Which Light Bulbs to Use

Standard, basic incandescent light bulbs are being phased out over the next few year in favor of more-expensive, but longer-lasting and energy-saving compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). However, there are other types available as well, including light emitting diodes (LED) bulbs and cold cathode fluorescent (CCFL) bulbs. Each different light bulb has its pros and cons, including these:

Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFLs): These bulbs will provide lights for between 6,000 and 15,000 hours, far longer than the average incandescent bulbs, whose life span never goes beyond 1,000 hours. The bad thing with these bulbs is if you break one, you have a problem, as each contains a small amount of mercury. On a good note, these bulbs will work in most (except for exceptionally old) light fixtures and lamps. They also cost more than incandescent bulbs, but you get their longer lifespan and better energy usage in exchange for the increased price.

Cold Cathode Fluorescent Bulbs (CCFLs): These are the bulbs that you see in car headlights, the insides of computers and some household light fixtures. They will last up to 8,000 hours, almost 3 times as long as the standard halogen bulb, but are more expensive. Halogen lights are being set up as replacement for incandescent bulbs as well, so be prepared to see both of these in the light bulb aisle of your local home improvement store.

Light Emitting Diode Bulbs (LED): These bulbs are used in everything from traffic lights to flashlights, and they are in the process of being converted over to home use as a replacement option for incandescent bulbs. Since they use a small amount of power and will last for a very long time – the standard generic LED bulb has a burn life of 25,000 hours, they are a reasonable replacement for standard bulbs, as long as your fixtures have been converted to work with them.


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