There are so many different types of light bulbs available on the market that it can be difficult to choose the model you need to equip your lights. What type of base, what colour of light, what power? Is the LED bulb really reliable? Does it allow you to save on your electricity bill without losing lighting quality? How to recycle bulbs? We answer your questions about the bulb!
For indoor and outdoor lighting for the general public, we strongly recommend the use of LED bulbs. However, for the record, there are 4 other categories of bulbs, each with specific characteristics:
The incandescent bulb is equipped with filaments, but it is now prohibited to manufacture. Good news for the nostalgic, there are now LED bulbs that perfectly imitate the good old light bulb.
Halogen bulbs, appreciated for their power, but very energy intensive. So much so that they have been banned from production since September 2018, with the exception of the G9 and R7s model bulbs.
Fluorescent tubes (or neon tubes), which provide instant lighting unlike some traditional models with progressive lighting.
Discharge lamps or electric lamps and compact fluorescent bulbs, appreciated for their low power consumption, but surpassed by the LED bulb.
To find out the type of base of an LED bulb, you just need to read the symbol made up of a letter and two numbers on the packaging. In concrete terms, the letter indicates the shape of the base while the number expresses the distance between the two legs:
Type E bases (screw base): E14, E27, E40
Type G: G4, G9, G12;
GU: GU10, GU4/MR11, GU5.3/MR16
G24: G24D, G24Q;
AR111 / QR111 ;
T: T5, T8
The E27 and E14 types are the most common, as they are generally used for LED bulbs, but also for low-energy or incandescent bulbs.
As for the G9 previously used for halogen lighting, it is now found on LED bulbs.
Learn the difference between the base and the socket:
The base: it is the part which allows to fix a bulb and a luminary.
The socket: this is the part that makes the electrical connection between the bulb and the luminaire.
Light bulbs may or may not be recyclable. Those categorized as non-recyclable can be thrown directly into the garbage, but not into the glass bins.
As for the recyclable bulbs, they can be returned to the big stores or to the DIY stores.
Recyclable bulbs can be identified by the crossed-out bin symbol on their packaging. LED lamps, but also fluorescent tubes and compact fluorescent lamps can be recycled.
Compact fluorescent bulbs and neon tubes contain mercury, between 3 and 5 mg in addition to other heavy metals.
Once again, the LED bulb is the best choice, as it heats up slightly. You can also opt for compact fluorescent bulbs, which heat up the least.
As for halogen and incandescent bulbs, they are known to give off a lot of heat!
Luminaires still equipped with halogen bulbs can be operated with a dimmer.
For LED bulbs, it is important to read the packaging carefully, in order to choose a "dimmable" model and to install a specific dimmer model.
To know if a bulb is non-dimmable or dimmable, you just have to check on the packaging the presence or absence of a specific logo, a kind of half circle or comma surrounded by a circle.
The cross means that the bulb is not dimmable!
In some cases, you will find this small illustration:
Depending on its colour temperature, a bulb will deliver a certain colour of light, red, yellow or blue. This colour of light is expressed in degrees Kelvin and in the following way:
Less than 2000°K: low luminosity, close to candles
Warm white: 2200°K - 3200°K: living rooms (ideal for dining room, living room, bedrooms) ;
Neutral or natural white: 3200°K - 5000°K (ideal for kitchen, bathroom, garage, outdoor) ;
Cool white: >5000°K (daylight = approx. 5200°K, ideal for outdoors, car parks, high traffic areas)
More clearly, the higher the color temperature, the colder the color, so the lower the temperature in Kelvins, the warmer the light. For example, a light bulb used in a medical environment is 5500°K. Its colour is colder than that of a 2700°K bulb used in the living room.
Read our article to learn more about color temperatures!
Here we are talking about energy savings, and therefore, by cascade effect, savings on the electricity bill. Once again, LED lamps are the most popular choice, as they consume much less energy than incandescent bulbs. This is made possible by their diode light technology, which is more powerful than incandescent light bulbs. So much so, that an LED bulb will save up to 75% of energy, or 11 to 12 watts for a brightness comparable to that delivered by a 50-watt incandescent bulb!
Since 2006, LED bulbs have tripled in energy efficiency, surpassing energy saving bulbs. Consequently, the lumen expresses the luminous flux emitted by a bulb, which can be more or less intense. It is also used to determine the colour temperature of a room (which is expressed in another unit of measurement, the Kelvin).
Things to remember:
If you have opted for a light with a changeable LED bulb, you simply unscrew the bulb to be changed and replace it with a new one. However, there are also models with integrated lamps, such as LED ribbons, which cannot be changed.