How many light bulbs... I really need in my place? You'd think I had a palatial home by looking at the number of varieties I keep around.

I can't believe I'm writing about light bulbs, but I have become interested in them lately. Though I gravitate towards a certain kind of bulb, I just realized that I have five different kinds in the house right now. The differences are pretty striking.

First, here is a traditional, 60 watt bulb in my bedroom. I put it in the lamp that gets turned on first thing in the morning. My reasoning is that this kind of bulb emits pretty dull light that doesn't make you want to hide under the covers from it.

About two years ago, I dutifully bought a massive package of compact fluorescent bulbs on a day when the Virginia legislature gave a tax break to any energy efficient purchase. I use these bulbs in fixtures that tend to be left on for long periods of time because they only seem to last a few months when used in fixtures that are turned on and off fairly often. The [expensive] three-way fluorescents I bought a while back burned out within a few months. After that experience, I wouldn't even try the dimmable ones.

I don't like the light fluorescent bulbs give off, but I use them anyway. I think I have about six left in the pantry and I'm not sure I'll restock, though I read somewhere that CFLs will be the only kind of bulbs on the market in the US by 2014. Maybe I need to get used to them. If you're interested, there are reviews of the different types of CFSs on the One Billion Bulbs website.

The last two bulbs look like traditional bulbs, but they are "Reveal" bulbs. I only noticed that I had two different kinds yesterday. The lamp on the left has a regular Reveal bulb in it. The lamp on the right has a "full spectrum" Reveal bulb in it.

I know about full spectrum paint (Benjamin Moore's Aura is one), but I didn't realize there were full spectrum light bulbs. The light emitted is cool and bright. I think I like it!

I also have halogen bulbs in the kitchen, but because their fixtures must use them, I don't really have any other options.

Does anyone else have preferences when it comes to light bulbs? Has anyone else had trouble with compact fluorescent bulbs?


  1. In the uk old style light bulb are being phased out to be replaced by more energy efficient types. Unfortunately these take a few seconds to get to 'full strength when switched on so can appear dull at first, the other problem is their appearance.When used with chandeliars they look awful!

  2. This is such an interesting comment, that I have to paste it in here. This comes from Facebook:

    "We're experimenting with some LED's at home. More expensive than CFLs but the color temp is much better and there is no warm-up delay when you turn them on. The wattage is between 2.5 and 6W depending on the type and they are rated for 50,000 hours. There are some great LED options for replacing the halogens you mention too."

    Pretty cool, huh?

  3. I really dislike CFLs, esp the lag time before they warm up. As I can, I want to start incorporating the LEDs into my home. They last a really long time (think 10-15 years) and they stay cool, unlike halogens.

  4. We find that the lighting from the more traditional bulbs is "softer" and more desirable. As manufacturers fine-tune the more energy efficient bulbs, we'll do our part to encourage the use of "green" lighting.

  5. I have full-spectrum bulbs in sewing room. I use CFL bulbs in my overhead lighting and traditional bulbs in my lamps. I don't know what they're called but in garage, I have the ones that look traditional but are really CFL.



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