Extra-Ordinary Edison Light Bulb

light bulb

Edison Light Bulb

When Edison invented the light bulb, he did not understand that he also produced the most typical light bulb still used today. The traditional Edison bulb is a round or oval glass with a metal tube going through the center to hold gas and a screw-in base. Other invented kinds of bulbs are halogen bulbs and compact fluorescent bulbs.

Fluorescent bulbs are one of the most energy-efficient types of lighting. They use a much smaller sized quantity of electrical energy than a standard incandescent bulb and can utilize as much as 60 percent less electrical energy than an incandescent bulb, but are frequently still too expensive.

Incandescent bulbs are among the most common type of bulbs. They used a filament inside a glass tube to glow and screwed a metal base into the socket to hold the bulb. The energy efficiency of incandescent bulbs is extremely low. The lifespan of an incandescent bulb is just around one thousand hours. They include mercury that needs appropriate disposal.

These bulbs are made from glass, unlike the more recent, more modern bulbs, which use plastic. There are three common kinds of Edison bulbs: compact fluorescent, incandescent, and halogen.

Light Types

Compact fluorescent bulbs are much more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs. The very first type of compact fluorescent bulb was so-called “soda-lights” since they were made to look like mini incandescent bulbs. Compact fluorescent bulbs were designed to last longer than the basic incandescent bulbs, and their lifespan has actually increased to 10,000 hours.

The 3rd type of bulb is the halogen. These bulbs have a plastic base and do not need screwing into the socket. These bulbs are energy last and efficient much longer than incandescent bulbs.

Lights connected to a switch will have a socket. One can link hard-wired lights (or sockets) to a ballast in the back of the lamp.


The wattage is measured by the amount of electrical current the bulb draws. It is a number in milliamps multiplied by 1,000—the lower the number, the brighter the bulb. A 100-watt bulb is a 10-milliamp bulb, and a 50-watt bulb is a 25-milliamp bulb.

Fluorescent bulbs are one of the most energy-efficient types of lighting. They use a much smaller amount of electrical energy than a standard incandescent bulb and can use as much as 60 percent less electricity than an incandescent bulb, but are often still too expensive.

Bulb life

A bulb’s lifespan is how long it will last before failing. A general rule is that the longer the life, the dimmer the light. For example, a 60-watt halogen bulb will last around 50,000 hours, a 60-watt compact fluorescent bulb will last approximately 30,000 hours, and a 40-watt incandescent bulb will last about 7,000 hours.

Lighting systems

There are different types of lighting systems that may use in a home. A system uses lamps and switch systems (e.g., lights, sockets, etc.) or more lamps and ballasts.

A lighting group consists of a small number of lamps (such as two or more) in a system. Lamps are either hard-wired or connected by a junction box.

Lamps connected to a switch will have a socket. One can connect hard-wired lights (or sockets) to a ballast in the back of the lamp.

Everyday use for this kind of system turns a kitchen or laundry room into a reading room.

Lamps, switches, and sockets

A lamp (or light fixture) consists of a glass bulb filled with various materials such as mercury, argon, and rare gas.

A switch is a device that controls the electric current in a circuit.

A lamp socket or receptacle is a device that has a spring, metal, or ceramic shell and a device for holding the lamp. Lamps that are hard-wired have a socket, and lights plugged into the socket have a plug.

Lamps without sockets are called bare lamps.

Light bulbs

The light bulb may be either in bulb form or in base form. If it is in base form, it may be either the screw-type or the bayonet type. If it is in bulb form, it may either be incandescent, fluorescent, or compact fluorescent.


Incandescent light bulbs use a filament and a glass bulb to make the light. They are inexpensive but have very low efficacy and cannot dim. They do not have a life expectancy as long as other types of bulbs.

The typical light bulb used in the home today is an A19 Edison screw bulb (1.9-2.1W power) or a 1.6-2.2 watt CFL.

fluorescent lamps


Fluorescent light bulbs use an external starter, ballast, or both that uses household voltage.

They have higher efficacy than incandescent light bulbs, making them more energy-efficient, though they use more electricity. The efficacy is known as lumens per watt. The lamp life expectancy of a fluorescent light is over 50,000 hours.

Compact Fluorescent

Compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) use a combination of a glass tube and fluorescent coatings that can last longer and dim. They are a type of low voltage light-emitting diode.

They use about 35 to 45 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs, making them significantly more efficient. Suitable for residential lighting applications. The lamps are available with various color temperatures.

High-Intensity Discharge

High-intensity discharge (HID) lamps are available in different sizes and colors. HID lamps use a gaseous mixture of inert gases. They are the most efficient light sources available for lighting; they are also among the safest.

They use 1.5 to 3 times more energy than the incandescent bulb, lasting about eight times longer. They require a starter, ballast, or combination of both, and they operate on voltage from 120 to 277 volts.

One can use HID lamps in both residential and commercial lighting. High-intensity discharge lamps are often used in stadiums and for illumination in professional arenas because they do not cause excessive heat familiar with other lighting systems.

High-efficiency Light-Emitting Diode

The high-efficiency light-emitting diode (LED) is one of the most energy-efficient sources of lighting. They are the fastest growing technology in general lighting applications, and for that reason, they are now a significant competitive advantage in the lighting business.

LEDs are available in many different types of applications, with varying levels of lighting and energy efficiency.

HID and LED technology are closely related; both use electricity to convert the chemical energy of fuel into heat, light, and electricity. LEDs also use only 1/10th to 1/3rd of the electricity of other types of lighting; however, the intensity of light is only a fraction of what an HID lamp produces.

In the majority of residential and commercial lighting applications, however, the brightness of the LED is sufficient for adequate lighting.

LED applications include general and specialty lights; indoor and outdoor lighting; accent, landscape, display lights, and even low-power (such as desk lamps) and high-power (such as projector and industrial lighting) applications.

More information.