Types of Bulbs

Home / Blog / Types of Bulbs
Three generations of light bulbs - LED, fluorescent and incandescent
image by freeimageslive.co.uk – gratuit

In this blog post we look at the different types of light bulbs. Covering the four main types normally available to buy.

Types of Light Bulbs


Incandescents have a wire filament that is normally made from tungsten. The bulb is filled either with an inert (unreactive) gas or the air is removed to form a vacuum. This stops the filament oxidizing. Incandescent light bulbs are very inefficient with 90 to 95% of the energy used being emitted as heat rather than light.  In fact it is this heating that is actually producing the light. The tungsten wire acts as a resistor, resisting the flow of electricity. This resistance causes heat, heat causes the wire to glow brightly, and the bright glow generates the light.


Like incandescents halogen bulbs have a filament that glows when a current is passed through it. However, the bulb itself is filled with halogen gas. The gas increase the light being produced and also extends the life of the filament. This makes them more efficient and having a longer lifetime than incandescent bulbs.

Compact Fluorescents

Compact Fluorescents or CFLs are fluorescent tubes like we are used to seeing in offices and stores that are folded into a compact shape so that they fit in a normal light bulb socket. Fluorescents are filled with a mercury vapor which releases light when a current passes through it. The presence of mercury means that these bulbs must be disposed of correctly.


Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs are small pieces of semiconductor that emit a light when a current passes through them. Semiconductors technology is also used in the production of microprocessor chips for our phones and computers. Within an LED light bulb there are 3 separate LEDs, one red, one blue and one green. These three different colors of light combine to produce a white light.

Buying different types of light bulbs

Here at Light Bulb AtoZ we provide tons of reviews of the best light bulbs to buy. So why not check out the best E26 bulbs for all round choices.