incandescent light bulb

How to Choose an Incandescent Light Bulb

Incandescent light bulbs are a great lighting option for those looking to create a warm and inviting ambiance. They are inexpensive and produce a good amount of light when switched ON.

Humphry Davy created the first incandescent bulb by passing electric current through strips of platinum. While his invention didn’t last long, it led to experiments by other inventors to create more practical filaments.


Although energy-efficient alternatives have gained popularity in recent years, incandescent light bulbs are still a cost-effective option for many people. They provide a warm, natural glow that mimics the light produced by sunlight. It creates a soothing atmosphere and helps to promote relaxation and comfort. These bulbs are easy to find and affordable, making them a popular choice for many homeowners and businesses.

Unfortunately, the price of incandescent lights may increase if new energy efficiency standards are implemented. The Department of Energy (DOE) has been regulating light bulb energy efficiency for some time, and the first tier of standards went into effect in 2012 and 2014. These rules will ultimately phase out all types of traditional light bulbs.

Despite this regulation, some retailers are choosing to sell traditional incandescent light bulbs — including big names like Lowe’s and Home Depot. This is likely because they have a large customer base that prefers incandescent lights.

Whether you choose to continue using your existing incandescent lights or plan to upgrade to LEDs or CFLs, it is important to know the truth about these bulbs. There are several myths surrounding the Congressional phase out, and it’s important to understand the facts before making any decisions about your lighting options. If you are unsure what to do, consult an expert to help you make the right decision for your home or business.

Long Lifespan

It’s no secret that incandescent bulbs don’t have the longest lifespans. Their filaments get very hot and can burn out over time, making them less efficient than many newer lighting options. However, a standard incandescent light bulb can still last for thousands of hours when used appropriately. A good rule of thumb is to always check the bulb’s rated lifespan, which is often listed as “ARL” or Average Rated Life.

One of the first inventors to make a workable incandescent bulb was Warren De la Rue. His 1840 design involved a platinum filament inside an evacuated tube. This metal has a high melting point and low evaporation rate output speed sensor at high temperatures, making it ideal for creating a long-lasting bulb. Other inventors soon followed suit, including Moses G. Farmer and Thomas Edison.

While Edison’s carbon filaments burned out quickly, other inventors made improvements to the bulb’s construction and power efficiency. Joseph Wilson Swan worked on the incandescent light bulb idea before Edison, and in 1878 he developed a carbon filament that could stay lit for up to 13.5 hours.

European inventors also began to use tungsten as a filament material in their light bulbs, which were more effective and durable than the carbon filaments of earlier Edison models. William Coolidge later invented a process for drawing tungsten into ductile wire, which led to longer-lasting bulbs with higher efficiency.

Color Rendering

With so many options in the light bulb aisle, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when trying to find the perfect bulbs for your home or commercial building. Watts, lumens, life hours – there’s so much to take into account. But there’s another important aspect of a light bulb that many people forget about: its color rendering.

In case you didn’t know, the term “color temperature” refers to the color of a light bulb as it burns up and cools down. When a filament in an incandescent light bulb reaches a certain temperature, it will begin to turn yellow. When the filament cools down, it will start to become whiter and eventually blue. This is the phenomenon that gives incandescent lights their distinctive look.

But the most important attribute of a light bulb isn’t its color temperature or its CRI (color rendering index). The most important aspect of any light bulb is how it shows up the colors of an object. And for this, incandescent light bulbs are top notch!

Incandescent light bulbs have a CRI of about 100, which means they can render most colors very well. This is especially true for warm colors like the yellows and reds of an incandescent light bulb. Other types of light, such as fluorescent and halogen lights, have lower CRIs. For most indoor applications, a CRI of 80 or higher is acceptable. For spaces where color accuracy is essential, such as print shops and costumers, you will want to look for a higher CRI.

Instant Brightness

Incandescent light bulbs produce a warm glow that instantly enhances the ambiance of your space. They are also compatible with dimmer switches, giving you the freedom to set the perfect lighting mood for different occasions and settings. Moreover, they are available in a wide variety of wattages and shapes, catering to all types of illumination needs and preferences.

In 1840, Warren De la Rue first developed the incandescent bulb by placing a coiled platinum filament inside an evacuated glass tube and passing electric current through it. This design was functionally sound, but the high cost of platinum made it impractical for commercial use.

Later, De la Rue and other scientists experimented with carbon incandescent light bulb filaments coated in metallized graphite to improve their strength and consistency. They then heated the filament to high temperatures, causing it to glow white-hot and emit visible light.

Today’s standard incandescent bulbs consist of an airtight glass envelope that contains a thin filament of tungsten wire and a metal base with contact wires. The filament is coiled around a rod-shaped core that extends from the metal base. Most bulbs are filled with an inert gas to prevent the tungsten from being consumed by air and burned out. This gas also helps the filament retain its white-hot temperature longer, extending its lifespan. The emitted light is yellowish in color, though some specialty bulbs can give off a more bluish hue.