What Are the Differences Between Each Type of Bulb

When procuring bulbs and lighting fixtures for a given area, deciding on which type of light is best fit for your application is important for energy efficiency and cost savings. With incandescent, halogen, LED, and CFL bulb types, each provides unique abilities and properties that allow them to be useful for a diverse set of applications. In this blog, we will provide an overview of the various lightbulb types, allowing for you to find what best fits your illumination needs.

Incandescent Bulbs

As the most conventional and common light bulb for residential applications, incandescent bulbs are very cheap. During operation, incandescent bulbs provide warmer tints of light that can be dimmable, and this allows them to fit a wide variety of applications such as lamp incandescent fixtures and more. Despite this, incandescent bulbs can be quite inefficient with energy, as much of the power provided to the bulb is actually transformed into heat. As such, some users and industries have sought out newer, more energy efficient solutions as they slowly phase out the original bulb.

Halogen Bulbs

Halogen lights are a type of incandescent bulb, diffusing light through similar means. As compared to the conventional incandescent bulb, halogen options are more efficient, and they tout a longer service life. As such, an equal amount of visibility can be provided by a halogen bulb, all while remaining more efficient and cheaper as compared to incandescents.

Despite this, time has brought about more powerful bulbs that have surpassed the efficiency of halogens, and these options come in the form of LEDs and CFL bulbs. Nevertheless, halogens are still quite cost efficient, especially for applications in which they serve as low voltage downlights. With an average energy consumption of 35-50W, halogen lights can provide a bright, natural daylight look for illumination.


Light-emitting diodes, more commonly known as LEDs, are a type of direct light. Presenting extreme efficiency and robust operating lives, LEDs are commonly used in a variety of electronics such as headlights, smartphone cameras, televisions, LED displays, and more. As they cannot provide diffused light, they are not often used in more traditional applications.

As compared to options such as halogen lamps, LEDs tout a service life that is ten times the length, and they may use much less energy for the same quality of illumination. Replacing LEDs can also prove very easy, as they tend to fade out before they cease to function, rather than immediately burning out. While they may be most often implemented within electronics, such lighting options still can prove very useful for lighting up a given space.


Compact fluorescent light bulbs, commonly referred to as CFL bulbs, are quiet during their operation, and their warm, color corrected tones may make them more desirable than conventional fluorescent options for some. Additionally, CFLs only require 25% of the energy to function as compared to incandescent bulbs, and they have service lifes that are ten times as long. As such, CFL bulbs are becoming increasingly popular for use in residential and commercial spaces.

Altogether, finding the right fit for your needs may depend upon various factors such as desired costs, wattage, brightness, and color. Additionally, each bulb may also only come in select shapes for their operation, affecting the way in which one may direct light in a specific area. At Cogent Purchasing, we can help you secure the halogen lamps, LED displays, and other lighting solutions that you need such as Honeywell Sensing and Control manufacturer parts. Explore our robust part catalogues at your leisure, and our team of industry experts are readily available 24/7x365 to assist you through the purchasing process as needed. Get started today and see how we can serve as your strategic sourcing partner for your needs.


September 28, 2021
April 27, 2021

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