Guide to Choosing the Best Light Bulb Type

Lighting is an essential component of every room in the home. Find out how to pick the right type of light bulb for all of your home lighting needs.

 Brighten Your Home

Explore our selection of light bulbs, from LED to fluorescent—we offer many different types, shapes, and colours. Whether you’re lighting your home or workplace, you’ll find a solution to meet all of your lighting needs online or in store.

 Lighting Designs for Your Lifestyle

Your lighting design should suit your home and your lifestyle. Thoughtful pairings of light bulbs and light fixtures provide an appealing look and effective illumination of the room. Understanding the basics of interior lighting will help produce the best results. For a closer look at the role of lighting in home decor, check out our lighting ideas for every room.

Lumens and Watts: What You Need to Know

Light bulb packaging includes helpful labels that tell you everything you need to make an informed choice. This includes bulb life expectancy, light colour and brightness, estimated yearly cost, energy used, and mercury information.

Lumens and watts are two units that represent the light output and energy use of a light bulb. Get bang for your buck by comparing the life expectancy of light bulbs with the same wattage and lumens and choosing the one that will last the longest.

  • Lumens: The measure of light a bulb produces. For example, a standard 100-watt light bulb emits around 1600 lumens. The more lumens, the brighter the bulb shines and vice-versa.
  • Watts: The measure of a light bulb’s energy use. A lower wattage equals a lower energy bill. For the same lumens at a lower wattage than an incandescent bulb, choose LEDs or CFLs (compact fluorescent lights).
Note: Never exceed the maximum wattage recommended for your lamp or light fixture. Exceeding the maximum wattage overheats the light bulb and can cause the socket to melt.

Pro Tip

When replacing your bulb, take the old bulb with you to match the base size and bulb style. When replacing an appliance bulb, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s recommendation.  

Understand Wattage Breakdown

In 2014, the Government of Canada began phasing out standard incandescent bulbs. Switching to more efficient alternatives is simple if you are familiar with the wattage equivalents.

Use this chart to locate an energy saving equivalent:

  • Incandescent
  • Halogen
  • CFL
  • LED
  • Light Colours for Every Application

    The colour of light ranges from soft white to daylight on the Kelvin (K) temperature scale. The lower end of the scale appears more yellow, and the higher end appears bluer.

    • Soft White (2700K to 3000K), yellowish range: The standard incandescent light bulb colour. Ideal for use in the living room, bedroom, den, or rooms with dark wood.
    • Warm White (3000K to 4000K), between yellowish and white ranges: Great for spaces like kitchens, bathrooms, and workspaces.
    • Bright White (4000K to 5000K), between white and blue ranges: Perfect for illuminating white or chrome fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom, like our GE Reveal bulbs.
    • Daylight (5000K to 6500K), blue range: Provides bright light that is excellent for reading and easy on the eyes.

    Types of Light Bulbs

    LED Light Bulbs

    Even though there are so many choices available, picking the right light bulb is easy once you know what you are looking for. Most light bulbs today are energy-efficient LEDs (light-emitting diodes), which fit all standard light sockets. LED bulbs provide the same light output as traditional incandescent bulbs while using significantly less wattage. They can last for over two decades, and they do not contain any mercury.

    The light output of an LED bulb comes from tiny diodes, which illuminate when a current is passed through semiconductive material. Any heat produced in the process is absorbed by a heat sink, allowing the bulb to stay cool to the touch. Cooler bulbs keep the surrounding air cooler as well, lowering the cost of air conditioning. You can even use LED bulbs outside, as long as they are rated for outdoor use.


    LED Pot Lights

    LED pot lights work the same way as LED light bulbs. One of the most common bulbs for pot lights, they offer an energy efficient way to style your home. LED pot light remodel kits make the transition from incandescent pot lights easy, with a quick installation process.


    Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

    Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) are an energy-efficient alternative to incandescent light bulbs and work the same way as fluorescent light bulbs. While CFLs use a lot of energy to turn on, they self-regulate once the current is flowing through them, making them more energy efficient than fluorescent light bulbs. CFLs are the most energy-efficient of all light bulbs. They are also available for outdoor use; make sure the packaging indicates that the bulb is rated for outdoor use.


    Incandescent Light Bulbs

    Due to new standards for energy efficiency, incandescent light bulbs are slowly being phased out. You can, however, still find more efficient incandescent designs, as well as specialty incandescent bulbs like chandelier bulbs.

    • Incandescent bulbs contain a filament that is heated until it glows.
    • Incandescent bulbs last for an average of one year.
    • Incandescent bulbs can be used with a dimmer switch.
    • Incandescent bulbs do not have mercury.

    Halogen Light Bulbs

    Halogen light bulbs have many similarities to incandescent bulbs but are more efficient.

    • Halogen bulbs contain a filament that glows when heated.
    • Halogen bulbs have a life expectancy of around one year.
    • Halogen bulbs don’t contain mercury.

    Decorative Light Bulbs

    Decorative vintage light bulbs, commonly called Edison bulbs, are available in multiple types, including incandescent and LED. They are usually clear and show the double filament that gives off a reddish glow.


     A Selection of Bulb Shapes and Bases

    Light bulbs offer different shapes and bases for different looks and functions. You can find LEDs to go in everything from pendant lights and ceiling fans to table lamps and wall sconces (and just about any other home lighting fixture). Vintage and decorative bulbs are also available for a touch of stylistic flair.

    When looking for a new light bulb, make sure you have a look at more decorative and energy-saving bulbs as well


    A classic shape, the A-line light bulb is pear-like shaped and is the most common light bulb shape. A-line light bulbs come in LED, incandescent, halogen, fluorescent, and CFL.


    Candelabra light bulbs resemble the shape of a candle flame and are usually found on chandeliers or decorative light fixtures. They are available in LED, incandescent, and fluorescent.

    Flood Lights

    The shape of flood lights allows for a wide range of light that flows away from the bulb. They are commonly used for pot lights, offering accent lighting and overhead lighting throughout the home. Flood light bulbs come in LED, incandescent, halogen, fluorescent, and CFL.


    Globe light bulbs are known for their round spherical shape. They are commonly used in bathrooms and makeup vanities. Globe light bulbs are available in LED, incandescent, halogen, fluorescent, and CFL.


    Linear shaped light bulbs are cylindrical tubes and are commonly used in industrial and commercial environments. Linear light bulbs are available in LED, incandescent, halogen, and fluorescent..


    Specialty light bulbs include bulbs for appliances, retail stores, and decorative light fixtures. They are available in LED, incandescent, halogen, fluorescent, and CFL.

    LED Grow Light Bulbs

    The right grow lights will give you an instant green thumb. Specialty LED grow lights emit a balanced spectrum of blue and red light for a soft and nourishing glow that encourages the healthy growth of seedlings to buds. Support your plants in the flowering and fruiting stage as well with LED lights that provide a red-light spectrum.

    Latest Light Bulb Innovations

    Take advantage of technology and set up the smart home you’ve been dreaming of with the help of smart light bulbs. These advanced bulbs are completely customizable, offering endless colour options, exact brightness levels, voice commands, and automatic operation. Simply connect the bulbs to your smartphone for unmatched control. For even greater functionality, choose LED+ bulbs.
    • Bluetooth Enabled: Through the power of Bluetooth, you can use your phone to change the lighting of the room. You can change the atmosphere of a room from relaxing soft light to multicoloured.
    • Built-in-Speakers: This feature allows you to light up a room and enjoy your favourite playlist at the same time. Built into the light bulb, the speakers are controlled via an app on your phone.
    • Scheduling and Timers: From the ease of your phone, you can schedule your lights to go on or off at certain times. Take control of your lights and energy usage.
    Note: Make sure to check with the manufacturer for Android and iOS compatibility.

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