Lighting Up Your Home With Style
The right lighting can make a home warm, welcoming, and stylish. While overhead lights serve a basic purpose, decorative lamps, sconces, and accent lighting let you add personality throughout your rooms. Your choice of light bulbs plays a key role in creating the desired ambiance. From standard A-shape bulbs to trendy Edison bulbs, the options can be overwhelming. This guide covers the most popular light bulb shapes, types, and sizes used in homes to help you choose the perfect ones for your needs.
The Humble but Handy A-Shape
The classic A-shape light bulb has been lighting homes for over a century. They have an omnidirectional shape that distributes light in all directions. These bulbs come in a range of sizes, from small 25-watt nightlight bulbs perfect for hallways to 100-watt bulbs that provide bright overhead lighting. Their utilitarian design fits well into desk lamps, flush-mount ceiling lights, and pendant lights.
While ordinary in appearance, today's A-shape LED and CFL bulbs offer energy savings over old-fashioned incandescent. Dimmer-compatible options allow you to control the mood. Choose soft white 2700K bulbs for living spaces or bright daylight 5000K for tasks like reading. Pick from smaller or larger watt-equivalents depending on your lighting needs. If you need a basic bulb that gets the job done, A-shape is hard to beat.
Sculptural Candle Bulbs for Vintage Charm
For a touch of vintage character, decorative candle-shaped bulbs have an elongated, flame-like shape. Their gentle glow creates a warmer, more intimate ambiance. The dim light resembles a candle flame, minus the fire hazard. They have an Edison-style filament that adds a striking designer accent. Use candle bulbs in chandeliers, wall sconces, and vintage-inspired lighting fixtures. Their attractive shape makes them ideal for exposed bulb fixtures.
Many candle bulbs have an ST or B shape, with the letters indicating their diameter in fractions of an inch. ST bulbs range from 18-35 watts, while the wider B shape spans 25-60 watts. Choose lower wattages like 4-8-watt bulbs for accent lighting and small fixtures. Higher wattages around 40-60 watts can provide ambient lighting in living rooms and dining rooms. Paired with dimmers, you can lower their output for mood lighting during dinners or date nights.
Globe Bulbs for Circular Appeal
Globe bulbs have a rounded shape that provides decorative appeal. Their circular form diffuses light evenly across their surface. Globe bulbs come in a diverse range of sizes and styles. Smaller mini-globes work well in pairs for accent lighting. Beach ball-sized globes spanning 6 inches or more make a dramatic statement, especially when hung in multiples on a large pendant fixture.
Vintage-style filament options have crisscrossing wires that give off a warm, inviting glow. Hand-blown glass choices feature slight imperfections that add organic texture. The whimsical forms of globe bulbs inject fun into any room. They make unique additions to modern and contemporary lighting setups. For a playful take on task lighting, try a table or floor lamp topped with a large globe bulb. Their spherical shape seems to defy gravity when illuminated, almost like floating balloons.
Cylindrical Tubular Bulbs For Task Lighting
If you need focused illumination for tasks like reading or cooking, tubular bulbs fit the bill. Uniform light distribution and high output make them ideal for desk lamps, under cabinet lights, track lighting, and other task-oriented needs. Their straight cylindrical form factor allows the use of reflectors and diffusers to direct their glow precisely where needed most. Compared to general service A-shape bulbs, their concentrated beam pattern prevents stray light from causing glare or eye strain.
Tubular bulbs work well when you want to highlight specific areas. Try accenting paintings or architectural features by aiming spotlights fitted with narrow tubular bulbs. Arrange adjustable desk or floor lamps with tubular bulbs near seating areas to create well-lit spaces for hobbies and paperwork. Use glare-free white 4000K-5000K tubes for reducing eyestrain compared to yellow-tinged lights. With beam angles ranging from wide flood to narrow spot options, tubular bulbs increase lighting versatility for task, accent, and general-purpose needs.
The Shape of Light At Your Fingertips
With the wide selection of light bulb sizes and shapes available today, you have the power to transform any room. Tailor your lighting to specific tasks like reading nooks with tubular bulbs, or create a stylish statement with the gorgeous glow of candle bulbs. For most general lighting needs, A-shape LED and CFL bulbs offer efficiency and smart technology like dimming and tunable color. The next time you shop for light bulbs, consider moving beyond basic to bold and beautiful. After all, your lighting sets the mood for every occasion experienced within your stylishly illuminated home.