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Types of Light Bulbs

October 6th, 2011 Tools

If you want to cut down on energy costs in your household, it may benefit you to learn about the different kinds of light bulbs and which are the most efficient. There are three main types that you could consider using in your home, according to MarthaStewart.com and Megavolt.co.il.

Incandescent These bulbs are the ones you're probably most familiar with. They work by using electricity to heat a tungsten filament in the bulb until it glows. The tungsten is either surrounded by a vacuum or a mixture of argon and nitrogen gas. A lot of heat energy is given off, which means the bulbs create a nice warm glow, but aren't very energy efficient. They require replacements more often than other types of bulbs, lasting only about 700 to 1000 hours, according to Megavolt.

Halogen These bulbs give off about 20 to 30 percent more light than the incandescent variety and use about the same amount of electricity. They work the same way as an incandescent bulb, but the tungsten is surrounded by a tube filled with halogen gas. The filament needs to get hotter in order for the light to be produced, which makes it brighter and more white than incandescent bulbs. Because they get so hot, it's best to keep these bulbs in places where they aren't going to be touched by anything. They last longer than incandescent bulbs, but can be more expensive.

Compact fluorescent light (CFL) More modern than other types of bulbs, these are the most efficient and longest lasting. They work like regular fluorescent lights, by passing electricity through a tube filled with argon gas and mercury. This generates ultraviolet radiation, which causes a phosphorous coating to emit light. They don't produce much heat and the light is very bright, which means you may want to get a suitable shade if you're using them in your home. They typically last up to 10,000 hours.