Light Fixtures and Light Bulbs: Which Is More Important?
The debate has gone on for years: is the bulb or the fixture more important? Many people only think about the fixture when decorating their space. Very few take into consideration the actual light that will be produced by the bulb used within those very fixtures. Of course, before you can begin to understand whether the bulb or the light fixture is more important, you need to know the basics. Light Fixtures The fixture is the 'butter for the bread' (i.e., the light bulb). It is the decorative piece that houses the item that actually produces the light you use. Keeping that in mind, you probably still think that your fixtures are more important than the actual bulbs you use. Many fixtures can be used with a variety of bulbs. For example, any particular table lamp can accommodate either an energy efficient compact fluorescent (CFL) bulb or a traditional incandescent bulb. However, always check with the manufacturer to ensure that your fixture can handle the bulb you are about to use in it. Otherwise, serious electrical issues could result. The Real Focal Point: Light Bulbs Different bulbs produce different types of light. For example, the incandescent bulb is favored for producing warm, cozy lighting. The vast majority of light fixtures, including floor lamps, table lamps and ceiling fixtures, can be used together with an incandescent bulb. On the other hand, halogen bulbs produce a clean, bright white, and typically uses less wattage to produce the same amount of light. Regardless of the wattage, the main difference between these two bulbs is that one produces a warm tone while the other produces a cooler tone. To put it more simply, light bulbs are the variable and light fixtures are the constant. Looking at a fixture that can use either incandescent or halogen bulbs, the only difference is that of the color rendering of the bulbs. No matter what fixture you use, the color of the lighting is entirely dependent upon the light bulb itself. Other popular types of light bulbs include compact fluorescents (cool light), tungsten-halogen (cool light), xenons (cool light), regular fluorescents (cool or warm, depending on the bulb) and so forth. In short, remember that many fixtures can accommodate a variety of different light bulbs. It's important to focus on what type of lighting you want and then find a fixture that can accommodate a bulb that will achieve that look for you. Lighting is all about the actual light bulb and what kind of coloring it produces when you turn it on, rather than about the visual aesthetics of the fixtures themselves. In the end, the fixture is only as beautiful as the light bulb it uses!