its max, a compact florescent bulb lasts about eight thousand hours. It uses about a quarter of the energy for the same amount of light given off.

Keep in mind when you're comparing light bulbs, always check your fixture and never use a bulb that's higher wattage than recommended by the manufacturer. I'm Mrs. Fixit and it's just that simple.