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Types of light bulbs: price, consumption, useful life and advantages

26 Enero 2018
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The lighting of a home can be an art, but also a hole in your pocket. You need to know the different types of light bulbs in order to save and give your home that touch that makes the difference.

Approximately 20% of your home’s electricity consumption corresponds to lighting. That is the same as saying: of every 100 Euros of energy, 20 are spent by your light bulbs.

As for light bulbs (and he who invented them) let us remember that when they burn out they must be replaced. When going to purchase a new one, let us also remember that they have a price that is quite variable according to the type we choose.

And of course, we must consider electrical consumption, which is also quite variable. On each of your electricity bills, there is a part that is explained (for better or for worse) by the type of light bulbs you have installed.

How to choose a light bulb?

This question does not have a single answer and depends in part on personal tastes; however, it is fundamental to review aspects like intensity, useful life, performance and consumption:

Incandescent light bulbs

  • Advantages: they are the traditional ones. Manufacturing them has been prohibited in the European Union since 2012, but they are still in stores. Some consider their light to be warmer and friendlier, but their most important asset is price: they are the most inexpensive on the market.
  • Inconveniences: they were prohibited to be manufactured due to their ecological profile, given that they have a short useful life (approximately 1,000 hours) and a high electricity consumption. Of all of the energy they spend, only 5% is for lighting, losing the remaining 95% in heat.

Halogen lights

  • Advantages: small, they instantly turn on and have a great lighting capacity. Powerful light, ideal for working or focusing on specific points. They consume around 40% less than incandescent light bulbs.
  • Inconveniences: Their main inconvenience is that they give off a lot of heat. To perfectly function, they need a current readjustment and the installation of a 12 or 24 volt transformer. Their useful life, around 3,000 hours, is improvable.

Low consumption light bulbs

  • Advantages: they last 15,000 hours and consume very little (approximately 80% less than incandescent light bulbs). In addition, they enjoy high light efficiency.
  • Inconveniences: It’s better not to place them in rooms where they turn on and off many times, given that they’d burn out sooner. They take a few seconds to shine their brightest. For these reasons, it is not recommended to use them in passageways. They are expensive, although they are economical in the long term.

LED light bulbs

  • Advantages: are the most ecological on the market, given that they don't have tungsten or mercury. They last 50,000 hours (you could have them turned on for 5 consecutive years) and consume around 80% less than incandescent light bulbs. They emit practically no heat.
  • Inconveniences: their only problem is that in comparison to the others, they have a higher cost. Although they pay off in the long term, it will be economically inconvenient each time they must be changed.

E20% of a house’s electricity consumption is due to the light bulbs

What to focus on when purchasing a light bulb

After weighing the pros and cons of each type, there are other very important aspects.

The main one is the light bulb envelope, given that if you make a mistake with this, you’ll be making a totally useless purchase. The size of the screw cap that you need appears both on the box and printed on the glass of the light bulb. The most common ones are E27 (lifelong wide screw), E14 (lifelong narrow screw) and GU10 (has two protuberances instead of a screw), but in the stores, there are more than one dozen different envelopes..

By order of importance (once you know that the light bulb will fit in the bulb holder), the consumption of each model follows. It is expressed in watts (W): the higher it is, the more it will weigh on the variable part of your electricity bill.

Another matter is color. Although they are generally white tones, there are also yellowish tones. These details are crucial to setting the scene of a room.

What light bulbs should you put in your room?

It all depends on your needs and tastes. In general, the following must be recommended:

  • Rooms where electricity tends to be turned on for several hours (living room, kitchen): you can take your pick from the LEDs and/or low consumption bulbs.
  • Passageways in which the light turns on and off often, without remaining turned on: in this case, halogen lights are most advantageous.

LED light bulbs for lights turned on a long time. Halogen lights for passageways.

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