Good advice about bulbs

Finding your way

There is a huge and sometimes confusing selection of bulbs out there. Which one to choose? What sort of light do they give? Where is the best place to use them? Here’s a little guide to help you navigate and make the right choice.

What to watch out for:

Socket: Check for both the type and size of socket to make sure the bulb will fit your lamp.

Dimming: Check if the bulb is dimmable. This will always be clearly stated on the packaging. Standard bulbs are always dimmable.

Light colour: Warm light – 2,700-3,300 Kelvin – is similar to a traditional incandescent bulb. 3,300-4,000 Kelvin is a neutral light, while anything over 4,000 Kelvin is a cooler light. Cooler light, and light that is too white, can create an uncomfortable indoor environment and tends to work less well in the home.
2,500-2,700 Kelvin is great for relaxing. 4,000-4,500 is best for work situations. 6,000 Kelvin and higher can help with Season Affective Disorder (SAD)/winter depression or if you need an energy boost.

Colour reproduction: Light that is too yellow can give unnatural colour reproduction. Light sources are rated on the RA/CRI scale of 0-100, where 100 is natural daylight. For situations where you need good colour reproduction looks for an RA or CRI rating of at least 90. Halogen bulbs are typically rated 99 – they’re the best at colour reproduction but use a bit more energy. LED bulbs typically range from 80-95 – not always the best at colour reproduction but fine for the home as long as you choose a rating over 80.

Energy rating: Chose an A rating or higher, or an LED bulb.

Socket types:

The most common socket types are:

E27 – standard Edison screw socket
E14 – small Edison screw socket
G9 – bi-pin halogen socket
GU10 – bi-pin halogen spot twist socket

Halogen

Good bulbs useful in many situations. Look for watts and socket size.

Uses
Situations where you need good light with good colour reproduction. Excellent for mirror lighting and reading lamps, where you need warm and concentrated light.

Advantages
Good colour reproduction – an RA/CRI rating of 99. Closest to natural daylight. Warm – a colour temperature of ca. 3000 Kelvin. Can be used with a ‘cover’ bulb to replace traditional incandescent bulbs.

Disadvantages
Uses more energy than LED. Short lifespan. Gives off a lot of heat.

See our halogen bulbs here.

LED

Energy-saving bulbs. Rated in lumen – a measure of the strength of light emitted – instead of watts.

15W = 140 lumen
25W = 250 lumen
40W = 470 lumen
60W – 800 lumen
75W = 1050 lumen
100W = 1520 lumen

Uses
Great where lamps need to be left on for a long time. Also a great solution for outdoor lighting.

Advantages
Use very little energy. Long lifespan.

Disadvantages
Not as good for colour reproduction – an RA/CRI rating between 80 and 95. Cheaper LED bulbs tend to give a quite cold light – choose a bulb with a colour temperature of ca. 3,000 Kelvin, often labelled ‘Warm White’.

See our LED bulbs here.

Lighting the future

Philips, in cooperation with Apple, has developed Philips Hue – a range of bulbs and lamps that you control to create exactly the kind of lighting you want. Just download the app and you’ll be able to adjust the light intensity and colour (out of 16 million possible colours). You can program Philips Hue to turn on or off at specific times. It can fade up in the morning and fade down in the evening. It’s a great home security solution since you can set up your lights to turn on and off during the course of the day throughout the whole house. The possibilities are endless.

Philips Hue is truly lighting the future.

See our Philips Hue products here. (Please note Philips Hue bulbs are available with E27 and GU10 sockets and are equivalent to 60W bulbs.)