What are the different types of light bulbs? Which type is the most energy efficient?

It is important to identify the types of light bulbs available, to better understand their suitability to your needs. In Australia, there are 4 common types of globes available. Incandescent globes are traditionally the most common type of light bulb - easily identified by the glowing wire filament appearance - which many favour for its vintage look, also available in LED options that imitate this look.

Incandescent light bulbs have a poor life-span and are much more costly to run than Halogen, CFL and LED alternatives. Incandescent globes also offer very low level brightness compared to the amount of energy consumed. In Australia, incandescent bulbs have been slowly phased out for greener and more cost effective options, with some particularly inefficient bulbs banned.

Halogen light bulbs are considered an enhanced version of the traditional incandescent light, with the main difference being that they consume approximately 20% less energy than incandescent bulbs. However, halogen lights are not all that environmentally friendly, as they still consume about 4x as much power as LEDs, and can generate high heat when operated (which reduces the lifespan of the bulb, and in some cases can be fire hazards). In Australia, halogen bulbs have been been banned and will be gradually phased out from the market.

Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) are fluorescent bulbs that have been compressed to standard bulb size. CFLs last between 4-10x as long as incandescent or halogen bulbs. CFLs are cheap to purchase, but some forms may contain mercury which should be handled with care.

LED (light emitting diode) globes are the most energy-efficient choice, providing a bright light with low energy consumption and long lifespan as traditional incandescent light bulbs. Technology has advanced with many forms of LED bulbs now in the market for any need. LED bulbs offer high performance versions for general lighting, LED vintage globes offer decorative options paired with high performance and 'smart' globes give the unprecedented customisation to consumers. It is also important to note that LED globes can be more costly to purchase upfront, however, the long lifespan and low energy consumption will result in savings in the long run.

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