Lighting probably isn’t something you think about on a daily basis, but it’s a big part of our everyday lives. Good lighting is especially important as it can affect how a room looks and feels, and can ultimately affect how you look and feel. Choosing the right light bulb for your lighting fixture is one of the ways you can control the vibe of a room, so you want to make sure you’re picking out the right one. Some bulbs give off more of a blue-hued glow while traditional incandescent bulbs emit... more of a yellow-tinged light.
There are also many other considerations for choosing a light bulb, of course. How long it lasts, how eco-friendly it is, and whether the wattage of the bulb is appropriate for your lamp or light fixture and the room.
To help you get started, here are the six best light bulbs on the market now.
If you want to go for the latest technology in your light bulb, opt for LED, which stands for “light emitting diode.” It used to be that these bulbs were only for specialty lamps, but nowadays these bulbs can fit into the standard screw-in connector featured in most lamps and light sockets.
While the bulbs are longer-lasting and more energy efficient than your standard incandescent bulb, they focus their light in one direction as opposed to diffusing around a room. This makes them great for... lighting up a specific space. They are ideal in reading lamps, under cabinet lighting, and as task lights. Plus, they don’t heat up as much as incandescent bulbs do during operation.
This particular bulb is a great option if you’re looking for a quality LED bulb for your home. It can replace a standard 60-watt bulb and save you an average of $678 over the course of it’s life when you figure that the average lifespan of an LED bulb is more than 18 years and it only costs about a dollar per year to operate. Customers have been satisfied with its great amount of evenly distributed light as well as the longevity of the bulb. Some have said that the light is whiter than they would have liked, but if you’re looking for something that will produce a daylight effect, this is a good choice. One of the only other drawback is that it doesn’t work with your dimmer switch.
Here’s another 60 Watt bulb that has been getting great reviews from customers. The product is available in two different styles: soft light, which gives off a warmer and more cozy vibe that’s perfect for a more relaxed mood (great for your living room and bedroom lamps), and daylight, which has the look of natural sunlight, keeping you awake and invigorated when it’s switched on (great for places you need to stay alert in, such as your home office.)
This product is said to have a lifespan of... 10+ years, and is estimated to save you about $60 in energy costs over those years compared to traditional incandescent lights. The majority of customers have been happy with the quality of the bulbs, especially with the reasonable price point. They’ve been mostly satisfied with the performance and amount of light they emit, although just a word of caution, some have reported issues with bulbs flickering over time.
CFL stands for compact fluorescent bulbs, and they’re known for their energy efficiency and long-lasting power compared to incandescent. You can use them in place of incandescent bulbs and they’ll ultimately save you money since you won’t have to replace them as often. One thing to note about CFLs: To help them last longer, leave them on for at least 15 minutes or longer each time you turn them on. This will maximize the bulbs lifespan.
This CFL bulb from GE is a best seller in its category and... lasts as long as eight incandescent bulbs. It’s also Energy Star rated and doesn’t flicker when it turns on like many other CFL bulbs do. The majority of customers who have purchased this have been satisfied, with many praising the quality, longevity, and value of the bulb. Note that you shouldn’t use these with dimmers though. And like all CFL bulbs, these need to be properly recycled when they burn out. Contact your city or town’s waste management department for instructions.
As you’ve read above, incandescent bulbs tend to use more energy and burn out more quickly, but many people prefer using them because they give the room a warm glow and can be complementary to skin tones. Because incandescent bulbs were what most people are familiar with, LED or CFL bulbs can seem harsh or stark by comparison. They also have some other added benefits—they can be used with a dimmer and are less expensive to purchase initially. If you prefer to use incandescent, this one from GE... is a great option. It’s a 3-way light bulb with 50/100/150 watts and is rated to last for 1,500 hours.
One customer who’s a decorator praised these bulbs for use with certain color schemes, saying it looks great in rooms with cool colors like blues and greens. Others have said it gives off good light in general and the bulbs stay fresh for several months after you buy them if you want to stock up. Some have had issues with the bulbs burning out sooner than desired, but the majority of users would recommend them.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
Looking for an energy efficient light bulb that isn’t too expensive? This one from Philips gives you good quality and longevity for less than $5 per bulb. The estimated yearly cost of running one is only a dollar, and it has an average lifespan of 10,000 hours. Just think of all the money you’ll save not having to buy so many replacement bulbs.
Customers have been extremely satisfied with the price and the performance of this LED bulb. Many have said it gives a nice soft light, and it perfectly... emulates an incandescent bulb. While some reviewers have complained about a slight buzzing noise when the light is turned on and the fact that it doesn’t last quite as long as more expensive LED bulbs, it gets the job done at a very reasonable price.
Halogen light bulbs are very similar to incandescent ones. While they do get much hotter than traditional incandescent bulbs, they also give off more of a natural daylight glow. You’ll frequently find halogen bulbs being used in lamps. But because of their high temperatures and the possibility of them becoming a fire hazard, many people choose not to use them. If you do have a lamp that takes a halogen bulb, you’ll be glad to know they are a bit more energy efficient than a traditional bulb and... can last up to three times longer.
This bulb from CBconcept is a good buy if you’re looking for a halogen with a G9 base. Customers who have purchased these have been satisfied with their longevity and value. The bulbs are easy to install, just be sure not to touch the bulb directly with your bare hands as the oil can cause it to heat up quickly and explode — a characteristic of all halogen bulbs. Some have said the color isn’t exactly what they wanted — “a little too yellow for me,” as one customer described. But if you’re looking for a quality halogen bulb, this is a good choice.
Outdoor flood lights can help keep the area around your home and yard well-lit and secure, which makes it important to go with a reliable one. This indoor/outdoor flood light from Feit Electric is weatherproof and can be dimmed. It’s also mercury-free and while the LED can replace a 90-watt bulb, it only uses 18 watts, which can save you up to $200 a year on energy costs. Bonus: It has a lifespan of more than 22 years. You won’t have to worry about it burning out anytime soon.
Most of the... customers have been extremely pleased with the bulb, saying it’s a great value and also provides a lot of light. One even said it’s the best outdoor light they’ve purchased to date. Some customers have reported burnout much sooner than expected but the majority of people have had good luck with the longevity of the bulbs.
Need some more help finding what you're looking for? Read through our best outdoor light bulbs article.
Disclosure: At The Spruce, our expert writers are committed to researching and writing thoughtful and editorially independent reviews of the best products for your life and your family. If you like what we do, you can support us through our chosen links, which earn us a commission. Learn more about our review process.