Light Bulb Guide

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Light Bulb Guide

It can be quite confusing when you look at the different options of light bulbs available on the lighting market today. Especially if you’re not familiar with the different sizes and types of bulb. It’s not actually a daunting subject – it appears so at first glance, but you will soon realise there are only a few commonly used light bulb sizes across the whole of Europe.

However, don’t be put off as we’ve put together this simple guide to help inform you of the choices of light bulb there are. Here is a simple guide to help with the choices you need to make when purchasing your light bulbs – or they can also be referred to as lamps.

It helps if you have a rough understanding of lumens and wattage. There’s more detail further below and we previously posted a blog about LED bulbs and do they really save money? But you don’t need to know a great deal about this – it’s just a useful guide to help you decide.

What is wattage?

It is the amount of electricity needed to light a bulb.

What is lumen?

It is the level of brightness that a bulb can achieve.

Step 1.  Check your light fitting to see what the lamp holder is because this will determine the CAP TYPE for the bulb you need.

If you’ve a particular type of room décor like ‘traditional’, you might prefer to choose a globe bulb or more rounded bulb

Light bulb guide showing the different bulb cap types such as E27/ES bulb, B22/BC G4 bulb, or G9 pin bulbLight bulb guide showing the different bulb cap types such as E27/ES bulb, B22/BC G4 bulb, or G9 pin bulb

Step 2. You can now decide what bulb shape you need in your fitting. You will need to make sure there is enough room within your shade to fit the bulb. People pick different shapes depending on taste or style. For example, if you’ve a particular type of room décor like ‘traditional’, you might prefer to choose a globe bulb or more rounded bulb. If you’ve a more modern room with a style like ‘steampunk’ or ‘industrial’, you might prefer a golf ball bulb or a GLS. There is no definite style that you MUST choose, the choice is down to you.

Image showing the different bulb types in order or size for example, largest is the globe bulb, then GLS bulb, Gofball bulb, Candle bulb, CFL stick bulb, Halogen bulb etcImage showing the different bulb types in order or size for example, largest is the globe bulb, then GLS bulb, Gofball bulb, Candle bulb, CFL stick bulb, Halogen bulb etc

How bright do you need the light?

Step 3.  Your next choice is – How bright do you need the light?

Like in step 2 we mentioned décor. Well, again the brightness of the bulb depends on the colour of your walls, and the style, or type of room. For example, if you need to buy a bulb for a wall light, it might be a subtle type of bulb you require to light an up and down light or a picture light. Hallways tend to be bright or the opposite. It depends on taste. If you’re looking for bulbs for a bedroom you might prefer lower light to create calm and atmosphere for reading rather than brightness. If you need to light up a dining room, you would prefer to have a well light room, so you’d need a bulb with high lumens. However, it’s down to personal taste

Here’s a guide to what lumens you might need depending on the wattage – the higher the lumens, the brighter the bulb: Each product has a maximum wattage label attached.

Lumen Calculator showing the different between the old bulbs and the newer LED tech - the newer bulbs last longer and use less energyLumen Calculator showing the different between the old bulbs and the newer LED tech - the newer bulbs last longer and use less energy

Step 4. What is colour temperature? (kelvins)

Colour temperature is the appearance of light which the light bulb radiates. You have guessed it, different bulbs radiate different colour temperatures. In LED lighting there are three basic choices of light bulbs, all of which are suitable for different rooms - warm white, cool white and daylight. Each one produces a slightly different colour. The look and feel of a room is hugely influenced by its colour temperature. This temperature is expressed in Kelvins. Based on a Kelvin numbered scale, the higher the colour temperature, the cooler, more natural light will be imitated. A lower number on the Kelvin scale will provide a softer, warmer, more relaxing glow.

Colour temperature scale showing that warm light is more orange, cool white is bright orange, white light is white up to day light which is more blueColour temperature scale showing that warm light is more orange, cool white is bright orange, white light is white up to day light which is more blue

Some examples of the types of bulb that you will find under the various colour temperatures. This is only a guide as there are many other types of bulb, but our product descriptions tell you which colour temperature each bulbs is before you purchase. For example:

The Spiral Bulb below has ‘Cool White’ added to its description so it has an approximate kelvin of 4000k. The Minisun SES Halogen bulb is described as ‘Warm White’ so its kelvin is 3000k!

Visit our bulb section to see across the different bulb types.