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Incandescent

You probably learned about Thomas Edison in elementary school. He’s known as the inventor of the light bulb. That very first light bulb was an incandescent.

An incandescent light bulb is the purest artificial light source. That means the color is as close to the sun as you can get. Because the light quality is so great, incandescent light bulbs are still used in settings where atmosphere matters, like a residential setting or hotel lobby.

You probably noticed the price of an incandescent light bulb is pretty cheap. But don’t be caught off-guard later when you get your energy bill. Incandescent light bulbs are the least energy efficient.

How incandescent light bulbs work

Incandescent lights use the simplest lighting technology to work. An incandescent light bulb is essentially a controlled fire on display. 

When an electrical current makes contact with the base of the light bulb, electricity enters and heats up the filament in the bulb. When the filament heats up, “incandescence” is created. Incandescence is light produced by heat.

The reason incandescent light bulbs are so energy inefficient is because they produce 90 percent heat and 10 percent light. If you touch a light bulb and it’s hot, it’s probably an incandescent.

Type of incandescent light bulbs

There are several different shapes of incandescent light bulbs, so they may look very different. They are also likely used in different applications. Here is a list of common types:

  • A-line
  • PS
  • PAR reflectors
  • Globe
  • Tubular
  • Indicator/sign

Where to use incandescent light bulbs

Because incandescent light bulbs come in so many different shapes, they have a variety of applications.

Here are some common places where you will find an incandescent light bulb:

  • Recessed cans in a restaurant or hotel lobby
  • Typical ceiling fixture in multifamily or apartment buildings
  • Spot light or track fixtures in commercial offices, hotels, or museums
  • Heat lamps in restaurants

Dimming incandescent light bulbs

Incandescent light bulbs are the easiest and best to dim. They don’t flicker or emit a different color or quality of light when paired with a dimmer switch. For this reason, incandescent light bulbs are perfect for wall sconces or recessed cans, especially in restaurant settings.

Were incandescent light bulbs banned?

Several years ago, there was a big myth that the government banned all types of incandescent light bulbs. They were not banned, but they were made dramatically more energy efficient.

Questions about incandescent light bulbs

If you have additional questions about incandescent light bulbs, or you are having trouble finding the right product, please contact us. Our lighting specialists are here to answer questions. You can submit a message, call us, or use the chat in the bottom right corner of your screen. As a national lighting distributor since 1983, Regency Lighting has seven sales and distribution centers to serve you.

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