How well your lighting performs often depends on the bulb. Different
bulbs provide different light.
Incandescent light is used most
frequently in our homes; it is produced by a tungsten thread that burns slowly
inside a glass bulb. This is the light we are used to. The light is slighting
yellow tinged. You can also now buy slightly blue or pink tinged bulbs.
are the standard. That's a regular light bulb. It can have either a little base,
called a C or candelabra base or a bigger base called either an E or Edison base
or an M or medium base. There are also intermediate or European base sockets.
(If you have one of these, go buy an adapter. A little metal ring that goes into
the socket will make a C base bulb fit and then you won't have to go searching
for bulbs anymore.)
Incandescent bulbs are inexpensive to buy, but they
aren't as energy efficient. They use more electricity to make the light than other
choices and they don't last as long. But, many fixtures are designed for them
and the light from them is pleasant. It's what we're used to. A-lamps provide
a comfortable light and an average life of about 750 hours.
Incandescent bulbs are also available as globes, small
round bulbs like you see on some bath lighting and as
decorative flame or tear drop bulbs. They can have either
a C candelabra base or E Edison (M Medium) base. That
is what we think of as a "regular light bulb"
|Incandescent A19 Medium Base Frosted Bulb
Incandescent Decorative GE CA10 Candelabra
Base Screw in E12 Clear 60 watt
Incandescent R Lamps, PAR Lamps, BR Lamps
If you want more control over where your light goes,
you can use a reflectorized bulb that has a mirrored
coating on the back of the bulb to aim the light forward.
R lamps, Reflector lamps and PAR lamps, Parabolic Reflector
bulbs direct two to four times as much light forward
as a regular (A lamp) light bulb.
These are what you usually see in flood lights, recessed
lights and track lights. They produce a more controlled
beam because the back is silvered. They spread the light
or narrow it down, as a spot. These lamps are well suited
for accenting and wall washing where directional control
is required. Wide beam lamps can also be effectively
used for general lighting. Average lamp life is about
2, 000 hours MR11, MR16, Bi-pins, etc.
Provides directional illumination. These are available
as floods or spots. They are often used in recessed
lights or track lights. They cannot be used outside
unless they are used in a completely sealed waterproof
Bulging Reflector (BR)
May be used as a substitute for incandescent R lamps.
They are also not to be used outside in open fixtures.
Parabolic Aluminized Reflector (PAR)
These bulbs may be used indoors in recessed or track
lighting indoors. They are also suitable for outdoor
use in spot and flood fixtures. They provide halogen
light and are more efficient than R or PAR lamps. The
light is whiter, brighter and the bulbs last longer.
There are more beam spreads available, so you can direct
the light exactly where you want it for indoor or outdoor
accent lighting. These bulbs are weather proof and can
be used outside in un-protected fixtures.
||GE Soft White BR30
||GE Spotlight PAR38
Low voltage incandescent lighting is especially useful
for accent lighting. Operating on 12 or 24 volts, these lights require transformers
(often built into the fixture) to step down the voltage from the standard 120-volt
household circuit. Low voltage fixtures are relatively expensive to buy; but in
general, can be energy and cost-efficient if carefully planned.
The most common are the MR bulbs.
These usually operate at 12 volts and have a more tightly
wound tungsten filament that aims the light better.
Beam distributions range from Very Narrow to Wide flood.
Average lamp life is 2, 500 hours.
|GE Quartzline® Multi-Mirror® MR16
||GE ConstantColor® Precise™ MR11
is usually low-voltage but may use standard line current. The popular MR-16 bulb
offers a variety of beam spreads.
Halogen produces a brilliant pure white
light. It provides more light per watt than incandescent and the bulbs, if properly
cared for last a lot longer. They may be used in track, recessed lighting, wall
sconces, torchiers, pendants, really any application.
Halogen has two disadvantages:
it's higher initial cost and it's higher replacement bulb cost.
Lamp General Information
- A new halogen lamp may smoke slightly
when it is used for the first time. This is perfectly normal; the protective coating
is simply being vaporized.
Two Tips For Prolonging Halogen Lamp
- First avoid touching the lamp with bare hands during
Any contaminant, even the oil from your
hands can deteriorate the lamp. Rubbing
alcohol can be used to remove any contaminant.
- Second, do not run the
lamps at full power when you do not need to. However, if dimming the fixture for
extended period of time, occasionally bring the light up
to full brightness
for a few minutes to complete the
the Tech Lighting Catalog
bulbs are available in both xenon and halogen. Both
have a clean white light. It is line voltage, so no
transformer is required. These bulbs have a socket about
the size of a candelabra, but not the same. They are
easily available in most areas at any store that sells
light bulbs including home improvement and many grocery
The halogen bulb
produces more heat. It must also be kept very clean to lengthen it's life. Really,
any bulb will last longer if kept clean, just wipe it with the paper towel and
Windex when you do the mirrors. (Turn it off and let it cool first, of course.)
Halogen can be dimmed, but this lowers it's life expectancy.
is an excellent solution in many areas. It does not emit UV's. (Bad for paintings,
photos and some wallpaper.) It lasts longer than halogen or incandescent, gives
more light for the electricity used than incandescent. Xenon also produces less
heat per lumen than halogen or incandescent. That doesn't mean that a 60 watt
xenon is cooler than a 60w candelabra bulb. It means that there is way more light
and not as much more heat. It is considered safer than halogens because it does
not get as hot and halogen gas is kept under higher pressure.
Do not install
a Fluorescent light if it is to be used for applying make-up. Even the
best Fluorescent tubes don't really give accurate light. Fluorescent tubes are
unsurpassed for energy efficiency; they also last far longer than incandescent
bulbs. Fluorescent bulbs are cheap and seem to last forever. They are available
in 2', 4', 6', 8', as well as U-tube and circline lamps.
Fluoresents are an excellent choice for outdoor lighting
or where changing the bulb is difficult Lighting
from Besa, LBL, Melissa and Access are often available
Bath Lighting is shown on these pages:
Modern Bath Lighting
Fluorescent Outdoor Lighting is shown on these
Contemporary Outdoor Lighting
Fluorescent Ceiling Lighting is shown on these
Alabaster Ceiling Lights
Close to Ceiling
Eclectic Close to Ceiling
Fluorescent is cool, as well, which is a good choice in poorly
ventilated small areas, where heat is a problem. Older persons may benefit from
light on both sides of a mirror. While the heat from other light sources may make
this a burn hazard, Flourescent lights installed vertically on either side of
a mirror may assist older persons with shaving or applying makeup.
Fluorescent tubes have been criticized for noise, flicker and poor color rendition.
Electronic ballasts and better fixture shielding against glare have remedied the
first two problems; as for the last one, manufacturers have developed Fluorescents
in a Wide spectrum of colors, from very warm light (about 2, 700 degrees K0 to
very cool (about 6, 300 degrees K). But, even the best give a slightly inaccurate
rendering of some colors.
You can also buy Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFB)
that screw into a regular (E/A) socket. They are larger than regular bulbs, though,
so don't fit into many fixtures.
The best light for applying makeup is shed
from the sides of a mirror. The best for shaving is from above. In both cases,
there are many ways to do this effectively.
This is by no means all the
information there is. If you have any questions,
let me know and I will get you the answer and add it to this page. There are
a lot of different kinds of light bulbs now. The right kind in the right fixture
can really make a difference, but how do you know? Light bulbs, usually called
lamps, can be grouped in general categories according to the way they produce
light. And yes, we can sell just about any bulb. Tell
us what you are looking for and we will get a price back to you.
can also change the colors or your room.
This is most likely the light you are used to. It is a warm light
and enhances warm colors. If you change to another light source, remember that
your colors will not have this warming light.
Halogen produces true white light. This is the closest to daylight.
It makes colors seem brighter.
Cool White Fluorescent
This enhances cool colors. It may mute or even muddy warm colors.
White Deluxe Fluorescent
This is quite accurate light. It
brightens most colors.
Warm White Fluorescent
Slightly Amber light
white Fluorescents are friendlier to skin tones. This is the light you want in
living or working areas. Don't try to apply makeup with it, though.
White Deluxe Fluorescent
This light brighters warm colors,
but may muddy cool colors, especially blues and greens. Colors that used to coordinate
may no longer seem to.
Hadco Photometric Data >
(PDF will open in a new window.)
for MR11, MR16, PAR36, PAR20, R40 and R20
Learn how Wide the beam from each
bulb can spread.