Lamps (Light Bulbs)
The majority of households still use this type of light bulb - they are cheap to buy and produce a warm light that is suitable for basic household usage. On average they last about 1000 hours however they are being phased out by the EU out as they are not energy efficient. Incandescent lights are very costly to run; a 100W light bulb has now been replaced by a 17W LED!
Similar to incandescent, halogens are also cheap to buy but expensive to run. Halogens produce are sharper, clearer light than incandescent. Halogens produce a bright white light and become very hot in comparison to other bulb types. It is advised that they should not be used near materials which are combustible and that they are not touched during or immediately after use.
There are many variations of fluorescent tubes ranging from the energy efficient T5 to the most popular T8 and the obsolete T12. They are more commonly used as overhead lights for large areas such as warehouses, factories and shopping departments. Lasting anything from 10,000 to 20,000 hours meaning they last 20 times longer than incandescent and halogen. T5 is the latest advancement in fluorescent and is the most energy efficient so far.
Compact Fluorescent Lamps or CFLs
CFL’s are small fluorescent lamps that fit into many type of light fixtures. Screw in types can be used to replace incandescent bulbs in traditional household light sockets. This type of lamp is also being phased out in place of the more energy efficient LED technology.
Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs
LEDs are the most well-known energy-efficient lamps available to purchase; however, at this moment in time they can be quite costly in advance - the real savings come over the years. They use 50% of the energy of CFLs, 90% less than incandescent and can last anything up to 30 years!!
LEDs can produce anything from a warm, cosy halogen like light to a clear daylight style blue light. LEDs will most likely replace all the other lighting types mentioned above once they become more affordable in price.
Organic LED or OLEDs
Similar to regular LED lighting technology but containing a thinner, more advanced LED chip made organically. OLED technology is still in development and is not expected to become main stream until at least 2014. It is made up from thin layers of organic LED strips and allows for a much thinner light fitting (luminaire) to be created. In the future downlights could be just 10mm thick instead of the chunky 110mm ones that we use today.