Ever walked into your local Home Depot to buy a light bulb and were confused by the variety of choices? With so many different shapes, sizes and wattages it can be overwhelming. What type of bulb should you choose for which application? What other important features should you be looking for?

Color Temperature

First off it’s important to decide what you want the lighting to look like. Are you looking for a bulb that gives off a warm white light? Or are you looking for a cooler tone that will showcase everything in its truest color?

2700-3000 Kelvin - Warm white color used to create a warm ambiance.

3500 Kelvin - Super white. The color featured is in between warm white and cool white.

4100 Kelvin – Cool White is most often used to showcase things in a truer color.

5000-6500 Kelvin – Daylight features a bluer hue and is the brightest white color.


A watt is a measurement of the amount of energy used to produce light.


Lumens are a measure of the brightness of a bulb. One lumen is equal to the light of one candle from one foot away. Needless to say, the higher the lumen output the brighter the bulb.

Lighting Technology


Incandescent bulbs are the first light bulbs that were invented by Thomas Edison. The technology has been used to create bulbs in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit different needs. All incandescent bulbs reach their full light output capacity right away and are dimmable.

Compact Fluorescent (CFL)

CFL’s were invented to save energy. They use significantly less energy than incandescent light bulbs. CFL bulbs take time to warm up and reach their full light output capacity. They are also available in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors.


LED is the latest and greatest when it comes to lighting technology. They use even less energy than CFL bulbs and are available in all shapes, sizes and colors. The advantage of LED is of course its significant energy savings. Additionally in lighting talk these bulbs warm up instantly and many have exciting features such as omni-directional and dimming capabilities.

Which Type of Bulb?

A Shaped

A shaped bulbs resemble traditional incandescent light bulbs. They are available in incandescent, Compact Fluorescent and LED technologies.  Also commonly referred to as household bulbs, they are used for General Lighting purposes and fit into a variety of applications including ceiling fixtures, pendants, portable lamps and wall mounts.


Spiral CFL bulbs (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) produce the same amount of light as incandescent bulbs but use less energy. Spirals are ideal for use in the same applications as A shaped light bulbs.


Globe shaped bulbs are ideal for decorative applications with their aesthetically pleasing look. They’re most commonly used in applications with exposed bulbs such as bathroom vanities and ceiling pendants.


These bulbs are ideal for decorative fixtures and chandeliers in which the light bulb is visible as well. Its sleek design allows them to fit into fixtures where globe shaped bulbs don’t.

R Type Reflector (R & BR)

R Type reflector bulbs provide directional light.  Think of recessed lighting applications in kitchens, dining rooms, bathrooms, hallways and more.

PAR Reflector

PAR Reflector bulbs are commonly used in outdoor settings including patio fixtures and landscape lighting.

Mini Reflectors

Mini Reflector bulbs are small reflector bulbs. They reflect the light and disperse it similar to regular reflectors but are smaller in size. They are most commonly used for accent lighting such as highlighting artwork, portraits, china or display cases.

Seeking professional guidance on which lighting choice will best suit your needs? Feel free to contact us at 954-440-3171 or support@bulbcenter.com. One of our lighting experts will be glad to assist you.