Light Bulbs: A Technical Guide

Light Bulbs: A Technical Guide

If you are considering buying a light bulb you will go to the nearest supermarket or hardware shop and buy a bulb according to its volt. It's a pretty easy process, isn't it?. Actually the answer is no, before buying the right bulb for your home, there are many factors to consider, such as brightness, temperature, and color rendering index, which may seem strange to you if you're not an expert. That’s why this article is for you.

Now lets dive into the specifications

Type of cap

The metal piece that secures a light bulb to the socket of the lighting fixture is called the cap of the bulb. In addition to providing electrical contact, it helps hold the bulb in the fitting. Two types of bases commonly found in chandeliers and other household lighting fixtures are pin or peg bases and screw bases.


Another name for this base type is the Edison base (after its creator Thomas Edison), which is made of threaded metal to hold the bulb tightly in the threaded socket. Most of the screw-based bulbs used in homes are decorative lighting such as chandeliers and lamps.

 Pins or pegs:                                         

These bases are pressed or snapped into the socket rather than screwed, and often feature two metal rods or stumps that protrude from the base of the bulb. In addition to many types of fluorescent lamps, they are used in many small incandescent light bulbs.

When purchasing bulbs for your lighting fixtures, it's important to know which cap or base type you need. Any existing bulbs can be pulled out of your fixture to determine the size and base type. When buying a new bulb, bring the old one to your neighborhood home improvement store or hardware store. If the light fixture is new and does not come with a bulb, note the appropriate reference number to find a bulb that meets its requirements.

In order to identify the base type or fitment, light bulbs are coded. The numbers and letters represent the base's name and millimeter of its diameter, respectively. For instance, an E27 bulb is a 27 millimeter diameter Edison screw type bulb. On the other hand, an E14 has the identical base, but may fit a smaller socket of 14 millimeter


The easiest way to define voltage is the pressure of electricity flowing through an electrical device. Volts are the units used to measure it. Most of your interior lighting will use 110-120 volt bulbs because the typical voltage supply in US homes is 120 volts. On the other hand, outdoor lighting installations often require low voltage lighting using 12 or 24-volt bulbs. A key factor in using low voltage lighting for outdoor areas is safety. When you consider that outdoor lighting is more likely to be exposed to the weather, the risk of electrocution is greatly reduced.

Voltage information is printed or displayed on the bulb box or on the bulb itself. Always buy bulbs that match the fixture's specified voltage for best lighting performance. Using one with the wrong voltage will cause the lights to not turn on. Worse, it can damage the light fixture and bulb.


A light bulb's wattage, expressed in watts, is the amount of energy it uses. Earlier, when halogen and incandescent bulbs were available, it was also used to judge brightness. But now that energy saving bulbs are available, we can no longer measure the brightness of a bulb by its wattage. For example, LED bulbs use much less electricity, but provide more brightness.

Brightness is currently measured in luminous flux units known as lumens (LMS). Lumens show the number of watts a bulb uses and how much light it produces. The more light a bulb produces, the higher the lumens. Because it measures brightness more accurately, you can find light bulbs with higher lumen counts at lower wattages. This results in better lighting at a much lower energy cost.

To achieve maximum light output, or Lumens per watt, we recommend using LED bulbs. Compared to incandescent lights that produce only 10 Lumens per watt, LEDs emit 70 to 90 Lumens per watt. For example, a 5 watt LED bulb is comparable to a 35 to 45 watt incandescent.

Wattage is a critical factor to consider when determining power usage. As the wattage of your light bulbs increases, so will your electricity costs. Because lighting fixtures have maximum wattage ratings, wattage is also important. This indicates that the wattage of light bulbs that can be used in various light fixtures is limited.

Know the fixture's maximum wattage rating before purchasing a bulb, or use the wattage of an existing bulb as a reference. If you want to be on the safe side, choose a bulb with a higher brightness rating. Never use a high wattage bulb as doing so may damage your fixture or cause a fire.


The amount of light emitted from a light source and dispersed across a specific surface area is referred to as illumination. It can assist you in deciding the brightness level you want to achieve in various rooms of your house.

Lux (lx), which should not be confused with Lumens, is the unit used to measure illumination (lm). Lumens represent the entire amount of light a bulb generates in all directions, whereas Lux measures the total quantity of light that hits or falls on a specific surface (illuminance) (luminous flux).

But picking the light bulbs that provide the illuminance you desire isn't that tough. You only need to know the square footage of the area you wish to light up in order to calculate the required brightness level because one Lux is equal to one lumen per square meter of space.

For example, 300-400 lumens per square metre are what lighting professionals advise for an office or study. For the greatest illumination in a 10-sq-m home office, you'll need between 3,000 and 4,000 lumens of light output.

Color temperature

 A light source's warmth or coolness is referred to as its colour temperature. The whiter or colder the light is, the higher the Kelvin value, which is measured in Kelvins (K). In low-light areas like the bedroom, dining room, and living room, consumers often prefer a warmer light source with a lower Kelvin value. For rooms that require high levels of illumination, such as the kitchen, bathroom, and study, a cooler light source with a higher Kelvin rating is typically advised.

The colour temperature classifications for household applications are listed and illustrated below:

 Soft white or candlelight: 1500K – 2000K, resembles incandescent lamps, which are typically yellow and provide a warm, comfortable atmosphere.

Warm white: 2700K – 3000K, For a bright but elegant atmosphere, the color should be more yellow-white.

Bright white: 3000K – 4500K, a combination of white and blue tones for a livelier and more vivacious atmosphere.

Daylight: 4500K – 6000K, Maximum colour contrast is provided by a more blue tone.

 These are the broad suggestions from specialists in the lighting business, while particular colour temperature values still come down to personal opinion. Low colour temperature creates warmer colours that make it simple to create a mood for a calm and peaceful environment. On the other side, higher colour temperatures produce brighter, whiter tones that are perfect for boosting performance and productivity at the office.

Types of Bulbs

Incandescent, halogen, CFL, and LED light bulbs are the four most common varieties available today. 

Light up your home with Cutesy Home's elegant lighting collection.

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