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The Future's Bright For Lighting!

Updated on January 22, 2013

The Difference Between Modern Light Bulbs

In the modern world of lighting it is no longer just about whether it is a screw fix or a bayonet fitting. It is also about what type of bulb it is. With the growing popularity of energy saving light bulbs all the choices can be very confusing. Here we break down a few different types, to help you work out what will best work for you!

LED Is The Future of Lighting!

Do you agree? Let us know!

Is LED the way to go for light bulbs?

Traditional Bulbs
Traditional Bulbs

Tungsten Incandescent Light Bulb

The original bulb!

There is an attempt the phase this out, the 150W and 100W are already outlawed in the UK. However, it is difficult to see this progression going much further because firstly there are few plug in alternatives below 60W and the range of shaped lamps is quite substantial and hard to replace with similar size. This lamp offers a good light source although a little yellow but it is dimmable (which saves energy anyway) and available in many different shapes and sizes. You will inevitably see this type of bulb be phased out over time, particularly as LED lights become a real alternative

Halogen GU10 Bulbs
Halogen GU10 Bulbs

Tungsten Halogen Spotlights

GU10 Bulbs

This is available in mains voltage and low voltage, the low voltage ones in different sizes. The mains lamps, although giving a brighter light than conventional tungsten, are much less efficient than the low voltage ones. Mains TH lamps are not really very environmentally friendly, but there seems to be no move to ban these – yet. Both versions are dimmable so can save energy there. They give a whiter light output than ordinary tungsten lamps. These are very popular as kitchen lighting, but be aware, put 8 or 10 in a kitchen at 60 or 100W each bulb and you are seriously chucking out some energy – and you’ll see it in your energy bills!

CFL Bulbs
CFL Bulbs

Compact Fluorescent

CFL Bulbs

These are what is being pushed as the alternative to tungsten GLS. They are not popular because they take time to come to full brightness and can’t be fitted into every appliance. They will also not dim (except some specially designed to dim which are expensive and have other limitations). The colour rendering is not constant and they vary as they age. They also contain heavy metals, so should be discarded properly (don’t just throw them in the bin). They offered a good alternative to traditional tungsten lamps, but we expect to see them phased out over time

LED Light Bulb
LED Light Bulb

LED Lamps

LED Light Bulbs

Generally considered to be the future of lighting (and we agree too!). These are available as replacements for some lighting but are expensive, although you will make your money back over time. These are extremely low wattage hence they are expected to be the future of lighting. They don’t have many of the drawbacks of other lighting and will be available in different colour temperatures to match requirements. They can be dimmed, but because of their low power may not work with some dimmers because the load is not high enough.

LED Lighting

LED Lighting
LED Lighting


This is just a snapshot of what is available today – the scene is changing fast and there is no doubt that LEDs are the future. In fact, things may change so fast that CFLs may be redundant (because of their drawbacks) before they reach the end of their operating life!

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