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What's more banal today than pressing the button of an electric switch to see the room light up? Since "fairy electricity" has passed through our homes, we can see the night as in daylight! And it's a long time ago, when a single bulb gave a little light in the living room. On the contrary, today the choice is so vast that it becomes difficult to choose the right bulb for the right lighting. In order to light your lanterns here is a small guide to the bulb.

The incandescent bulb

Originally the incandescent bulb is that invented by Edison in the late nineteenth century and improved over time. Inexpensive but with a limited life (about 1000 hours) and above all a big consumer of energy, it hardly exists anymore in the European Union which since 2009 programmed its progressive disappearance.

Halogen incandescent bulb

Technically, it is the sister of the previous one: a tungsten filament heated to high temperature but this filament is installed in a quartz glass containing halogenated gas under high pressure. This increases its life, its brightness and there is almost no loss of intensity over time.

It exists in 230 V or 12 V (Halogen very low tension).

But the halogen bulb is energy intensive. Its energy classification is most often in category C or D. From 2016 (unless a postponement in 2018 is authorized by the European Union) it should be marketed only bulbs meeting category A or B Manufacturers have reacted and today we find on the market halogen eco lamps. For an identical rendering, it consumes 20 to 30% less, has a longer life and meets the criteria B of the classification.

The +

  • A beautiful light with excellent color rendition
  • Instant start
  • Ability to install a dimmer or a motion or presence sensor
  • It can be thrown in household garbage
  • A very affordable cost

The -

  • Limited life (about 2000 hours and 3000 hours for the eco version)
  • Repeated marches / stops wear them prematurely
  • It heats, pay attention to the risks of burning or fire
  • Of all the bulbs, it remains the one that consumes the most even in economic version

The compact fluorescent light bulb

This bulb is the copy of the neon tube, also known as fluorescent tubewhich since the 60's illuminates our classrooms, our administrations, etc. Imagine a small neon tube, which would have met a compactor! And he is all folded on himself. This tube contains argon and low pressure mercury. When you press the switch, an electronic ballast produces an electric shock that will ionize the gases and create ultraviolet radiation. The tube is internally coated with fluorescent powder, beryllium which will convert ultraviolet light into visible light.

The +

  • A good price-performance ratio
  • A long life (about 8000 hours)
  • Good performance

The -

  • Cold light and color rendering not as good as halogen
  • It does not support dimmers or motion detectors
  • Repeated marches / stops wear them prematurely
  • It requires a few seconds of heating before reaching its optimum efficiency.
  • It contains dangerous gases and must be recycled
  • It produces electromagnetic waves

The LED bulb

Light Emitting Diode (LED) or Electro Luminescent Diode in French (LED) has been present for a long time in electronic equipment or digital displays. Since the 2000s, the evolution of technology makes it possible to present LED bulbs giving a light allowing domestic lighting. These bulbs have an interesting decorative potential to develop our living spaces. Nevertheless, it should be used wisely.

The +

  • Unbeatable life (30,000 to 50,000 hours)
  • Excellent performance
  • A good color rendering
  • Instant start
  • Compatible with a dimmer (unless otherwise stated)
  • Decorative effects with color LEDs
  • It is 98% recyclable

The -

  • A high price
  • Beware of blue light which may present a risk to the eyes and to glare


Video Instruction: How to Choose LED Bulbs...Simplified - Ace Hardware