Light Bulbs

Lightstyles for Lifestyles!

Lighting brings life into the house and if it is well thought out and carefully selected, it warms, brightens and enhances the home. Thanks to technology there are now countless ways in which lighting can be adapted to suit everyone's lifestyle.

Not only does lighting serve a very important functional purpose but it also provides wonderful decorative opportunities by creating ambience, complementing and enhancing your décor.

Choosing the right bulbs for your lights means knowing what type, wattage, bulb shape and end cap type will suit the fitting. The type of finish selected will have a major impact on the lighting effect.

End caps and wattage

Most lampholders in the home take Bayonet Cap (BC) bulbs with two side pins. Some, especially spotlight fittings, have so-called Edison Screw (ES) lampholders and take bulbs with threaded end caps. Compact light fittings may require bulbs with smaller end caps of either type; these are called Small Bayonet Cap (SBC) and Small Edison Screw (SES). Certain other bulbs e.g. some Halogen, have specific caps that are only for use in specific fittings.

Bulbs come in a range of wattage. The higher the wattage, the brighter the bulb, so choose the wattage to get the lighting level you need. Always check inside lampshades to see if there's a label recommending the maximum safe wattage to use with it.

General-purpose bulbs

Standard light bulbs, also known as GLS (General Lighting Service) are universal light bulbs, they provide good value and satisfy numerous lighting needs. They can be used in any room in the house as they provide ambient lighting and general all-over illumination.

Standard light bulbs are available in clear and pearl finishes in both BC and ES caps, and in 25, 40, 60, 100 and 150 Watt versions. In addition, pastel shade versions exist in a T-shape, these are glare-free, soft and subtle shades that can enhance any décor.

Standard light bulbs can be replaced by Halogen HaloBTT and Energy Saving GLS-shaped light bulbs.

Decorative bulbs

Designed to be on show these bulbs can enhance a fitting when it is switched on or off. They come in a variety of shapes including large and small globes and an extensive range of candles, including halogen and energy saving versions.

Large globe bulbs are best used in pendant fittings, standard lamps and large table lamps, with or without a shade.

Small round bulbs are for use in table and wall lights and around make-up mirrors. Available in clear, opal and a variety of pastel shades.

Candle bulbs are for wall lights and multi-bulb ceiling fittings. Choose plain candle bulbs for shaded fittings, and twisted or bent tip candles where the bulb will be on show. Clear candles bring added glitter to cut-glass chandeliers.

Reflector / Spotlight bulbs

Reflector or Spotlight bulbs are used in spotlight fittings to cast a strong directional beam of light. They have either Edison Screw, Small Edison Screw or Bayonet Caps.

Standard spotlights are for use in fittings with no reflector. Wattages range from 40 to 150 Watts, and bulb widths from 39 to 80mm, making it essential to match bulb size to fitting carefully. The R50, R63 and R80 standard spotlights can be replaced by the halogen PAR16, PAR20 and PAR25 respectively. These provide a brighter, whiter light.

Crown-silvered bulbs are for fittings containing a reflector. Standard wattages are between 40 and 60 Watts.

Pressed glass (PAR or parabolic aluminized reflector) bulbs should be used in outdoor fittings. Fit bulbs with a narrow beam for spotlighting and with a wider beam for floodlighting. PAR bulbs have Edison Screw caps only, and come in wattages of between 80 and 120 Watts.

Compact fluorescent bulbs - Energy Efficient

Energy Saving light bulbs last 15 times longer than standard bulbs and are up to 80% more energy efficient, providing savings on fuel bills. They are available in a range of wattages, life-times and caps and are ideal for areas where light bulbs are left switched on for long periods. With their long life feature they are also great for hard to reach areas where regular replacement of bulbs is not easy.

These bulbs are available in a wide range of shapes including stick shape, GLS, candle, spotlight and globe as well as those designed for outdoor use. All these types can directly replace standard light bulbs.

The 2-D and Biax lamps can also be used as replacement bulbs for low energy light fittings.

Halogen bulbs

Halogen bulbs are a brilliant alternative to standard lighting providing clear, crisp, pure white light. Use them where you need an extra sparkle to show off your home furnishings or to avoid tiring your eyes when reading.

Mains voltage HaloBTT's, Halogen Candles, Halogen Globes and Halogen PARs can directly replace standard GLS, Candle, Globe and Spotlights respectively. As well as the benefit of halogen light many of these last longer than standard bulbs. Mains voltage linear bulbs come in a variety of lengths and wattages, ensure that you check the fitting instructions for the correct type.

Low voltage lights run from a transformer and require either 12 Volt low voltage capsules or 12 Volt low voltage mirror (dichroic) bulbs.

Fluorescent and filament tubes

Standard Fluorescent tubes are 38mm in diameter and come in five sizes - 20 Watt (600mm), 40 Watt (1200mm), 65 Watt (1500mm), 85 Watt (1800mm) and 125 Watt (2400mm).

Slimline tubes are 28mm in diameter and come in the same lengths but with slightly lower wattages. Miniature tubes range in size from 4 Watt (150mm) up to 13 Watt (525mm) and have standard bi-pin end caps.

Filament strip lights are between 220 and 285mm long and are used mainly in worktop and cabinet lighting. They may have clear or pearl glass; wattages range from 30 to 60 Watt.

Speciality bulbs

Pygmy bulbs are small bulbs for use in compact fittings where standard bulbs cannot be fitted and are available in clear and coloured finishes.

Appliance bulbs are for use in fridges, microwave ovens and cooker hoods.

Heat-resistant oven bulbs are needed for illuminated ovens. The vibration-resistant version of these bulbs are ideal for sewing machines and microwaves.

Fireglow bulbs have a red lacquer coating and are used in flame-effect electric fires.

Daylight bulbs are used mainly in working environments, such as studies, to provide task lighting that simulates natural daylight.

Nightlight bulbs are low-wattage bulbs and are intended for use in children's bedrooms and other areas where a low lighting level is required.

Coloured bulbs are ideal for festive occasions and celebrations and are available for use both indoors and outdoors.

Heavy duty bulbs are shock resistant, rough service bulbs ideal for garages, inspection lights or in locations where a more robust filament is required.

Computer lights have a special double-coating that reduces glare, ideal for eye intensive activities.

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