365 Objects Of Design, In the Light, Volume II

Objects of Design #223: A Guide to Light Bulbs

10th October 2013
vintage style light bulbs

vintage style light bulbs for a good selection try rockett st george

Ever since Lee Broom made a light bulb inspired by an old crystal decanter, the bulb has taken centre stage in interior design. Gone are the days when a pretty shade was required to cover up the bulb. The old filament light bulbs are having a bit of a fashion moment even though the originals have now been phased out.

Plumen flex and fitting set

Plumen flex and fitting set from rockett st george

These days the light bulb is a thing of beauty and there are dozens of clear shades about that exist merely to show off the bulb. The modern filament versions are made from tungsten rather than the original carbon that Edison used. Many of them are also compatible with dimmer switches too.

40 watt vintage style squirrel cage light bulb from ruby roost

40 watt vintage style squirrel cage light bulb from ruby roost

Now I know that many of us have been reluctant to switch to eco bulbs on the basis that they can give out a really dreary light. But they are improving all the time and, if you want a technological fact, get this: normal bulbs last for around 1,000 hours and use an average of 60 watts. An energy-saving bulb uses the equivalent of nine watts, which is about one-seventh, and lasts for around 10,000 hours.

glass jar pendant lights from westelm

glass jar pendant lights from westelm

If you want that in money, you are saving around £90 during the life of the bulb. If the average house has 15 bulbs, then you can do the sums. And let’s not forget that other small detail about significantly reducing the amount of carbon dioxide you are pumping out. See?

sofie refer mega bulb from panik design

sofie refer mega bulb from panik design

The other option is switching to LEDs. If you want to understand more about that then click here.

skeleton shades from house envy

skeleton shades from house envy

Patrick Hudgell, of Lightbulbs Direct   has one of the largest range of energy-saving bulbs available in the UK. He says you can replace every bulb in your house with the appropriate energy-saving equivalent and not notice any difference in the quality of light.

“The technology has moved on and most of these now give instant light so you don’t need to wait for them to warm up,” he says. “In addition, many of them can be used with dimmer switches now. It really is a no-brainer. You save about one-third of the energy as soon as you install it because they are lower wattage and they use less energy.

“Some of these bulbs even last for 15,000 hours. There are nearly 9,000 hours in a year – of which around 2,000 will require lighting, assuming you have the lights on for about five or six hours a day, so you can see how long they last.

“You might feel they are expensive to buy initially but when you balance it against the ultimate savings it really is worth it.”

If you want to compare the differences between LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes), Incandescent Bulbs (phased out) and Compact Fluorescents (CFLs) then click here 

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  • Molly 6th December 2014 at 11:57 am

    Wow – just found your blog and love it.
    Lovely hugs

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