Types of light bulbs

With the holiday season around the corner, people would like to illuminate and decorate their houses and gardens with lights of various types. Here is an in-depth list of the

Line Voltage (120 volts)

  • PAR 16, 20, 30, and 38
    These reflectorized bulbs provide better beam quality and have better control than other regular incandescent PAR bulbs. They are used in outdoor spots and floodlights.
  • T-3 Double-Ended
    These bulbs are available in a variety of base types. They are generally used in sconces and floor lamps, providing indirect lighting also known as torchieres. Its direction is controlled by a fixture.
  • T-4 Single-Ended
    These bulbs are available in both “mini-can” and “bayonet” base types. They are also used for indirect lighting especially in torchieres, wall sconces, pendants, and bath brackets.

Low Voltage or 12-volt bulbs

  • MR8, MR11, and MR16
    They are also known as mini-reflectors as they provide an excellent source of beam control. They are smaller in size and are used in smaller tracks and particular fixtures.
  • PAR36 bulbs
    These bulbs are very good in providing light control, especially in the case of long distances. They are specifically used in track, recessed, and accent fixtures and outdoor landscapes.
  • T-4 Bi-Pin bulbs
    These are miniature bulbs and are used in desk lamps, pendants, low-voltage truck systems, etc. They are also used in under cabinet lighting.
  • Xenon
    They have a rigid-loop festoon and are similar to halogen with a longer life. They come with a wedge base and emit a white light. They can be used as much as 20,000 hours, similar to fluorescent bulbs. They usually operate at a much lower temperature than halogens and are extensively used in under-cabinet lightings and outdoor spots.
  • Fluorescent bulbs
    These bulbs produce light when an electric arc is passed between the cathodes. They use 1/5 to 1/3 electricity compared to incandescent bulbs. They also last 20 times longer than the other bulbs. They come with a compact base and are smaller and trimmer in size. They are available in a wide spectrum of colors. They usually give a warm white light and are called as a duplicate of incandescent. One has to be careful with these bulbs as they contain mercury and should be disposed of properly.
  • Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs)
    They are popularly known as CFLs and are basically small fluorescent bulbs. They are used in most types of lighting fixtures. They can also be used to replace incandescent lamps in standard lamp sockets.
  • T8 bulbs
    They are used in larger ceiling fixtures and consist of electronic ballasts. They can be turned on instantly without producing any humming sound. They are widely used in residential areas and commercial projects.
  • High-Intensity Discharge (HID)
    These bulbs are durable and have a very long life. They are energy efficient and emit colors that are pleasing to the eyes. They are extensively used in residential areas whereas HID’s used for outdoor security and area lighting.