How to Choose the Perfect Light Bulb for Your Lighting Fixture – PART3
Part 3 of 3: Matching Your Fixture to Your Bulb
1 Choose a bulb for a floor or table lamp. If you’ve got a free-standing lamp for a floor or a large table lamp, you’ve got a few options for possible light bulbs. Look into using a spiral or closed-A shape bulb that is compact fluorescent or incandescent. Stick with bulbs on the warm-side, as they will be lighting up your room and generally tend to be easier on the eyes in a warmer hue (like a ‘daylight’ bulb).
2 Find a bulb for your pendant fixture. Because pendant fixtures tend to have at least part or half of the bulb exposed, your choices are limited for possible lights. You’ll want to start by finding a bulb in a traditional ‘bulb’ or ‘globe’ shape, in the warmer side of the light appearance scale. Most people prefer to use a compact fluorescent light bulb or a halogen light bulb for this purpose.
3 Select a bulb for a ceiling fixture. Ceiling fixtures are generally enclosed so that the light bulb is not visible, giving you many more options for bulbs than a pendant fixture does. Choose a bulb that has a long lifespan, so that you don’t have to change it often. The light appearance you want will vary depending on the atmosphere of the room. Any type of bulb (so long as it is compatible with the fixture) will work for a ceiling fixture, but it will do you good to try and find an energy efficient bulb when possible.
4 Find a bulb for a wall sconce. Wall sconces tend to be on the smaller side and are mostly decorative, meaning that the bulbs you choose will need to be small enough to be covered completely by the sconce. Choose a bulb that is tube or flame shaped, as these are narrow enough to fit inside the sconce. Compact fluorescent light bulbs and incandescent light bulbs are most commonly used for a wall sconce.
5 Choose a bulb for a recessed can light. Because recessed can fixtures don’t allow much ventilation, they are the highest risk for fire hazard. As a result, your primary goal will be to choose a bulb that does not exceed the maximum wattage for your fixture. Most people choose a halogen, compact fluorescent, or incandescent light bulb for a recessed can fixture. The light appearance will vary depending on the location.
6 Find a bulb for an outdoor fixture. If your outdoor fixture is exposed to the elements, you’ll need to purchase a special outdoor bulb which won’t be damaged from exposure. Otherwise, choose a bulb that is either spiral or tubed in a ‘bright white’ light appearance. LEDs are popular choices, as are incandescent and halogen bulbs. Keep in mind that you’ll need to buy a special bulb if you have a photosensitive fixture or a fixture that is on a timer. Check your local lighting store for these alternatives.