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Buying guide

How to Choose the Right Type of Light Bulb

Light bulbs come in many different types. Understanding their features and functions will make it easier to choose the right one for any lighting purpose.

Expert Room Lighting Solutions

The right combination of light bulbs and light fixtures strikes the perfect ambience. Learning a bit about the role of lighting in home decor and functionality will help you achieve the desired results. For a more in-depth look at different lighting solutions, read over our expert tips for home lighting.

Lighting labels offer a glance at some of the most important features of a light bulb, making your selection easier. Read the label to find out the colour and brightness of the light, the life expectancy of the bulb, the energy use and estimated cost to run, and whether the bulb contains any mercury.

Room with a neutral atmosphere

Lighting has a direct effect on the overall mood and atmosphere of a room.

Room with a party atmosphere

All There is to Know About 2022 Lighting Trends

Looking for the perfect lighting fixture to complete your project? We have prepared—just for you—a complete guide to 2022 lighting trends, including all of our favourites.
CONSULT THE GUIDE

Lighting Units: Lumens and Watts

A great place to start when looking for light bulbs is to brush up on some terminology.

You can determine the energy use and light output of a light bulb by noting its lumens and watts.

Lumen

A unit that measures the brightness of a bulb. More lumens mean brighter light, and fewer lumens mean dimmer light. For reference, the output of a standard 100-watt bulb is around 1600 lumens.

Watt

A unit that measures the energy used by a light bulb. The lower the wattage, the more savings on your energy bill. LEDs and CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) provide the same number of lumens than incandescent bulbs—for fewer watts. Light fixtures have a maximum recommended light bulb wattage that should not be exceeded.

Bulb Type Wattage Compared

The Government of Canada began to phase out standard incandescent light bulbs in 2014. Find energy-saving, wattage-equivalent bulbs that offer the same light output with the help of the chart below.

You can determine the energy use and light output of a light bulb by noting its lumens and watts.

Incandescent
Halogen
CFL
LED
100 watts
72 watts
23 watts
14-16 watts
75 watts
53 watts
20 watts
12-13 watts
60 watts
43 watts
15 watts
8-9 watts
Incandescent
Halogen
CFL
LED
100 watts
72 watts
23 watts
14-16 watts
75 watts
53 watts
20 watts
12-13 watts
60 watts
43 watts
15 watts
8-9 watts

Pro Tip

Get the best deal by comparing longevity and lumens on light bulbs with the same wattage and choosing the one that will last the longest.

Kelvin Light Colour Scale

The Kelvin (K) temperature scale measures the colour of light, from soft white to daylight. Lower numbers appear more yellow, while higher numbers appear bluer.

  • Soft White (2700K to 3000K): Yellowish colour range—the standard for incandescent bulbs. Typically used in living rooms, dens, bedrooms, and for highlighting dark wood.
  • Warm White (3000k to 4000k): Yellowish to white colour range—commonly used in workspaces, bathrooms, and kitchens.
  • Bright White (4000K to 5000K): White to blue colour range—best for bathrooms and kitchens that have white or chrome fixtures. GE Reveal bulbs are a top choice.
  • Daylight (5000K to 6500K): Blue colour range—provides bright illumination that is easy on the eyes. Ideal for reading.

Pro Tip

The colour rendering index (CRI) is a measure of the way that light affects the appearance of colour on a scale of 0 to 100. The higher the number, the more accurate the colour. For example, sunlight has a CRI of 100 because it allows objects to look their "true" colour. Most LED bulbs have a CRI of 80 or higher.
  • Colour rendering index (CRI)

Choosing Bulb Shapes and Bases

A light bulb consists of the bulb itself and the base it is attached to, both of which come in many different shapes and styles.

Light bulbs come with a variety of bases and shapes for different applications. LED bulbs are particularly versatile and available for table lamps, wall sconces, chandeliers, pendant lights, and all sorts of other lighting fixtures. You can also add a bit of style to the room decor with vintage and decorative bulbs.

  • Line drawings of bulb shapes
Bulb shapes are denoted by a letter. Here are the most common letters used to identify bulb shape and what they mean:
  • A: Arbitrary/A-line
  • B: Bullet shape/Blunt tip
  • BR: Bulged reflector
  • C: Cone
  • CA: Flame tip/bent tip
  • F: Flame
  • G: Globe
  • R: Reflector
  • S: Spherical
  • T: Tubular

"A" bulbs are the most common types of light bulbs as they are made for typical household use. Blunt tip, bent tip, and flame bulbs are more decorative in style and used where aesthetic design is a priority. Reflector bulbs are often used as flood lights while globe bulbs are designed for vanities. Cone, spherical, and tubular lights are made for specialty applications.

Pro Tip

Light bulbs have both a letter and a number. The letter refers to the shape of a bulb (as discussed above), while the number denotes the diameter of the bulb at its widest point. Light bulbs are measured in eighths of an inch. For example, A G40 bulb is a globe-shaped bulb that is 5 inches in diameter (40/8).

If you need to replace a light bulb, make sure you refer to the old one to find a correct replacement. Consider more stylish and energy-efficient options as well.

Types of lightbulbs

Your main decision when choosing a light bulb will be between the four most common types of residential bulbs. Consider the different properties and advantages of each to help make your selection.

Smart Home Lighting

Today’s light bulbs are available with many innovative features for those who like to stay on top of the latest tech.

Smart light bulbs let you customize your lighting design to your exact specifications through a smartphone app. Many smart bulbs double as more than just a light source and can be used to enhance the overall connectivity and functionality of your home as well:

  • Change the colour of the light, dim or brighten the bulbs remotely.
  • Put the lights on a schedule.
  • Voice commands offer even greater control.
  • LED+ bulbs come with several additional functions, including a built-in Bluetooth speaker, a standalone flashlight, and a motion sensor.

Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs

RONA’s ECO-Approved Products program is designed to help consumers make more environmentally conscious choices. ECO light bulbs are ENERGY STAR certified and consume 75-90% less electricity than incandescent bulbs. Choosing this type of light bulb will lower the electrical bill and reduce impact on climate change.

Pro Tip

Home lighting represents 5% to 10% of the total electricity consumption in a typical home. The electricity used to power your lights can come from a variety of energy sources that emit different levels of greenhouse gasses. Coal combustion produces the highest level of carbon emissions in the electricity sector.
Wall grow lights in a living room

Specialty Lighting

Indoor LED grow lights allow you to grow and harvest plants indoors year-round. LED grow lights provide a balanced light spectrum for an appealing glow that supports plants from the seedling to the budding stage. LED bulbs that emit a red-light spectrum for plants in the flowering or fruiting stage are also available.

Grow lights over wall planters with herbs in a kitchen

Did You Know?

Our stores are equipped to properly recycle light bulbs (restrictions may vary according to region).
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