Lighting & Electrical

Light Bulb Buying Guide

10 low hanging light bulbs in various shapes and sizes in a white, bricked room.

Choosing the right light bulb is just as important as choosing your light fixture or shade as they can give your room ambience and character. This guide highlights the key things to consider to help you choose the perfect bulbs for your home.


Which cap fitting do you need?

The instructions on your lamp or light fitting will tell you the style of cap fitting to choose. Make sure you check this carefully as the wrong cap fitting will not work in your light.

B22 bayonet light bulb cap fitting

B22 Bayonet cap

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B15 small bayonet light bulb cap fitting

B15 Small bayonet cap

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E27 Edison screw light bulb cap fitting

E27 Edison screw cap

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E14 Small Edison screw cap

E14 Small Edison screw cap

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GU10 spotlight light bulb cap fitting

GU10 Spotlight cap

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Choosing the technology

The three main technologies for light bulbs are Halogen, Energy Saving (CFL) and LED. They all have different lifespans and energy saving abilities, so here’s a short guide on the differences between them.


  • 30% energy saving*
  • 2 year lifespan**
  • Instant, crisp, bright light

Energy saver (CFL)

  • 80% energy saving*
  • 10 year lifespan**
  • Warm, soft, diffused light


  • 90% energy saving*
  • 25 year lifespan**
  • Instant, crisp, bright light

*Compared against traditional incandescent bulbs
**Based on average usage of 1000 hours per year (3 hours per day)


Select the brightness level

Lumens vs Wattage

Wattage is the amount of power needed to light a bulb. Lumens refer to the level of brightness that the bulb produces.

Traditionally, a higher wattage always meant a brighter bulb. However, due to the introduction of newer technologies (Halogen, Energy Savers (CFL) and LED), you can now produce the same amount of light using far less energy (wattage) and money. To know how much light a bulb produces, we now use lumens to measure brightness.

Although lumens and wattage do not directly correlate, the below table will give you a good indication of which bulb you need.

A helpful example:

To find a bulb that produces the same amount of light as an old 60W bulb, you will need any one of the below:

LED 10W bulb
Energy Saving (CFL) 15W bulb
Halogen 42W bulb


Warm or cold light?

Shown in units called Kelvin (K), ‘colour temperature’ determines whether light bulbs produce warm or cold light.

Bulbs with a low Kelvin value produce a warm yellow light that’s great for creating a cosy ambience.

Bulbs with a higher Kelvin value produce a cool blue light that’s more energising.

For example, the colour temperature of candlelight is around 2000K, while bright sunlight is about 6000K. LED lights have a colour temperature between 2700 and 3000K, Halogen around 2800K and energy saving lights between 2700 and 6500K.

The Kelvin value of a bulb is usually marked on the packaging, along with a simple description such as ‘warm white’ or ‘cool white’.

LED 10W bulb
Energy Saving (CFL) 15W bulb
Halogen 42W bulb.



Writer and expert