Indoor Lighting Options Explained

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Indoor Lighting Options Explained

Staff Writer · Dec 21, 2009

When decorating the interior of an apartment, there is one aspect that is often overlooked: lighting options. The lighting options that you choose for your space can totally alter the look of the room. Not only does this include types of fixtures, like floor lamps, wall sconces, track lighting and others, it also includes the actual type of bulb. Today’s tenants demand more out of their light sources. They want something that makes their home look beautiful, saves them money on utility bills and saves the environment in terms of efficiency.

Incandescent

Incandescent light bulbs are probably the ones that you are most familiar with. They are definitely the most inexpensive option and you can usually buy a pack of multiple bulbs for just a few dollars. Most lamps are designed to work with incandescent bulbs, so they are pretty universal. The light produced by this type of bulb is soft and warm and complements skin tones nicely. The down side to incandescent bulbs is their efficiency. Incandescent light bulbs are not as energy efficient as many other bulbs and don’t last as long either. This adds up to more waste and higher energy bills. Incandescent bulbs come in many different shapes and sizes, ranging from the standard a-line bulb to flicker and tubular lights. These are all used in different types of lighting fixtures.

Halogen

If you are looking for the purest light that is the most similar to natural outdoor light, halogen lighting is a good option. They produce more light and last longer than incandescent bulbs. However, the technology that makes them last longer and give brighter light also makes them cost more. They are slightly more dangerous as well. Halogen light bulbs can get extremely hot and it is important not to place them anywhere near flammable material. Extra safety is also required when installing and removing these bulbs. The oil from your fingers can affect the glass, making the life of the bulb shorter. This may also cause the bulb to burst once it burns out.

Fluorescent

Classic fluorescent bulbs are usually tubular and are generally used in office and public settings. They are not as practical for the home because they cannot be used in most lamps. Fluorescent bulbs are great for lighting large areas, as the light they produce is bright and strong. They are usually used in overhead ceiling light fixtures. One problem with fluorescent bulbs is the color of the light they produce. The cool, bluish light that many of them produce can be very unflattering. However, the color of fluorescent bulbs has been improved in recent years.

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

If you are looking for an energy-efficient light bulb, compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs are your best choice. They cost a bit more than the typical incandescent bulb, but when you consider their much longer life span and energy savings, they definitely cost less in the long run. They have many of the same benefits of incandescents. They are designed to fit in many of the same lamps and can work with dimmers. However, they use 67% less energy than incandescent bulbs. The only inconvenience of CFL’s is that they can’t be thrown in the trash. They contain mercury and have to be disposed of by specialty CFL recycling services.

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