Incandescent light bulbs date back to Victorian times, when Joseph Swan and Thomas Edison created their earliest ancestors. Around 150 years later, from 2009 to 2012, EU legislation banned production of most types of incandescent in favour of more energy-efficient light forms. For this reason, most incandescent products available today are either low-wattage or specialist bulbs, though lighting retailers can still legitimately sell existing stocks. A special ‘rough service’ lamp with reinforced construction may also be sold for industrial use.
A diverse range of incandescent bulbs are still available from Lyco:
- Decorative filament: based on original drawn tungsten or carbon filament designs, decorative filament bulbs are superb for creating a relaxing atmosphere with their extremely warm light and eye-catching patterned filaments.
- GLS Bulbs: the classic electric light bulb used for general-purpose household or industrial lighting.
- Candle Bulbs: a decorative form of incandescent designed to resemble a flame, and often used with pendants and chandeliers.
- Golf balls & Globes: golf balls are used in compact light fittings and decorative pendants, whilst larger globes tend to be used in open fittings and typically have a diffused opal finish.
- Pygmy Bulbs: as their name suggests are used in extremely small light fittings and in the confined spaces of electrical appliances.
- Reflectors: an early form of spotlight used in many desk lamps and downlights, due to be phased out from September 2014.
- Striplights: an elongated incandescent tube, most often used in picture lights and shaver lights.
- Specialist: various other specialist incandescent bulbs are available from Lyco, including fridge bulbs, daylight balanced bulbs and infrared heat reflectors.
Incandescent v energy-saving halogen
Since the phase-out of many types of incandescent bulb, energy-saving halogen technology has largely replaced the older style of bulb. Halogen lighting of any type produces a slightly cooler light than incandescent – usually in the region of 3000K against the incandescent 2700K.
Both types of light have a typical CRI 100 score and are exceptional for colour rendering, though halogen is a little more balanced when rendering short wavelength colours such as violets and blues.
Original halogen technology is only fractionally more energy-efficient than incandescent, whilst energy-saving halogen is normally 20-30% more energy-efficient. It achieves this by use of krypton or xenon gases rather than argon, or by use of an IR reflective coating on the quartz halogen envelope. Both designs enable the filament to burn brighter whilst using the same power.
Incandescent v LED & CFL
Incandescent light bulbs are usually 80-90% less energy-efficient than LED or CFL equivalents. This is because an incandescent bulb produces its light purely through thermal radiation, wasting the vast majority of its used power in producing invisible IR heat.
One of the great attractions of incandescent lighting is that it produces a warm, cosy light that helps us relax in home or hospitality environments. Unlike a halogen bulb, LED and CFL light sources are obtainable with this exact warm quality of light, though their colour rendering ability and overall hue is more variable.