When you think of commercial building design, light bulbs are probably not the first thing that pop into your mind. But that can be a big mistake. Picking the right commercial light bulbs can make all of the difference. Proper lighting can transform an entire atmosphere, improve safety, and even save money.
Navigating the lighting industry can be a challenge. That’s where Regency Lighting steps in. We’re here to make lighting easier.
Before you buy light bulbs, make sure you know the basic differences.
Types of light bulbs for sale
- Fluorescent: Fluorescent lighting happens when a chemical reaction inside of a glass tube produces light. There are two types of fluorescent lights: compact fluorescent and linear fluorescent. You will most likely find linear fluorescent light bulbs in areas where design is not a concern. For example, commercial offices, warehouses, hospitals, and retail stores will use linear fluorescents because of their white, clean light. You might also find them in basements, stairwells, and parking garages.
- Halogen: Halogen bulbs have tungsten filaments enclosed in a quartz capsule and filled with iodine and bromine gases. Electricity enters the bulb and travels up to the tungsten filament. You will most likely find halogen bulbs in jewelry cases, retail settings, and in specialty applications like portable projectors or used to heat food.
- HID: Stands for high intensity discharge, and the name fits because the light is extremely bright and powerful. HIDs most often appear in stadiums, parking garages, gas stations, and street lights. Some retails stores use compact ceramic HID lamps to create a specific atmosphere.
- Incandescent: You can think of an incandescent bulb as a controlled fire on display. You most often find incandescent lamps in residential, decorative specialty lighting, and heat lamps.
- LED: Stands for light emitting diode. LED lighting technology uses a semiconductor device to produce a glowing light. LEDs are extremely energy efficient.
- Specialty and more: Sometimes the light bulb you need doesn’t fit in any of the categories above. We also have specialty light bulbs for sale.
How to select the right light bulb
Selecting the right light bulb for your building or application can be tricky if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Here are a few lighting terms you should be familiar with before you buy.
- Color Temperature: Indicates whether a lamp has a warm, midrange, or cool color appearance. Color temperature is measured in Kelvin. Warm light sources are in the red, orange, or yellow range and have a low color temperature (2000-3000K). Cool light sources are in the blue range and have a high color temperature (>5000K).
- Wattage: The measure of how much energy a lamp needs to light up.
- CRI: Measures the visual effect a light source has on the perceived color of objects it illuminates. High CRI makes colors look natural and vibrant, while low CRI causes some colors to appear washed out or take on a different hue.
- Life rating: How long the light bulb is expected to last. This is measured differently for traditional and LED light sources. For traditional sources, an average rated life tells you when 50% of a large group of lamps has failed. For LEDs, the life rating is how long the light bulb is meant to operate before reaching 70% of its original brightness.
- Base: There are dozens of different types of bases for light bulbs. A close visual inspection is important when selecting a replacement light bulb. If you have the part number, that can also be extremely helpful.
- Lumens: Lumens is how much light the bulb puts out, or the quantity of light produced. This is especially important you’re switching to LED. You want to make sure your light bulb will be bright enough to replace your traditional lamp.
Which light bulbs require a ballast?
We like to call the ballast the functional heart of a fluorescent or HID light source. A ballast ensures that a lamp stays lit by managing the distribution of energy throughout the fixture.
All fluorescent and HID light sources require a ballast for proper operation. Both lamp families use either a magnetic or electronic ballast, but magnetic ballasts are being phased out.
We explain the differences, and which one you should use in certain applications, here.
Have other questions you want answered before you commit? Our lighting experts are always ready to help. Click here to submit a message or contact us.