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Light Bulbs

There’s nothing more frustrating than a light bulb going out at an inopportune moment. Choose a long-lasting, energy efficient bulb to keep costs low and replacements to a minimum.

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What light bulb do I need?

There are many types of light bulbs available in a range of fittings and wattages, so it’s key to make sure you choose the right bulb for your lamp. Make sure to check which fitting your light uses, as well as which bulb shape is going to be the best choice for your lampshade.

Common fitting types:

Bayonet cap (BC)
Edison screw cap (ES)
Capsule
Spotlight caps
Tube lighting
Common bulb shapes:

GLS (traditional)
Candle
ST64
Globe
Mini globe
Reflector
Capsule
Spiral
Stick
Be sure to select a wattage that is right for your lighting device. Using a wattage that is too high can be dangerous, as it can cause the bulb to overheat. This can in turn cause the bulb to explode.

What is a dimmable light bulb?

Dimmable light bulbs can be adjusted manually when used with a dimmable light fitting (i.e, when the lamp you’re using has a dimmer switch). They allow you to change the brightness of your lamp depending on your needs or wants, such as brighter light in the morning and dimmer light towards the end of the evening. The dimming effect allows you to have more control over a room’s ambience, and can also be a good energy-saving measure.

How to change a light bulb

It takes one person to change a light bulb. In order to change a light bulb safely, first check that the light is definitely switched off and that the bulb is no longer hot. Make sure you can reach the bulb comfortably, by using a stool or a ladder if necessary, and remove the bulb from the socket. How you remove the bulb will depend on the bulb fitting - a screw fitting can simply be twisted anticlockwise until loosened, whereas a bayonet fitting will need to be pulled upwards slightly first, and then turned anticlockwise until it releases.

How to dispose of light bulbs

Energy saving bulbs and LEDs should be recycled at a recycling centre. Older incandescent bulbs and halogen bulbs cannot be recycled and should be placed in your normal household waste bin. Everyday low energy bulbs can often be recycled at local supermarkets, so you don’t necessarily need to make a trip to the tip.

Who invented the light bulb?

Thomas Edison is often credited with the invention of the light bulb in 1879, because he was the first to create a light bulb which was both scientifically and commercially viable. However, many other inventors also played a part along the way:

Alessandro Volta invented the voltaic pile (an early version of incandescent lighting)
Humphrey Davy produced the world’s first electric lamp
Warren de la Rue developed an efficient light bulb using platinum but high costs prevented it from being commercially viable
Joseph Swan received a UK patent for a light bulb design that was long-lasting but impractical for everyday use
Thomas Edison improved Swan’s design by tweaking the filament to work with a smaller current, producing a long-lasting bulb that was feasible for use by the masses. 

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