Currently, there are different kinds of night light bulbs. Moreover, inventions and improvements of the current ones are also going on. Knowledge of different types of bulbs is necessary as it will help you make the wise decision in your purchase of the best night light for you.
1. Incandescent bulbs
These are one of the most common light bulbs found in houses and lighting system. They produce light by the action of electricity heating the resistive filament. The incandescent bulb was the first invention of all bulbs by Thomas Edison. Its shape is almost like letter A and thus referred to us A19.
An incandescent bulb or otherwise called standard bulb uses the filament. In most cases, the filament is made of tungsten which has the high melting point. To prevent it from burning out, the glass enveloping the filament is filled up with argon, or a mixture of argon and nitrogen gas.
Theses standard bulbs are very cheap thus very common in most homes. However, they produce more heat and are also very fragile. Typical wattages for this type of bulb range between 30 to 100 watts. They give out warm and visually appealing lights. They come in different shades of colors; blue, green, and yellow.
The typical average lifespan of the standard bulb is about 700 to 1000 hours. That is approximately 1 year of use before it burns out and calls for replacement.
- Comes on instantly
- Easy to dim
- Doesn’t require any ballast
- Very cheap
- Consumes more energy
- Very fragile
2. Halogen bulbs
Halogen bulb lights are sometimes referred to as tungsten halogen. Actually, it’s an improvement of the incandescent type of bulb. It also uses the action of the filament and the halogen gas. The common gases used are bromine, krypton or iodine.
When compared to the traditional type, halogen bulbs are more efficient, produce the sharper light but expensive. The quality of light produced is almost the natural daylight otherwise called white light. The bulbs burn at higher temperatures and hence should be fixed at apposition not accessible by kids or near anything flammable.
In their construction, the tungsten filament is enclosed in a hard glass together with the lens to focus the beams accordingly. Owing to the chemical reaction between the tungsten filament and the halogen gas, these bulbs have a longer lifespan than the standard bulbs; can last up to 6000 hours.
It isn’t safe to touch the halogen bulb with bare hands. Passing any traces of oil on your hands to the light may cause it to explode.
Their common uses include floodlights, hanging pendant lights and reading lights for the small pin pronged type.
- Improved lifespan compared to the traditional bulb
- Efficient as compared to the standard bulb; gives more lumen per watt
- Normally small in size and dimmable
- Produces more heat
- Attains higher temperature thus prone to causing fire accidents
3. Fluorescent bulbs
A fluorescent bulb uses less electrical energy as compared to the traditional bulb. Similarly, it also produces little amount of heat. In addition, they have a longer lifespan typically ranging from 10,000 to 20,000 hours.
Initially, the common industry standard type was the type producing the cool neutral light. However new designs have come up with variation in color and heat produced. For example, we have the T5, T8, T12 and many more. T, in that case, denotes the tubular shape and the number gives the width of the tube in eighths of an inch.
The construction of the traditional long glass tube fluorescent uses the choke placed in series with the tube. Its function is to provide the high starting voltage to ignite the lamp. In addition, a capacitor is also used to aid in power factor correction.
Inside the glass tube is a phosphorus coating. To produce light, an electric arc ionizes the mercury present in the tube thus producing the ultraviolet energy. The UV energy then causes the phosphorus coating to fluoresce.
The linear older tubes usually had magnetic ballast and thus produced hum and flickered too at starting time. However new models now use electronic ballasts and thus solves the flickering problem.
These types of bulbs are best for lighting vast areas that do not need detailing work, for example, the basement. However, as the new fixture style emerges like the screw fitting they find many applications in homes.
Advantages of the tubular fluorescent
- Gives almost natural light equivalent
- Minimized heat production
- Not affected by voltage variations
- High initial installation cost
- Less bright
4. Compact fluorescent bulbs, CFLs
These bulbs, CFLs are great improvements over the tubular fluorescent tubes. They are smaller, uses less electricity and thus are rapidly replacing the traditional bulbs in most homes. The bulbs can directly fit in the fixtures where the incandescent lights had been used before.
Usually, their designs take the form of two few glass tubular loops or spirals. The coating inside the glass spirals makes them produce white lights. They come in different shapes, sizes or wattages. They have a longer lifespan of about 10,000 hours. However, they aren’t suitable for dimmer circuits.
- Gives excellent color
- Longer lifespan
- Exists in a wide range of colors and amount of heat produced
5. LED light bulbs
LED means light emitting diodes. The LED bulbs do not operate on filament principle. On the contrary, the light produced is on the basis of excited electrons. The LED is then given the plastic casing and produces light in one direction. They reflect the latest invention of the use of semiconductor technology in lighting systems. New designs employing different arrays of LEDs are able to radiate light in all directions.
These types of bulbs have no mercury content and made out of recyclable materials. They are driven by an electrical circuit board hidden at the neck of the bulb. The driver circuit board maintains the steady supply of current to the diodes.
- Uses extremely amount of electrical energy
- Longer lifespan about 50 000 hours
- Can be switched on and off many times
- Sensitive to heat and thus requires heat sinks for the larger arrays