Little did we know that a unique device that runs an electric current and produces light could be of so many types? Yes, we are talking of the common light bulbs that are found in every household, office, and factory. Without these small useful devices, our world would have been in darkness. Ever since they were invented by Humphry Davy in 1809, light bulbs have been increasingly utilized for both commercial and residential uses. Today, they have become one of the most recognized and central components of the modern industrial age. If you just happen to stroll through the electronic equipments department in any supermarket, do not be surprised to see the numerous sizes, shapes and kinds of light bulbs lying neatly on the shelves. With a closer look, you will recognize that the bulbs have been distinguished on the basis of light produced and the amount of voltage they utilize. Read on to know the different types of light bulbs.
Different Kinds Of Light Bulbs
The most common type and easily recognized kind of bulbs are the incandescent bulbs. These are the standard bulbs that people are most familiar with and even the most inexpensive option. These bulbs contain a tungsten filament which is heated through electric current to produce a steady warm light. Available in various colors, shapes and sizes, one can choose from A-line, reflector, globe, candle, flicker, flame, tubular, ceiling fan, and bullet/torpedo types of light bulbs.
Compared to incandescent bulbs, fluorescent bulbs produce more light per watt and have a longer lamp life. Though they light up the entire room, due to their linear format, they cannot be used for home décor lighting. However, the circular and U-shaped options can be given a thought. Other fluorescent bulb types include grow lights, linear, and aquarium.
Compact Fluorescent Lamps
The compact fluorescent lamps or CFLs are considered to be the most energy efficient bulbs amongst all the light bulbs. To add on, CFLs utilize 60-70% less energy compared to incandescent bulbs and can last up to as long as 10,000 hours. While energy efficiency serves as the major advantage of using CFLs, they are relatively very expensive as opposed to other light bulb types. Most CFLs contain many short glass sticks, or two or three small tubular loops. 3-way, dimmable, post, A-line, and spiral are some compact fluorescent lamp types.
High-Intensity Discharge Lamps
High intensity discharge lamp (HID) is a broad category that comprise of high pressure sodium (HPS), metal halide, mercury vapor, and self-ballasted mercury lamps. Compared to fluorescent and incandescent lamps, HID lamps produce more light as they are filled with gas and metals. While the gas helps in starting the lamps, the metals produce light once the lamps are heated to the point of evaporation.
Metal Halide Bulbs
Metal halide lamps produce a white, more natural light though they are less efficient. These are not only used in areas where high energy efficiency is desired, but also where light is required over larger areas. Gymnasiums, pathways, roadways, outdoor activity areas, parking lots, and large public areas are some such places where bright and energy efficient lights are a necessity. However, metal halide bulbs are now being used in residential environments as well. Also, metal halide lamps are available in colors.
Low-Pressure Sodium Lamps
Low-pressure sodium lamps have the highest efficiency amongst the various lighting sources available for commercial uses. Often a low-pressure sodium lamp is confused with a standard high-pressure sodium lamp, since both radiate a yellow light. But, low-pressure sodium lamps are similar to fluorescent lamps when it comes to operations. Such lamps are most useful in places where bright light is not a major concern, such as outdoors, roadways, parking lots, and pathway lighting.
Light Emitting Diodes
Commonly referred to as LED, light emitting diodes have a longer life though they are low in power consumption and do not contain a filament. LED lamps work on an electronic mechanism that is different from incandescent and fluorescent bulbs.