The 13 Best Light Bulbs of 2022 for All Your Household Lighting Needs

The Amazon Basics A19 LED Dimmable Light Bulb is our top pick for its economical price and low energy consumption.

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Light bulbs may seem like a tiny detail in the scope of your home’s contents, but they can make a big impact on the feel and illumination of a room, depending on their qualities. When it comes to selecting the best light bulbs for your home, you’ll want to consider factors such as each bulb’s wattage, lumens, color temperature, and shape and base codes.

To find out what all these terms mean and what users might need in a light bulb, as well as some of the factors to consider when choosing the best light bulb for every part of the home, we reached out to several lighting experts. 

Dan Mock, vice president of operations at Mister Sparky, recommends opting for LED bulbs. “Not only do they last much longer than incandescent bulbs, but they also use more than 80% less electricity,” he says.

For smart light bulbs, Ryan Hruska, head of product for smart lighting at Ring, says that it’s important to consider what smart home applications you’ll want the bulbs to work with. “You might want to control your lighting through your smart speaker or have your lights turn on when your video doorbell detects someone at the front door,” he says. Most smart bulbs have the capacity to do this via smart devices, such as those that work with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.

Hruska also mentions that “California’s Title 20 now requires 90 CRI (color rendering index) for standalone bulbs, which indicates a very high quality bulb.” This means that several light bulb options cannot be shipped to California under this law. 

As our top product recommendation for the best light bulb, the Amazon Basics LED Dimmable Light Bulb comes in an economical pack of six that each offer over 10,000 hours of light. The bulb only uses 9 watts of electricity per hour, and, what’s more, it’s also dimmable making it a perfect option for the living room or bedroom. There’s also a CEC-compliant option that can be shipped to California. 

Here are the best light bulbs.

Best Overall: Amazon Basics LED Dimmable Light Bulb (Pack of 6)

amazon-basics-led-dimmable-light-bulb-pack-of-6

Amazon

Why You Should Get It:

  • Uses only 9 watts of energy per hour
  • Dimmable
  • Economical pack of six

Keep in Mind:

  • Doesn’t ship to California
  • You need an appropriate switch to operate the dimming feature

This economical pack of LED light bulbs from the Amazon Basic’s range is our overall top pick for the best light bulbs you can buy, and they’re suitable for practically any room of the house. There are three colors available—daylight, soft white, and white—so you can choose the shade you like the best, and, unlike some other LED lights, these switch on to their full brightness immediately so there’s no waiting around for illumination.

Each bulb has a lifespan of 10,000 hours and can last over nine years with three hours of use per day. The bulbs are extremely economical to run, too; the 60-watt incandescent-equivalent bulb uses up to 9 watts of power per hour—a far cry from those incandescent bulbs of old that would get your dad running around the house after you, switching off all the lights. They’re also dimmable if you have a fixture with a dimmer.

Though these bulbs cannot be shipped to California, there is a set of CEC-compliant bulbs from the same product line that can be sold in the state, which costs a few dollars more.

Price at time of publish: $15

Product Details:

  • Wattage: 6 to 15, depending on wattage selection
  • Color Temperature: 2700 to 5000 kelvin, depending on color temperature
  • Lumens: 450 to 1600 lumens, depending on wattage option
  • Shape Code: A19
  • Base Code: E26
  • Bulbs in Pack: Six

Best LED: SANSI 60W Equivalent LED Light Bulbs (Pack of 6)

sansi-60w-equivalent-led-light-bulbs-pack-of-6

Sansi

Why You Should Get It:

  • Provides 900 lumens at only 9 watts
  • Five-year warranty
  • Comes in a pack of 6

Keep in Mind:

  • Not dimmable

With a 22.5-year lifespan, these LED light bulbs from Sansi are highly efficient, cost-effective, and quite technologically advanced. For instance, the optical lens offers a high light transmission via several LED chips, and the bulb is flame retardant. There are four different light color choices, including daylight, warm white, soft white, and cool white, and the bulbs are guaranteed never to flicker or make any noise. 

There’s a patented ceramic technology (as opposed to aluminum sported by many other bulbs) with insulation materials for extra safety, and the body’s design is hollow for higher and more efficient heat dissipation. This basically means that the bulb will never overheat or become a fire hazard. 

These are the best light bulbs for anyone looking for a long lasting, powerful, and economic option, and the company is so sure of its product, it offers a five-year warranty. Just keep in mind that these bulbs are not dimmable.

Price at time of publish: $16

Product Details:

  • Wattage: 9
  • Color Temperature: 5000 kelvin
  • Lumens: 900
  • Shape Code: A19
  • Base Code: E26
  • Bulbs in Pack: Six

Best Smart: Ring A19 Smart LED Bulb Starter Kit (Pack of 2)

ring-a19-smart-led-bulb-starter-kit-pack-of-2

Ring

Why You Should Get It:

  • Hands-free operation via your smart device or voice activation
  • Compatible with a timer or motion sensors
  • Dimmable
  • Includes two bulbs and a bridge

Keep in Mind:

  • Expensive if you’re not planning to use the smart features

Smart bulbs are super handy for switching the lights on and off without having to get up from the couch, and you can even activate them remotely when you’re not at home—an extra safety perk. These Ring A19s efficiently deliver a high-quality light, and they are 90 CRI and Title 20 compliant, too. They can link directly to sensors built into other lights, like the Ring Pathlight, so when motion is detected from someone on your walkway, your porch light can turn on in under half a second.

You can even configure the bulb and video doorbell to work together so the light turns on whenever the doorbell detects motion for both safety and illumination at night. To do so, you'd need a Ring Bridge. This is built into the Echo (4th gen or later) or the Echo Show 10 (3rd gen or later), or you can purchase it separately. The A19 Smart LED Bulbs can be put in the front porch light fixture, too. 

They’re our top pick for the best light bulb with smart capabilities as they’re rated for use in damp locations, closed fixtures, and other covered areas where the bulb won’t be directly exposed to water. They also allow you to set schedules for the porch light to go on via the Ring app. Given these capabilities, they’re worth the more expensive cost, but if you don’t plan to fully make use of their smart features, there are more affordable LED bulbs out there.

Price at time of publish: $60

Product Details:

  • Wattage: 8.5
  • Color Temperature: 3500 kelvin
  • Lumens: 800
  • Shape Code: A19
  • Base Code: E26
  • Bulbs in Pack: Two

Best Dimmable: Linkind A19 LED Dimmable Light Bulbs (Pack of 6)

linkind-a19-led-dimmable-light-bulbs-pack-of-6

Amazon

Why You Should Get It:

  • Fully dimmable for creating ambiance
  • Economical
  • Available in different colors, wattages, and multipacks

Keep in Mind:

  • Only for indoor use
  • Don’t last as long as non-dimmable bulbs (13 years instead of 20+)

These great-value bulbs from Linkind offer 800 lumens of bright light at just 9.5 watts in the 60-watt incandescent equivalent bulbs. The dimming feature allows for smoothly reducing the light intensity with no flickering or stalling, and they’re perfect for creating a cozy and ambient atmosphere in the living room or bedroom. You can lower them all the way down to just 10% brightness for movie night or up to the full 100% when you just need the lights to be on full blast.

The bulb effortlessly illuminates an entire room, as it has a 230-degree light beam angle to cover every corner. They are UL listed and have an FCC certification, meaning that they’re safe to use and meet all necessary quality and safety standards. These bulbs are available in soft white, daylight, cool white, and warm white and come in packs of 12 and 24, too. 

It’s worth noting that these are for indoor use only and that dimmable bulbs may not last as long as non-dimmable light bulbs. If you won’t pair these with a dimmer, we suggest getting non-dimmable bulbs.

Price at time of publish: $12

Product Details:

  • Wattage: 5.7 to 15.5, depending on wattage selection
  • Color Temperature: 2700 to 5000 kelvin, depending on color temperature
  • Lumens: 480 to 1600, depending on wattage selection
  • Shape Code: A16
  • Base Code: E26
  • Bulbs in Pack: Six

Best Incandescent: GE 97494 Lighting 3-Way Light Bulb (Pack of 4)

ge-97494-lighting-3-way-light-bulb-pack-of-4

Amazon

Why You Should Get It:

  • Low initial cost
  • High light output
  • Pack of four

Keep in Mind:

  • More expensive to run with a shorter lifespan than LEDs
  • Only for indoor use

Though they’re not as energy efficient as LED bulbs, incandescent bulbs offer the warmth and traditional light that some people still prefer. The GE three-way light bulb is one of the best incandescent light bulbs you can buy. The bulbs come in a pack of four, offer a soft white light, and their three-way capacity means they can work as either 50-, 100-, or 150-watt bulbs. They’re also a bit nicer to look at than some of the LED bulbs available with their traditional light bulb look. 

Some buyers feel that these traditional bulbs brighten up a room better than LED light bulbs, but, due to the fact that they’re not as cost-effective, many opt to save these for the dining room or rooms that require a more intimate or romantic kind of light. This pack is also quite a bit cheaper than some other options, and they last for a good few months each with reasonable use. 

Price at time of publish: $13

Product Details:

  • Wattage: 150
  • Color Temperature: 2800 kelvin
  • Lumens: 2155
  • Shape Code: A21
  • Base Code: E26
  • Bulbs in Pack: Four

Best Fluorescent: Xtricity Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb (Pack of 8)

xtricity-compact-fluorescent-light-bulb-pack-of-8

Amazon

Why You Should Get It:

  • Bright, consistent light
  • Great for anywhere, including desk lamps
  • RoHS and FCC compliant and UL listed

Keep in Mind:

  • Not as energy efficient as LED light bulbs
  • Not dimmable
  • Needs to be taken to recycling center when disposing as it contains mercury

If you want a bright light for the kitchen, craft room, or any other room where clear visibility is a must, fluorescents are the way to go. These energy-efficient bulbs from Xtricity are compact in size, have a good lumen output, offer a long life, and are easy to fit. They are around four times more energy efficient than your regular incandescent bulbs and give off way less heat. 

They also last a lot longer than incandescents, at 10,000 hours each. They come in shades of daylight, cool white, and soft white, depending on your preference, and are available in packs of two, four, six, and eight. These general all-purpose bulbs can be used anywhere indoors, including a kitchen or bathroom but they’re also ideal for using in a desk lamp.

Price at time of publish: $27

Product Details:

  • Wattage: 13
  • Color Temperature: 2700 to 5000 kelvin, depending on color temperature
  • Lumens: 900 
  • Shape Code: T2 spiral (A19 replacement)
  • Base Code: E26
  • Bulbs in Pack: Eight

Best Outdoor: Lepro Dusk to Dawn Light Bulbs Outdoor Lighting (Pack of 2)

lepro-dusk-to-dawn-light-bulbs-outdoor-lighting-pack-of-2

Amazon

Why You Should Get It:

  • Dusk to dawn sensor operation
  • Great for safety
  • Outdoor and indoor use

Keep in Mind:

  • Not dimmable
  • Only two color choices
  • A bit pricier than other options

For lights that turn on automatically, you usually need to have an appropriate fixture with a motion sensor. Not so with these light bulbs from Lepro. These dusk-to-dawn bulbs have their own sensor built into the actual body of the bulb, turning any old light fixture into a motion-activated one. 

Their dusk to dawn activation means they will automatically switch on once nightfall descends, and there’s no timer you need to set either—one less thing to worry about. Each bulb offers up to 15,000 hours of runtime. They’re easy to install, and have a smooth, round appearance, making them a good option for anyone who wants to go bare bulb, too. The bulbs are also moisture-proof and are offered in two color temperatures, daylight white and warm white.

The only downsides are that they’re not dimmable and don’t qualify for shipment to California.

Price at time of publish: $12

Product Details:

  • Wattage: Nine
  • Color Temperature: 2700 to 5000 kelvin, depending on color temperature
  • Lumens: 806
  • Shape Code: A19
  • Base Code: E26
  • Bulbs in Pack: Two

Best for Bathrooms: EcoSmart A19 Non-Dimmable LED Light Bulb (60-watt equivalent)

EcoSmart 60-Watt Equivalent A19 Non-Dimmable Basic LED Light Bulb

Home Depot

Why You Should Get It:

  • Eight in a pack
  • 13.6 years lifespan
  • Cost effective

Keep in Mind:

  • Indoor use only 
  • Not smart bulbs
  • Not dimmable

Whether you’re performing your nightly skincare routine, applying makeup, or cleaning the bathroom, a good, bright light in the powder room is a must. These Ecosmart LED bulbs are the equivalent of a 60-watt incandescent light and offer a soft white light that is impressively bright. They come in an eight-pack, meaning you’ll likely have some spares once you outfit the bathroom fixtures. 

Made for indoor use, these bulbs are energy efficient at only 9.5 watts, each with a runtime of over 15,000 hours with reasonable use. They’re estimated to cost you just $1.14 per year if you use them for three hours a day, and they’ll last for around 13 to 14 years. These bulbs are bright enough to even be used in a crafting room, according to some users, and they cast the perfect, non-yellow light for clear visibility for performing detail work.

Just keep in mind that, despite the brand’s name being Ecosmart, these are not smart bulbs.

Price at time of publish: $20

Product Details:

  • Wattage: 9.5
  • Color Temperature: 5000 kelvin
  • Lumens: 840
  • Shape Code: A19
  • Base Code: E26
  • Bulbs in Pack: Eight

Best for Kitchens: Energetic Smarter Lighting BR30 Indoor Recessed Light Bulb (Pack of 6)

energetic-smarter-lighting-br30-indoor-recessed-light-bulb-pack-of-6

Amazon

Why You Should Get It:

  • Large head for wide beam angle
  • Shatter resistant
  • Recessed design

Keep in Mind:

  • Pricey
  • Can’t be shipped to California

With a 3.6-inch head that can provide a 110-degree light beam each, these bulbs can brightly illuminate every corner of your kitchen space. There are six of these bulbs in the pack, and they’re able to recess into ceilings for a smoother overall appearance. They’re also dimmable and can smoothly lower down to just 10% and go back up to 100% without any flickering, making them an eye-friendly option.

They instantly turn on with no waiting around, and—possibly their most impressive feature—they’re shock, shatter, and vibration resistant, too. Though they’re UL listed, they can’t be shipped to California. They’re available in three color temperatures: soft white, cool white, and daylight. The manufacturer is a small business based in the USA and provides a two-year warranty for these light bulbs.

Price at time of publish: $16

Product Details:

  • Wattage: 11
  • Color Temperature: 2700 to 5000 kelvin, depending on the color temperature
  • Lumens: 900
  • Shape Code: BR30
  • Base Coded: E26
  • Bulbs in Pak: Six

Best for Bedrooms: GHome LB1 Smart Light Bulbs (Pack of 4)

ghome-lb1-smart-light-bulbs-pack-of-4

Amazon

Why You Should Get It:

  • Can be operated via a smartphone or tablet
  • Can be voice activated with Alexa or Google Assistant
  • No hub required

Keep in Mind:

  • Require a smartphone/tablet and access to a secure 2.4 GHz(only) WiFi network
  • Not worth it if you don’t plan on using the smart features

Smart light bulbs are super convenient for operating your lights without having to get up, but they can often be on the pricier side. These LB1 smart light bulbs from GHome Smart are just a fraction of the cost of some of their competitor models and there are four in each pack, too. You can switch the lights on or off or dim them via your phone or tablet—or you could ask Alexa or Google Assistant to do it for you.

No hub is required either, so if you haven’t fully automated your home, you can still use these (as long as you have a smart device and WiFi). You can even schedule them to come on at certain times via the compatible app. The fact that they’re dimmable makes them a perfect fit for every room in the house as they can create just the right ambiance for any occasion, but we especially like them for bedrooms.

Price at time of publish: $20

Product Details:

  • Wattage: 8
  • Color Temperature: 2700 kelvin
  • Lumens: 800
  • Shape Code: A19
  • Base Code: E26
  • Bulbs in Pack: Four

Best Vintage-Style: HUDSON BULB CO. Vintage Incandescent Edison Light Bulbs (Pack of 4)

hudson-bulb-co-vintage-incandescent-edison-light-bulbs-pack-of-4

Amazon

Why You Should Get It:

  • Beautiful for displaying
  • Provides a warm, ambient, and romantic light
  • Dimmable

Keep in Mind:

  • More delicate than other options
  • Not energy efficient

Light bulbs are not often thought of as a piece of art made for displaying, but these vintage incandescent options from Hudson Bulb Co. are designed for just that. If your light fixture is open or you have chandeliers that prominently feature the bulbs, these 60-watt bulbs with their teardrop design, vintage look, and exposed filament, are just the ticket. They can even be used outdoors. 

The warm light that these Edison light bulbs produce is thought to be better for people at night as opposed to cool temperature bulbs (which is why many mobile phones also have a night-mode) and can help you unwind. They provide an almost candle-like warmth and a relaxing atmosphere ideal for chilling out at the end of the day. What’s more, you can even dim them down to your preference. They might not be the best light bulb option for anyone on a budget, but if style is of high priority, you won’t be disappointed.

Price at time of publish: $17

Product Details:

  • Wattage: 60
  • Color Temperature: 2100 Kelvin
  • Lumens: 230
  • Shape Code: ST58
  • Base Code: E26
  • Bulbs in Pack: Four

Best Colored: Wyze Bulb Color

4.7
Wyze Bulb Color

Amazon

Why You Should Get It:

  • Very bright for a color bulb
  • Offers 16 million colors
  • Can customize sleep routines

Keep in Mind:

  • High cost for just one light bulb
  • Only adjustable via smartphone/tablet
  • Takes time to set up with WiFI and the app

Offering you over 16 million light color options (which you won’t be able to get through in one lifetime), this colorful bulb from Wyze makes a fun addition to any room and is the best light bulb for anyone who loves a bit of color in their life. There are so many things you can do with it. In addition to creating any type of atmosphere for movie nights or parties, you can schedule it to switch on and off randomly throughout the day when you’re on vacation so that it looks like someone is always home.

It has an impressive range of white temperatures from 2700K to 6500K to get just the right white light you desire, and you can even set sleep routines so you can wake to a custom, sun-like light that gradually gets brighter till it’s time to get up. They’re also much cheaper than some other smart bulbs on the market. If you have other Wyze devices, these bulbs integrate very well with them and are the ideal accompaniment to any smart home.

Price at time of publish: $10

Product Details:

  • Wattage: 12
  • Color Temperature: Varies
  • Lumens: 1100
  • Shape Code: A19
  • Base Code: E26
  • Bulbs in Pack: One

Best for Grow Lights: GE Grow Light LED Flood Light Bulb (Pack of 2)

ge-grow-light-led-flood-light-bulb-pack-of-2

Amazon

Why You Should Get It:

  • Highest rating of PPF
  • Lasts for 25,000 hours
  • Produces sun-like nutritional light for plants

Keep in Mind:

  • High initial cost
  • Not dimmable
  • More expensive to run since they’ll be on for more hours than the average light bulb

To help your indoor plants thrive, both during photosynthesis and growth, a good electric grow light is a must. These bulbs provide a full light spectrum that is similar to the sun’s to help your plants stay strong and healthy. Though commonly more expensive than other types of bulbs, this LED flood grow light lasts for up to 25,000 hours. 

Grow lights operate with photosynthesis photo fluxare (PPF) which is measured in micromoles per second, and these LEDs have the highest possible rating available, making them the perfect option to shine on your herbs, indoor vegetable box, or plants. You’ll have to factor in that since grow lights will be running constantly, or at least for 12 hours a day, making them more expensive to run than other lights. However, since they’re LEDs, they’re still much more economical than other types of bulbs.

Price at time of publish: $30

Product Details:

  • Wattage: 9
  • Color Temperature: Not stated
  • Lumens: Not stated
  • Shape Code: BR30
  • Base Code: E26
  • Bulbs in Pack: Two

The Bottom Line

The Amazon Basics LED Dimmable Light Bulb is our top pick for the best light bulb you can buy as it incorporates a mixture of efficiency, high brightness, and value for money. It comes in an affordable pack of six and offers over 10,000 hours of light per bulb. This economical bulb uses a mere 9 watts of electricity an hour, can be used in any room, and is even dimmable for creating the perfect atmosphere, whatever the occasion.

What to Know About Light Bulbs Before Shopping

Wattage

The wattage of a bulb references the amount of energy it uses per hour. “Wattage used to tell customers how bright a bulb is, but the introduction of LED bulbs has made it a less effective way to compare the brightness of different bulbs,” says Ryan Hruska, head of product for smart lighting at Ring. “Bulbs still need to meet the requirements of the fixture it is being used in (you don’t want to use a 100W bulb in a fixture rated for 60W), but LEDs make this easier to do than ever before.”

Lumens

Lumens refer to the amount of a bulb’s brightness and are nowadays considered a great equalizer. Lumens are one of the best ways to compare bulb brightness. “An 800-lumen LED bulb is generally considered the same brightness as a 60W incandescent bulb, and typically uses only 8.5W,” Hruska says.

Color Temperature

A bulb’s color temperature describes the light’s color appearance and is measured in kelvin (K). The most common colors are cool or warm whites. Whatever color you opt for basically comes down to your personal preference. “Some people like a warm, almost yellow white (lower color temperature of 2700 kelvin), whereas others prefer a neutral white of 3500–4000 kelvin,” Hruska says. “It is common to see cool white bulbs in the 5000–6000 kelvin range.”

Shape Code

The shape of a bulb is indicated by a particular code. The most common shape of bulb in the US is the A19, which normally features an E26 screw base. The next most common are Par38 bulbs, which are commonly used in outdoor security floodlights, followed by the BR30, which is used in recessed can fixtures throughout the home. “Shoppers should look for these designations to make sure they purchase the right bulb for their fixture,” Hruska says. 

Base Code 

According to GE Lighting, a bulb’s base code refers to the shape and size of the base of the bulb. For instance, a standard, medium, regular-sized screw-in light bulb base will have an E26 or E27 code. A candelabra will have a smaller screw in base with the code E12. An intermediate bulb has an E17 code, whereas a pin-in base with two points of contact (often called a bi-pin bulb) will be coded as G4 or GU24. Your average twist-and-lock base bulb has the code GU10.

Color Rendering Index

One often overlooked spec of light bulbs is the CRI or Color Rendering Index. Hruska explains that this spec is sometimes referred to as Color Accuracy and measures how well the light source represents colors on a scale of 1 to 100. States like California have begun mandating high CRI for bulbs in regulations like Title 20. An outdoor fixture with a CRI rating of 80 is considered good, but indoors 80 CRI is seen as the minimum acceptable. For standalone bulbs, California’s Title 20 now requires a very high quality rating of 90 CRI.

Your Questions, Answered

How do you dispose of light bulbs?

The process of disposing light bulbs may vary depending on the specific type of bulb. While some are disposable, others, including compact fluorescent lamps (CFL), are considered household hazardous waste, making them difficult to dispose of. “For typical, standard bulbs such as incandescent bulbs, you can simply unscrew them from your light fixture and place them in your regular trash bin,” says Dan Mock, vice president of operations at Mister Sparky. “For LED light bulbs, once these are removed and ready to be disposed of, you can actually recycle them.”

Steven MacDonald, the Managing Director at Scotlight Direct, says that, though modern light bulbs are recyclable, they need to be disposed of properly as they can contain hazardous materials. “The best way to recycle light bulbs such as LED or compact fluorescents is to hand these to electrical retailers who offer a free recycling service or your local recycling center,” he explains. Check with your local community to see if there are nearby places to recycle these items. Some stores, such as hardware stores, will collect and recycle these bulbs as well. “It would be best if you did not place these in your household waste as they can contain mercury,” he adds.

State Representative Tim Ackert, Owner of Ackert Electric, advises that, though most light non-recyclable bulbs, including LED, incandescent, quartz, and halogen, can be put in your regular trash, fluorescent tube and CFL type lamps should not. “Instead, bring them to disposal locations that accept them,” he says, “including some stores, as well as many local transfer stations. Check out earth911.com to find a location near you.”

Halogen light bulbs are not able to be recycled, so, when it’s time to dispose of them, it is advised to put them in protective packaging in case the glass breaks, and then place them in your household waste bin. 

When it comes to smart bulbs, the glass and metal used in today’s options are recyclable and many stores, like The Home Depot and Best Buy, have in-store recycling for LED bulbs, and local municipalities typically have recycling programs as well.

What is the lifespan of a light bulb?

The lifespan of a light bulb is estimated in hours. You can find this information on the light bulb product box or by contacting the light bulb manufacturer directly.

The average lifespan of an LED light bulb, which is by far the longest lasting type of bulb, is 20,000–40,000 hours. Some LEDs can even reach 50,000 hours, lasting for years and years. A halogen incandescent light bulb’s average lifespan is 1,000–2,000 hours, which is a comparatively short lifespan, but still a marked improvement against incandescent bulbs. 

Incandescent bulbs typically have the shortest life expectancy, clocking in at approximately 1,000 hours. CFLs can last between 8,000 and 20,000 hours, though they take a while to achieve full brightness after turning them on.

“It is always best to check the average lifespan of the light bulb you purchase, as a low number of hours can suggest a poor-quality product,” says MacDonald. Ackert advises, “Fluorescent bulbs can last up to 20,000 hours and are best utilized in places where consistent lighting is needed, such as in offices or more trafficked areas of the home, such as the kitchen.”

In relation to smart bulbs, these are typically of the LED variety and last much longer than other light bulb technologies. The Ring A19 Smart LED Bulb, for instance, is rated for an expected lifespan of 22.8 years based on a usage of three hours per day.

How do you change a broken light bulb?

“The most important thing to do when removing a broken light bulb,” advises Acker, “is to disconnect the electricity. For a lamp, that just means unplugging it, but, for hardwired lighting, you do this by switching off your circuit breaker.” You’ll have to ensure that the electrical current going to the light fitting has been switched off at the fuse box, and that the light switch connected to the light is also set to the off position. For extra safety, “make sure your light is turned off before changing out a bulb, whether your bulb is broken or not,” says Mock.

“If you change a halogen light bulb, you will need to wait around ten minutes for this to cool down,” says MacDonald. “However, LEDs can be changed immediately as the light bulb produces no heat.” You must always use heavy-duty protective gloves when handling light bulbs in case the glass cover breaks, and this is particularly true if attempting to change out an already broken light bulb. Eye goggles should also preferably be worn.

One way to remove a broken bulb, as per MacDonald, is by fixing a set of needle-nose pliers to the base of the cap. While there are actual broken bulb extractor products you can pick up at a hardware store, one of the tried-and-true methods of removing a broken bulb, according to Ackert, is to use a raw potato. Cut it into the approximate shape of the base of the bulb so it fits snugly, then twist it out. If there are any small pieces left over that are attached to the light fixture, the pliers may be used to remove them. You’ll then want to vacuum up the surrounding area, just in case some broken glass has fallen out.

Depending on the type of light bulb you are removing, MacDonald advises that you will then need to either pull, rotate, or screw. Capsule light bulbs should be pulled by gripping the sides with your gloves. For a screw light bulb, you’ll have to screw in the clockwise position until the bulb is disconnected from the light fitting, and for bayonets, push the light bulb towards the ceiling plate and rotate clockwise. Once it’s rotated by a half-turn, you can proceed to pull the light bulb out. Get your replacement light bulb ready and fix the light bulb back into your light fitting, and ensure that this is fixed securely before switching on the fuse box and light switch. 

When it comes to disposing of a broken light bulb, “you’ll want to first wrap it in paper or plastic to make sure none of the broken glass falls out. Then, place it in your trash bin,” says Mock. If you don’t feel comfortable taking care of a broken bulb yourself, “you can contact an electrician or the lighting store from which you bought your bulbs,” suggests Ackert.

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This article was written by Kat de Naoum, who has over ten years of commerce writing experience. Kat is also the commerce editor-at-large at Thomas-Xometry, the leading U.S. online platform for supplier discovery and product sourcing. For this article, Kat reviewed multiple light bulbs, researching factors such as each bulb's wattage, color temperature, lumens, and shape and base codes. She also spoke to Steven MacDonald, the managing director at Scotlight Direct; State Representative Tim Ackert, owner of Ackert Electric; Dan Mock, vice president of operations at Mister Sparky, and Ryan Hruska, Ring’s head of product for smart lighting.

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