Thursday, June 2, 2016

Recessed Lighting Bulb Types - LED, CFL, Halogen


When you plan a recessed lighting layout, you have to choose the right recessed light bulb type that will help your design to achieve the desired results. Lumens and wattage are very important factors you have to decide when planning recessed lighting and also choosing the suitable color temperature according to the function of the room. Here will show you the difference between recessed lighting bulb types and tell you where to use each type and the recommended color temperature in every room.

recessed light bulbs


There are several types of light bulbs for recessed lighting, Incandescent, Halogen, CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) and LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs, the last two types represent the new energy efficient lighting options available today.

Recessed Light Bulbs

Traditional Bulbs

tradditional bullbs



Incandescent light bulbs are the oldest type used for recessed lighting, they have many disadvantages such as they convert around 90% of the consumed energy to heat, short lifetime about one year. But they are dimmable and don’t contain mercury. With the existence of the new energy efficient lighting bulbs the incandescent bulbs became not recommended.

Halogen Bulbs

halogen bulbs

Halogen light bulbs are one of the most common bulbs for recessed lights and are dimmable. They are a type of incandescent bulbs that use a filament that’s heated to the point of glowing in the existence of the halogen gas, the same as incandescent bulbs, but they use less energy. The halogen bulbs convert a large amount of energy to heat and last on average one year.



CFL Bulbs

CFL bulbs

Fluorescent light bulbs are a good replacement for the traditional light bulbs with lower heat dissipation and longer lifetime. And exist in u-shaped and circular shapes. The CFL bulbs are energy efficient and need a ballast to work, there are two types of the CFL bulbs the self-ballasted which contain the ballast in the bulb itself and there is another type where the ballast is separated from the bulb tube. The big disadvantage of the CFL bulbs is the mercury vapor, which considered very dangerous to humans.



LED Bulbs

LED bulbs
LED (Light Emitting Diode) light bulbs are using a new technology to produce light when a current passes through a semiconductor material. They are the most energy efficient light bulb types available. LED lights have many advantages over the other recessed light bulb types; they are extremely long life, dimmable and are cool to the touch. LED bulbs available in many shapes and sizes that make the perfect for shallow (low profile) recessed lighting.

Recessed Lighting Bulb Size

To install a bulb in a recessed lighting fixture you should make sure the size of the bulb is suitable. To evaluate the size of the bulb you have to multiply the numerical code by 1/8 inch. So for MR 16 LED bulb the diameter equal to 16 * 1/8 inch= 2 inches.

Best Bulbs for Recessed lighting

The bulb color temperature and beam angle are important factors in a room’s lighting quality. It is preferred to choose bulbs with warm white color temperature for rooms like bedrooms and living rooms. For general lighting use wide beam angle bulbs, that can spread the light all over the area. In rooms where tasks take place such as kitchen rooms try a bright white color temperature to comfortably do your tasks; narrower beam angle bulbs are perfect for light task spaces. For reading the daylight color temperature is highly recommended. I hope these recommendations help you choosing the best recessed light bulb type.
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