Best Light Bulbs and Their Types

The Winner

philips hue bulbs

Philips Hue Smart

£13.57

approx. price

What are the recommended light bulbs based on the comparison?

Winner

Unrivalled

philips hue bulbs
Philips Hue Smart
£13.57
approx. price
2nd Place

Design

design light bulbs
Kaze Univers
£20.37
approx. price
3rd Place

Best Bayonet

bayonet light bulb
Unicozin LED B22
£14.99
approx. price
4th Place

Best GU10

best gu10 light bulbs
Philips LED Classic
£14.24
approx. price
5th Place

Best E14

Kaze Univers
£7.99
approx. price
6th Place

Colour

Colour Changing Light Bulb
Unicozin LED B22
£9.98
approx. price

How to Choose a Light Bulb?

Light bulbs are used practically everywhere, from households to large production complexes. It pays to choose a different type of lamp in every condition, which is why threads of different shapes and sizes are also produced. Their correct selection is a necessary foundation.

Light bulbs are used practically everywhere, from households to large production complexes. It pays to choose a different type of lamp in every condition, which is why threads of different shapes and sizes are also produced. Their correct selection is a necessary foundation.

As always, we looked at the price and the price range of individual products. We have identified fundamental bands in which the models have very similar properties. We report on our findings in the final part of the report.

Socket, thread or screw in light bulbs

The bulb only works if you have selected the correct thread or socket. Find out its type before you go to the store or click on the website of the online store. In total, there are seven different types on the market, but for clarity, we can divide them into three basic categories:
  • GU5.3 a GU10
  • E14 a E27
  • G4, G5 a G13

GU5.3 and GU10 light bulbs

Sockets marked GU5.3 and GU 10 use spot and ceiling lights. The different designation indicates the spacing of the pins for connection in millimetres. In the case of GU5.3, the pegs are 5.3 mm apart; in the second type, it is 10 millimetres.
 
At first glance, the lights do not differ much from each other, but the opposite is true. While the GU10 socket works on standard 230V AC mains voltage, the GU5.3 must be connected to 12~24V AC/DC. Take this fact into account when connecting your electrical circuits.

E14 and E27 light bulbs

You will most often encounter classic screw threads. These are well-known for traditional halogen bulbs and retain considerable popularity for their universal character. As in the previous case, the smaller line is marked E14, and the larger thread is E27.
 
E14 is used for smaller light sources, such as table or wall lamps, or smaller lamps in corridors. Ceiling chandeliers, large floor lamps and other stronger devices, on the other hand, tend to have wider E27 threads. Recently, the E27 has been receding and being replaced by its narrower counterpart.

G4, G5 and G13 light bulbs

 
Tube light bulbs represent a specific category of light sources. You can meet them mainly in workshops, garages and other spaces demanding optimal lighting. G5 sockets are used for their needs.
 
Did you find an old T8 tube light in the closet or the attic? Be sure not to throw it away because the power of its radiation is practically not encountered today. Its simple connection is made possible by sockets marked as G13.
 
The smallest socket, G4, is mainly used for smaller spot-lighting needs. It is connected to a voltage of 12 ~ 24 V AC/DC, and the main positive is its small dimensions.

Light bulb types

Gone are the days when you could only buy conventional light bulbs on the market. At present, more modern and energy-efficient light sources play a role. Their main advantage is low energy consumption and long service life. We distinguish four types of light bulbs:
  • Classic bulbs
  • Halogen light bulbs
  • LED bulbs
  • Compact bulbs

Classic light bulbs

We all know them—gladsome with tungsten filament inside. Currently, the sale of this type is prohibited in the EU. Nevertheless, you will meet them in stores under the designation heat source, heat cell, or industrial light bulb.
 
The main reason for their ban was the huge power input, which is not used to provide light. Up to 90% of all energy is converted into unnecessary heat, and only 10% is light. Many, however, do not allow the classic to be permitted because of its maximum colour temperature and immediate lighting. In addition, some welcome the warmth as a supplement for cold winter evenings.
 
The lifespan of classic tungsten models is stated to be around 1,000 hours, which is roughly 20x less than in the case of modern LED light bulbs.

Halogen light bulbs

A hybrid between classic light bulbs and modern light sources. They maintain a pleasant colour temperature and an immediate run-up to 100% performance. You can also dim them as needed. However, the heating reaches up to 250 °C.
 
Due to very high temperatures, they can only be placed in well-ventilated areas. It is also worth covering them so that no one can get burned. The power consumption is about 30% lower compared to the tungsten classic. On the other hand, the durability is about 2,000 hours longer. In September 2018, their sale will end definitively, as they were banned by EU regulation.

LED light bulbs

Deficient consumption, minimal heat generation and a lifespan of up to 25,000 hours. This is how the most modern light sources – LED bulbs – can be characterized. Like their classic counterparts, they have an instant ramp-up to 100% power. The often touted number of diodes does not really affect efficiency. This changes especially with the arrival of more modern generations. Three are currently on sale – the older DIP, the newer SMD and the state-of-the-art COB.
 
A fundamental shortcoming is the weaker colour rendering, on average reaching only about 80% of the quality of classic light bulbs. However, the most modern types can reach up to 95%, completely matching the standard.

Compact light bulbs

Even the compact lamp does not hide its ambitions to displace classic fluorescent lights completely over time. Thanks to the technologies, they save up to 80% of energy and do not generate any unnecessary heat. The service life is around 10,000 hours. However, the colour performance is still worse than the classics, reaching between 80 and 90%.
 
The biggest problem is the very slow ramp-up. The light takes a few minutes to warm up to full power. That is why it is not worth buying, as it lights up only briefly. On the contrary, it can serve as a light source in a corridor or a children’s room.

Light bulb shapes

Before choosing, it is essential also to check the design of the lamp into which the fluorescent lamp is inserted. Not all allow you to insert any light bulb, so be careful not to buy it unnecessarily. However, in most cases, it just depends on your personal preferences and taste.
 
You can encounter six basic shapes of fluorescent light bulbs:
  • Classic – an imitation of the classic light bulbs 
  • Chandelier – something between traditional and narrow fluorescent suitable for most ceiling lighting
  • Candle – clean and elegant design for narrow lamp shades
  • Sphere – a design light bulb for wider lamp shades
  • Reflector – for use in spotlights, differs from typical spotlights by using E14 or E27 threads
  • Spotlight – Spot lights with GU base

Luminosity

Do you like the earlier luminance selection according to the number of Watts? With more modern technologies, performance measurement was replaced by so-called luminance. This is given in lumens (marked as lm) and indicates the strength of the light.
 
For sufficient lighting in ordinary rooms, you should look for products with a luminosity above 500 lm. A 60 W conventional light bulb corresponds to 760 lumens. Products with a parameter below 250 lm can only be used to complete the atmosphere; they cannot be used for standard lighting.
 
If you are surprised that some fluorescent lamps have 60, others 14 and others only 8 Watts, know that everything is determined by technology. Their luminosity will be the same. However, while a tungsten bulb burns 60 W immediately, the most modern LED consumes only 8 W. The difference in energy prices is noticeable, so the higher investment in modern fluorescent lamps will pay off very quickly.

Energy class

Light bulbs may seem like a small appliance, but the opposite is true. Although they have low consumption, unlike a kettle or a washing machine, they work many hours a day. Replacing classic tungsten bulbs with energy-saving LED models can save thousands of crowns annually. The European Union is gradually banning the sale of tungsten bulbs and assigning energy labels to energy-saving and LED bulbs.
 
On the energy label, in addition to the manufacturer and model of the bulb, you will also find its energy class (A to G, with A being the most efficient) and consumption in kilowatt-hours per 1,000 hours of lighting.

Colour temperature

Lovers of classic tungsten lamps probably need help with the colour temperature of modern products. However, it is not true that such products are not sold. In short, modern LED bulbs offer a wide range of light colours, so reading the information on the packaging is necessary.
 
The so-called colour temperature determines how warm (or cold) the light will be. It is given in kelvins. Modern fluorescent lamps can be divided into three basic types according to how many kelvins they emit:
  • Warm white (2,700 – 3,500 K) – corresponds to the light colour of a classic tungsten fluorescent lamp, suitable for living rooms and places where one relaxes.
  • Day white (5,000-6,000 K) – natural light on a sunny day
  • Cold white (7,000 – 8,000 K) – cool white light ideal where good lighting is needed (kitchen, garage, workshop, etc.)