Lighting: Bulb and Fixture Types

Home Inspector with EZ Rider Home Inspections LLC.

Energy Use in Home Lighting


Lighting accounts for 30% to 50% of a building's energy use, or about 17% of total annual U.S. electricity consumption. Ninety percent of the energy emitted by incandescent bulbs is in the form of heat, and only 10% is in the form of light. This means that not only is money wasted on inefficient lighting, but using incandescent bulbs lights increases cooling costs. 


Compact Florescent

  • Generate 70% less heat, they're safer to operate and can cut energy costs associated with home cooling.
  • Use at least 2/3 less energy than standard incandescent bulbs to provide the same amount of light, and last up to 10 times longer.
  • Save $30 or more in energy costs over each bulb's lifetime.
  • Must turn on instantly, produce no sound, and fall within a warm color range or be otherwise labeled as providing cooler color tones, in addition to other quality requirements.
  • Are available in different sizes and shapes to fit in almost any fixture, for indoors and outdoors. 

Where to Use CFLs:

To get the most energy savings, replace bulbs where lights are on the most, such as your family and living room, kitchen, dining room, and porch, with CFLs.

Although they are manufactured for use in recessed light fixtures, some CFLs have trouble operating in enclosed fixtures.



Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs are available for different applications

NOTE: Because they contain small amounts of mercury, CFLs must be disposed of properly.


Although they produce significant amounts of heat and cost more than incandescent light bulbs, halogen lights last much longer than incandescents, give high-quality light and are 50% more efficient. Halogen lights are good for task lighting. Task lighting refers to lighting a small area where a particular task will be performed, such as reading.

Halogen Light Bulbs

Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)

Light emitting diodes are a relatively new technology in residential lighting. They emit low levels of heat, consume little electricity and last for tens of thousands of hours.


This LED recessed light fixture had been on for about 5 hours when these photos were taken.

The 12-watt LED fixture in the photos above emitted light intensity comparable to a 60-watt incandescent, will last approximately 50,000 hours and was close to room temperature

Full-Spectrum Bulbs

Full-spectrum bulbs emit light waves which cover a wide spectrum and are meant to simulate natural light. These bulbs may be either compact or tube fluorescent, incandescent or halogen bulbs. They can be recognized by markings reading "Full-Spectrum" or which indicate a Kelvin temperature above 5000.


This is information came from InterNACHI.

Don Rider

EZ Rider Home Inspections

Bossier Home Inspector

Bossier Home Inspections

Shreveport Bossier Inspections

Shreveport Bossier Inspectors

Shreveport Home Inspection


Comments (4)

Kevin Corsa
H.I.S. Home Inspections (Summit, Stark Counties) - Canton, OH
H.I.S. Home Inspections, Stark & Summit County, OH Home Inspector

This was a very informative post. Everything I ever wanted to know about light bulbs. Thanks for the info.

May 11, 2008 03:31 AM
Don Rider
EZ Rider Home Inspections LLC. - Bossier City, LA
Shreveport Bossier Home Inspector


You are welcome.

May 12, 2008 03:38 AM
Yogesh Karki
Samson Properties - Alexandria, VA

Thanks for the information Don.

May 14, 2008 07:03 PM
Don Rider
EZ Rider Home Inspections LLC. - Bossier City, LA
Shreveport Bossier Home Inspector


You are welcome

May 15, 2008 09:48 AM