The modern market of lighting devices offers a huge assortment of various models. Choosing lamps for the house, people first of all pay attention to its correspondence to the interior of the room, color, original and attractive appearance. Someone gives preference to products from a familiar, proven by his own experience, brand. Someone important cost and practicality of the product. And very often it happens that one of the most important factors in the design of the lamp is left without attention. We are talking about light bulbs. On these small elements depends on the correct operation of the selected lamp or chandelier. In addition, light has an active influence on the human eye’s perception of the world around us, on the psychological climate in the house and internal balance.
Today, different types of lamps are produced, from traditional filament lamps to complex designs with dimmers, drivers, cooling radiators and various gases. Few customers wonder what the differences are between the different types of products. To make it easier to navigate when choosing lamps for the house, we will consider all types of lamps. We will discuss their advantages and disadvantages, as well as the best options for use. With this memo to pick up the ideal light sources for all needs will not be difficult.
How to choose the right lamp
Today’s homeowners, unlike the beginning and middle of the twentieth century, when the entire range was limited to typical incandescent lamps, have the opportunity to choose. And this task is not easy, if you do not have an idea about the features of light sources. Buyers need to consider the following parameters:
- price/longevity ratio, as well as the energy consumption and quality of the products;
- Power and efficiency, that is, the light output at the power consumption, measured in lumens;
- the color temperature, which is responsible for the spectrum visible to the human eye;
- socket type;
The reaction of the product to external conditions – temperature changes, high humidity.
That is, to choose the right lamp, you need to know exactly for what purposes will be used lamp. In what room it is planned to install, and what requirements are placed on the quality and saturation of lighting. Even different functional areas in the same room require different lighting. So, for work or reading you need good directional light, bright enough, but not fatiguing the eyes. And the place to relax should be equipped with lamps with soft, soft and diffused light.
Types of lamps
Let’s dwell on the varieties of light sources and their performance characteristics in more detail.
Incandescent light bulbs are known for almost 150 years. The invention was first patented in 1872. As power plants were built, power lines and self-contained generators spread even to remote communities, people appreciated electric light bulbs. The replacement of dangerous and inconvenient kerosene lamps, oil lamps, gas burners and candles by lamps with electric lamps revolutionized the way of life. People were able to fully engage in work and study in the evenings and at night, the soot on ceilings and walls disappeared, and the number of fires decreased.
Incandescent light bulbs consist of:
- a glass bulb from which air is pumped out to a vacuum;
- a metal base with soldered contacts;
- a tungsten spiral, which is heated to 29,000 Celsius by the current.
The products give off a yellowish light. It distorts your color perception, adding a fair amount of yellow to your environment. But it makes you feel at home, cozy. That is why many consumers prefer this type of lamp, not betraying family traditions.
As with any electrical appliance, incandescent lamps have their pros and cons.
The simplest design and proven production technology determine the low cost. The products are available to everyone.
When you turn on the lamp lights up instantly, without pauses.
Give an even, comfortable light for the eyes, without flicker and not too bright if you do not look at the filament itself.
The durability of the products is virtually unaffected by fluctuations in current in the electrical system. You should only beware of sudden changes in filament resistance when you turn on the lamp. If you install a dimmer that provides smooth switching, such bulbs will last much longer.
Products are highly resistant to environmental influences – high and low temperatures, humidity. They can be used for street lighting, in bathrooms, saunas, kitchens.
The lamps come in a variety of shapes and sizes of bulbs and socket types. In addition, the lamps are sold with colored and frosted bulbs, mirror and transparent. They also differ in power, from the weak 5W to bright 200W.
Now let’s look at the disadvantages:
- incandescent bulbs have the lowest life – only about 1 thousand hours;
- with higher power consumption (this is the most “voracious” type available), most of the energy is spent on thermal infrared radiation. The light output of the products is very low;
- during operation, both the bulb and the base with the cartridge become very hot. Their temperature reaches 1,800. Accordingly, the risk of fires, short circuits, melting of plastic elements increases. Fixtures with such lamps are not recommended to be made of flammable materials. And also install with stretch or suspended ceilings.
Despite the low efficiency and high power consumption, incandescent lamps are still popular. They are willingly installed in bathrooms, storerooms and barns, in corridors and boiler rooms. In other words, in places where artificial light is needed sporadically.
Strictly speaking, halogen models do not differ much by design from the familiar incandescent bulbs. They have the same base with a contact, electrodes and tungsten filament soldered into the bulb. The main difference of products is the inert gas, halogen, which is pumped inside the bulb.
Thanks to this design solution, halogen lamps have a number of unconditional advantages:
- the service life of the products has increased to 4000 hours;
- The luminous efficacy is also greater, having doubled, and power consumption is lower. That is, compared to traditional incandescent lamps, halogens have a higher efficiency;
- In addition to standard and large models, there are miniature bulbs for small devices, pocket flashlights;
- there is a choice of products with bulbs of different shapes – pear-shaped, candle-shaped and elongated cylinders, reflectors.
Not without its disadvantages:
- as well as traditional bulbs, halogen bulbs are strongly heated. They cannot be installed on stretch ceilings, screwed into lamps with paper, fabric, down lampshades, to avoid ignition;
- this type of product is extremely sensitive to voltage fluctuations, so experts recommend using them in a set with stabilizers;
- during installation and operation, the surface of the bulb must not be touched with unprotected fingers, only with clean cotton gloves or wrapped in a napkin. Grease stains left after such touches lead to rapid burnout.
The bright, saturated light of halogens is not to everyone’s liking. Especially if they are installed as central lighting in cozy living rooms or bedrooms. But as the lighting of cabinets, shelving units and work surfaces, they are indispensable. With them you can illuminate a collection of rarities, interesting things, because the lamps have a high index of color rendering, almost no distortion of natural colors.
The principle of fluorescent lamps (CFL) was discovered back in 1856. That’s when the first discharge lamps were invented, which shone with green light when exposed to an electric current. Later, the inner surface of the tubes began to be covered with phosphor containing phosphor. Familiar to all bright white light lamps found in 1926, thanks to research E. Germer. The first lamps looked like oblong tubes with contacts on both sides. It was only in 1984 that the compact fluorescent lamp with integrated electronic ballast was patented. This is not an exact definition, since the reduced energy consumption is also characteristic of products working on other principles.
What are the advantages of the products?
- Excellent ratio of luminous efficacy to energy consumption. The efficiency of fluorescent products is five times higher than that of incandescent lamps. That is, at 15 watts the device shines like a 75-watt light bulb with a tungsten filament.
- Have a high color rendering index, almost without distorting the shades of surrounding things, finishes, fabrics, decor.
- The duration of operation can be up to 10 thousand hours of continuous operation. However, constant switching on and off quickly puts products out of service.
- All the energy goes into creating the light flux, so the products almost do not heat up. They are fireproof, can be installed with suspended ceilings, used in lights with decorative lampshades.
- They are characterized by minimal energy consumption, which means they are economical.
- products work correctly only at a certain ambient temperature – 18-250 C. That is, they can be used only in heated rooms or in summer. If the thermometer falls below 100 C, the lamps stop working;
- because mercury vapor and phosphorus are used in the manufacture of lamps, they must be handled with care. They are disposed of only at special stations, like mercury thermometers;
- the lamps produce a distinctly flickering light which is tiresome to the eyes. In addition, the built-in choke can make noise.
Such lamps are good for lighting workrooms, illuminating corridors.
LED lights became available to the general consumer only at the beginning of the XXI century. Before that, LEDs were only used for street advertising or traffic control, medical equipment and electronics. In terms of their characteristics, LED lamps are recognized record-breakers:
- Maximum economy. At 10 watts the product is equal to a 100 watt incandescent bulb;
- Average lifetime of 30-50 thousand hours;
- The devices practically do not heat up, so there is no risk of fire, even if the bulb is hit by paper, fluff;
- resistance to mechanical damage and shock;
- work at minus temperatures and intense heat, perfectly tolerate high humidity;
- it is possible to choose any spectrum of glow, from piercing blue, to soft yellowish and color;
- A huge choice of shapes, sizes, and wattages – from the usual pear-shaped to the LED strips.
What are the disadvantages of LED lights?
- The main disadvantage that limits widespread distribution is the high cost. However, it is compensated by a long service life.
- LEDs give a stream of light directed forward in the form of a cone. The space behind is not illuminated at all, and the sides are only partially illuminated. Therefore, filters have to be used for diffuse lighting.
It is an ideal type of lamp for street and home lighting. Suitable for any purpose: living rooms, technical rooms, bedrooms, kitchens.