Light Bulb Style Guide

Which type of lighting best suits the look of my home?

In this section, we’re checking our concerns over energy-efficiency at the door. We realize that sometimes, fashion is more important to people than cost - even when it comes to light bulbs. If you’d rather own a $600 leather couch because it looks better in your home than a futon, then you’d probably rather have lighting that brightens a room to best suit your tastes, regardless of how high your energy bill might climb.

So, you’ve explored the idea of saving money through lighting and have seen the statistics. But what are the practical uses and visual effects of each type of light bulb available on the market today? With all the bashing traditional light bulbs take these days, you might be surprised to find out what difference each kind of bulb makes in illuminating a room.

As mentioned, the standard incandescent light bulb has taken a lot of heat for its wasteful nature (and heat, interestingly enough, is a central part of this problem). But people have been using this type of lighting for a long time, and many of America’s oldest and most respected companies have built both solid reputations and impressive profit margins on the success of incandescent lighting. There must be a reason for this beyond cost. As you’ll find in our section on the incandescent light bulb, its inherent style is very popular because it simply “glows” in a more natural, even flattering, fashion.

On the other side, we’ve heard a lot of good things about radical new technologies that make home lighting cheaper. Compact fluorescent (CFL), light-emitting diode (LED), halogen - all have distinct advantages over the standard incandescent when it comes to lighting a home in a cost-effective manner. But let’s face it - a shoe bought at a department store can, in all likelihood, perform the same, simple duties as one purchased at a fashion boutique. But which pair of shoes would you rather be seen in?

The following pages will challenge everything else you’ve read and heard about modern lighting. As much as the developed world’s population has gotten involved in energy-efficiency, sometimes the sanctity of style becomes threatened.

Is it worth it to save power in order to sacrifice your look?