Light bulb - what types are there?

The world of the various bulbs is so unmanageable that you can hardly find your way around. Which types of light bulbs there are today, which properties they have and which sockets and fittings are standardized, you will therefore find clearly explained in this article.

Types of lamps

Basically, you can first classify lamps into "big" categories:

  • classic light bulbs (prohibited today)
  • halogen lamps
  • Energy saving lamps
  • Led Lamps

Classic lightbulb

Since 2012 there has been a ban in the EU for this type of lamp, which has been used unchanged for over 100 years. They are no longer available in the trade. The reason for this is their inefficiency:

Classic bulbs consume vast amounts of electricity, as they turn only about 5% of the absorbed energy into light, the rest is lost as waste heat. Modern bulbs require almost 80% less electricity to produce the same amount of light.

halogen lamps

Halogen lamps are in principle only light bulbs with a special protective gas filling. This protective gas filling (from halogens such as bromine or iodine) makes it possible to heat up the filament stronger and thus lighten brighter. However, they are no more efficient in operation than conventional incandescent lamps.

They are currently not banned, but with 2018 but then finally a ban on high-voltage halogen lamps. They are then replaced by LED bulbs.

Energy saving lamps

Energy-saving lamps are so-called compact fluorescent lamps - that is, they work in principle similar to a neon tube. They are still widespread but have some serious drawbacks that should not be overlooked.

Led Lamps

LEDs work with special diodes - so-called light emitting diodes (hence the name LED). Light is generated here with a semiconductor that has an electron-rich and an electron-poor side. When the voltage is applied, the electrons migrate from one side to the other, the energy emitted during the subsequent recombination process then being visible as light radiation.

Standard socket types for light bulbs

Each light bulb must fit into a specific lamp socket (screw socket) or plug connection. Accordingly, there are certain standardized sizes called letter-number combinations.

In the screwed versions, these are:

  • E14 (14 mm diameter at the bottom of the lamp)
  • B15 (15 mm diameter at the bottom of the lamp)
  • E27 (27 mm diameter at the bottom of the lamp)
  • B22 (22 mm diameter at the bottom of the lamp)
  • E40 (40 mm diameter at the bottom of the lamp)

With halogen illuminants there are different connectors, which can also look different. The number here indicates the distance between the two plugs.

  • GU10
  • G9 or GU9 (both terms are common)
  • GU6, 35 or GY6, 35 (both terms are common)
  • GU5,3
  • GU4 or G4 (both terms are common)

Tips & Tricks

When buying a light bulb, you can simply follow the code of the socket. If you can no longer see it on the old lamp, all you have to do is measure it.

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