A Light Emitting Diode (LED) is a two lead semi-conductor light source. There are hundreds of different types of LED bulbs available from a large amount of different light bulb manufacturers.  Although it has taken a period for the price of LED bulbs to reach the point where they can be mass produced they are now at the point where it is worth paying the small amount extra over less energy efficient traditional light bulbs or CFL lamps (Compact fluorescent or low energy).  

GLS Traditional Bulb or LED Bulb comparison

The main advantages of LED bulbs is they use less electricity because they are more energy efficient than other technologies and their life span is longer. Not only do  they represent greater value for money over a non LED bulb that lasts a shorter length of time on average, but also there is a saving in maintenance costs as lamps are changed less frequently. 

When looking for what LED light bulb to buy it is important to try to think in Lumens rather than watts. 

Types Of LED Bulbs – (Just the popular ones)

Below are a few examples of traditional shape light bulbs that are now available in the same shape and size as LED;

GLS (General Lighting Service) LED Light Bulbs

  • The traditional light bulb shape, suitable throughout the home, dimmable or non dimmable. 
  • Pearl (frosted) or clear with an LED filament, and white or antique bronze effect. 
  • Lumens 500 – 1000lm



Candle LED Light Bulbs

  • LED filament technology and is almost identical in appearance  to a classic incandescent light bulb.  Non-dimmable.   Found in many decorative light fittings.
  • Pearl (frosted) or clear with an LED filament, and white or antique bronze effect. 
  • Lumens 250 – 500lm


 LED Candle Bulb

R39, R50, R63, R80  LED Reflector Light Bulbs

  • Found in desk lamps, downlights , light fittings where there is a reflector at the back

    The diameter of the bulb is in the title;
    • R39 - 39mm
    • R50 - 50mm
    • R63 – 63mm
    • R80 – 80mm
  • Lumens 500 – 1000lm


 LED R63 Reflector Bulb

Low Voltage 12v MR16 LED Lamp

  • 12v via a 12v low voltage transformer.  Suitable for downlighters, both standard or fire rated.  Not dimmable
  • Lumens 250 - 500lm


 MR16 12v Low Voltage LED Reflector Lamp

GU10 240v LED Lamp

  • Suitable for downlighters, both standard or fire rated.  Not dimmable
  • Lumens 250 - 500lm


 GU10 240v Reflector LED Lamp

T8 LED Glass Tubes

  • Retrofit for fluorescent tubes. 
  • 40 000 hour life with no discoloration
  • Available in 2ft, 3ft, 4ft, 5ft or 6ft
  • Lumens 800 - 3000lm


 T8 Tubular Glass LED, Fluorescent retrofit

Which Types Of LED Bulb To Buy For The Home

The most common types are the GLS and Candle bulbs shown above.  These are what is normally found in ceiling pendant lights, floor lights and desk lights.  If there are downlighters in the ceiling then the most common will be either MR16 low voltage reflectors or GU10 240v reflectors, also shown above.  Normally in the home, outside of kitchens and bathrooms it is better to go for ‘Warm White’.  This is expressed in ‘Kelvin’ between 2800 and 3300k. Have a look at this article on Lightbulb colour for more information on colour.

Which Types Of LED Bulb To Buy For The Kitchen And Bathroom

There can be a whole host of different LED bulbs found in the kitchens and bathrooms. Recessed downlighters are common, normally the bulb is MR16 low voltage reflectors or GU10 240v reflectors.  Then for task lighting and accent lighting under pelmet lights and plinth lights are used.  These can be tubular bulbs or LED strips which are self-adhesive and not renewable.  One thing to note about kitchens and bathrooms is that it is the choice of the home owner to use warm white light (expressed in ‘Kelvin’ between 2800 and 3300k) to create a warm, calming soothing light or a cool white light between 3500k and 5000k to create a crisp, clean, bright light. In both rooms. Have a look at this article on Lightbulb colour for more information on colour.

This is a brief selection of the more popular shapes.  LEDs are now available to buy in most traditional bulb shapes that are available.  Have a look in the bulb section of the website to see what types are available and feel free to contact us if you would like more information