Choosing the right light bulbs for your home isn’t always as easy as it seems. There are four primary types of bulbs used in homes in Australia. Let’s take a look at what these are and how they compare on the cost, efficiency and environmentally-sustainable fronts.

Just like any other home improvement and décor trends, home lighting too follows some trends. However, just because a certain type of lighting is in vogue, doesn’t mean it’s always best for your home, your pocket or even the environment.


Knowing exactly which light bulbs you should use in the different indoor and outdoor areas of your home, can go a long way in helping you save on energy costs. In fact, it may also help reduce the number of times you replace them. Here is some information about the different types of light bulbs:

Incandescent lights

These cost much less than all other types of bulbs, but are more expensive to run. Because of their inefficiency and higher running costs, they aren’t recommended for general home lighting. They are more suitable for areas where occasional lighting is required such as bathrooms and laundries etc.

Halogen lights

These have tungsten elements and are more long-lasting and efficient than incandescent bulbs. They are suitable for lighting smaller spaces where focused lighting is required. Using them to light larger spaces results in higher energy consumption; and just like incandescent bulbs, these too are being slowly phased out by our government.

The additional concern is that the high levels of heat they produce, in combination with improper installation & maintenance and poor insulation, makes them the cause of household fires as well. It’s never a good idea to install halogen down lights near structural timber members including timber floor, ceiling or roof beams etc. You also need to keep them away from fibreglass and polyester batts, rock wool, & pulped paper, as these materials are potentially flammable under higher temperatures.

Compact Fluorescent Lamps

These are an energy-efficient solution for residential lighting in Australia and can last for 4-10 times longer than their incandescent counterparts. They use only about 20% of energy to produce the same amount of light. Although CFL bulbs cost a little more initially, they are cheaper to run and last far longer than halogen and incandescents.

Light Emitting Diodes

LED bulbs are an efficient alternative to conventional incandescent and CFLs. They have a higher initial cost, but are far more long-lasting and efficient, which means you get a higher return on investment in the long term. They emit sufficient light, consume significantly less energy and can provide up to 50,000 hours of illumination.

Their low maintenance and longer lifespan make them an excellent option for indoor as well as outdoor applications. Aside from this, they contain no mercury and don’t emit any heat which makes them environment-friendly lighting options. They are cool to the touch, unlike other bulbs that heat up when lit, making them an ideal solution for homes with kids and pets. In fact, since they emit very negligible amounts of heat, you can safely install them near indoor and outdoor plants as well.

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