I don’t know about you, but I remember the days when changing a light bulb was simple. All houses had the same standard bayonet fitting, and the only decision was to choose a 40W or 60W bulb. And for those large areas, and for those with reckless abandon about electricity bills, the 100W version.
Unkind Electrician joke:
Q: How many electricians does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Three – one to change the breaker, a second to rewire the circuit and a third to replace the fixture. (Note: the light bulb is not included.)
Fortunately with the friendly Winchester electricians at Cleva Solutions, you can get away with one!
But now when it comes to changing a bulb, there is a plethora of choices.
First the fitting
The most common fittings are:
Bayonet (twist and lock bases) These include the traditional push and twist bayonet base, the standard size is 22mm, but bayonet caps come in a large range of large and smaller sizes. Another type of bayonet fitting is the GU10 – these have two pins 10mm apart extending out from the base – these fittings are often used in recessed lighting, commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms.
Screw (also known as “Edison”). An Edison screw base is a threaded metal base that holds the bulb securely in place. Again there are a range of sizes, the most common is the E27 for most standard light fixtures, with smaller ones used in decorative lighting.
Pin and push fit. These bases are exactly what they sound like – they are pushed into the fittings rather than screwed or twisted. The most common is the bi-pin, which is usually found on incandescent, halogen or fluorescent lamps.
There are currently four main technologies for light bulbs:
Incandescent – these are the most recognizable and most prevalent light bulbs, and are the type you probably had in your home growing up. But they are inefficient and are being phased out – if fact they are getting difficult to find.
Average Life 1,000 – 2000 Hours
Halogen bulbs are a type of incandescent bulb. They work the same way as standard incandescents, but use less energy and last longer because they contain halogen gas, which helps extend the life of the tungsten filament.
Energy Saving (CFL) Compact Fluorescent Lamp – these were the first generation bulbs to replace the incandescent bulbs- you may know them as the lights which take time to warm up.
Average Life 8,000 Hours
Light Emitting Diodes (LED) LEDs have the latest technology and now boast a number of benefits you won’t find in other bulbs. Originally LED bulbs had a narrow and focused light beam and cost too much for many consumers., but recent developments in LED technology have changed things. LEDs have been ‘clustered’ to provide more light, and mounted within diffuser lenses that spread the light across a wider area. And advancements in manufacturing technology have driven the prices down to a level where LED bulbs are more cost-effective than CFLs or incandescent bulbs.
LEDs are now an extremely efficient, long-lasting, and environmentally-friendly option that should be at the top of your list when looking for light bulbs. More expensive initially, but will pay off over the long run. Average Life 25,000 Hours
Personally I don’t like the lifespan of halogens, or the gradual lighting of CFL, so prefer LED. LEDs are more expensive, but their prices are coming down as more of us switch over!
As you know, basic lightbulbs are available at all supermarkets, but for the more unusual fittings, try these local stores:
Homebase Easton Ln, Winnall, Winchester SO23 7UD
Screwfix Winchester. Units G, Wykeham Industrial Estate Moorside Road, Winnall Winchester Hampshire SO23 7RX
City Electrical Factors. Winchester Store, Unit 6, Winchester Trade Park, Easton Lane, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 7FA