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  • November 17, 2020
  • Monica Duggan

A Guide to Buying Bulbs

Were you ever baffled by the mention of an E14 or 27, got confused at talk of a GU10 or Bayonet cap…well you’re not alone! Lighting to us is second nature and we list off bulb names like they’re going out of fashion, but that’s not the case for the majority of our clients.

We were going to put together a comprehensive list of bulb terms but then we found that Tala, our beautiful bulb supplier, had beaten us to it. Why recreate the wheel when it’s already perfection? So here you go, join us and Tala as we jump into the naked world of the bulb.

Lumens

This is the measure for brightness – the higher the lumen count, the brighter your bulb will be. Consider how and where your light will be used when deciding which bulb to buy – a bedroom might need less, work counters in a kitchen more. This will determine how many lumens to look out for.

Watts

The wattage of a bulb indicates how much energy it uses; the lower the wattage, the less energy and the more efficient the bulb will be. Consider this alongside the lumen count to get the best performance.

Colour Temperature

Colour Temperature indicates the colour quality of the light emitted and is measured in kelvins. 2800K produces blue light, while 2000K will emit a more orange hue. Colour temperature creates atmosphere, so always ask about this when choosing your bulbs.

CRI

CRI, or Colour Rendering Index, measures the bulbs capacity to expose the true colour of an object or space under the light. CRI 95 is generally the gold standard for interior lighting.

It is important when considering the accuracy of the light emitted. For interior spaces where true colour is needed, such as bathrooms and bedrooms, make sure you choose a bulb with a high CRI. Anything lower than 80 will not reflect an accurate picture of wall colours or furniture details.

Shape and size

Consider the size of the bulb you require before making your purchase, ensuring it matches the specifications of your fixture. Sometimes a bulb can overshadow a fitting while in other cases it can be dwarfed by its surroundings, both are not a good look.

Base Cap

The Edison Screw, or E27, is the most common light bulb fitting. For other fixtures, such as chandeliers or wall lamps, an E14 is most suitable (this is a little skinner than the E270). For older fixtures, B22 (Bayonet) may be the cap you need (this has the two pins and is informally known as a ‘push-in’).

Fixtures

Decorative bulbs, such as a lot of Tala’s range, do not require a lamp shade, while smaller bulbs can be comfortable either hidden or exposed in a fixture. Make sure the bulb you choose complements the fixture or visa versa.

Dimming

A dimming system is essential for getting the most out of LED bulbs. A good dimming system will deliver smooth, responsive, and stable performance from 100% power to 5% or lower. When choosing a light bulb, aim for any source that can dim to at least 5%, giving you the biggest and best range for your desired light output.

Dimming allows you to set a number of scenes in a mixed use room, such as an open plan kitchen/dining/living area. One scene can be for preparation of food, another for entertaining, and another for relaxing into the night. Dimming is a vitual tool in this belt.

What to look for

Well, a good bulb can look like anything really, the preference is yours. Historically, people tended to look at wattage to indicate the light output of a lamp which dictated everything. However, with advancements in LED, you can now enjoy more light for less watts. This means you should look at lumen output and colour temperature to find the right fit for you. In short, think high lumens and low watts to get the most energy-efficient lamp for your needs.

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  • Baynetcap, bulbs, E14, GU10, guide, LED, lightbulbs, talalighting, tips, willieduggan

About Monica Duggan

Monica grew up with a screwdriver & bulb in her hands before she started to 'hassle' the boss! After gallivanting around the world & getting an education she worked in all areas of the business, and was a natural fit for developing Willie Duggan further. She does her best thinking struggling up a mountain, hiking a trail or beating herself up in the gym!