Incandescent bulbs are those with which most people are familiar. These bulbs come in all shapes, sizes and colors. The bulb heats a filament made of tungsten (you might know this element from being a popular men’s ring metal). The heated tungsten glows, giving off the light that we see. The light that incandescent bulbs naturally give off is a yellow hue. We get white light from specially coated bulbs.
Light Emmitting Diodes have no fillament and are known for their longevity. Since they don’t put out the same amount of lumen as incandescent bulbs, they’re able to perform with lower power consumption.
Florescent bulbs are also known for their longevity. These bulbs are formed into tubes that pass a current through argon gas and mercury, giving off their ultraviolet light.
CFL bulbs are the modern version of florescent bulbs. The two bulbs work the same but the CFL bulbs do in a much smaller package. Where florescent bulbs need ballasts to work, a CFL bulb can be screwed into most lights and lamps. These bulbs also operate at a much lower wattage than incandescent bulbs (15-18 watts for a CFL is the equivalent of a 60 watt incandescent bulb).
Halogen bulbs work much like incadescent bulbs, using a tungsten filament to create light. Where incadescent bulbs use either a vacuum or a mixture of argon/nitrogen gas, the halogen bulbs use halogen gas. These bulbs are a little more expensive and tend to burn at a hotter temperature.
When choosing bulbs you may want to take color into consideration. Bulbs are color rated in Kelvin, not to be confused as an indicator of heat. Lower Kelvin numbers mean the bulb was a warm tone to it and higher Kelvin numbers give off a cool, blue hue. Most incandescent bulbs are around 2700K which is a warm white and daylight is around 5000K.
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