Many have a preference for a particular type of lighting. Some prefer incandescent light while others like fluorescent. Gaining recent popularity are LEDs and CFL (Compact Fluorescent Light) bulbs. Incandescent bulbs get their name from the fact that they literally burn.
Incandescence means to glow with heat. Inside the bulb, there is a partial vacuum with a tungsten filament inside it. When electricity is forced through the wire, it the moving electrons encounter resistance from the filament. This causes the the filament to heat up to the point where it glows. The inner coating of the bulb diffuses the brightness of the light that the filament produces.
Some bulbs do have clear glass, but this only changes the look, and not the way the bulb operates. The idea behind the light bulb is to simulate the wavelength of the rays given off by the sun. The main factor in determining this is the sun's surface temperature, which is about 6,000 Kelvin. In Celsius, that would about 5,700 degrees. The formula is K = C + 273.
The more commonly known measurement would be 10,300F. This transfers to light bulbs in something known as color temperature. Bulbs for the interior will be a bit more bluish than the yellow of the sun. This means that the color temperature will be a bit less also. Color temperature is not to be confused with actual temperature. When an incandescent bulb glows, it will be anywhere from 120F-200F or more.
To get a feel for how hot that is, water boils at 220F or 100C. Fluorescent bulbs are different so they do not give out as much heat. Fluorescent bulbs are made up of a vapor, usually consisting of mercury and small amounts of a few other gases, and some electrodes. One end of the electrode receives some voltage, which is then propelled toward the other end.
Along the way, it makes contact with the mercury atoms. This gives energy to the mercury atoms, which is released as the light we see. Very little energy is wasted during this process, and that is the reason that little heat is produced by these bulbs. For this reason, fluorescent bulbs are a much more efficient form of light. This means that they produce the same amount of energy as what is put into them. When the filament is burning it will give off some light.
The light given off is much less than the heat it produces. The problem for you is that you are only getting a fraction of light for the energy you pay for to produce it. Fluorescents have always been known to produce a different looking light than incandescents. This is because they operate at a different color temperature and spectrum.
Before CFLs came along, fluorescent bulbs have been reserved for use in places such as garages and basements. You will pay about 3-10 times less for an incandescent bulb than you will for a fluorescent. It's up to you to decide which is better for you, paying less for a bulb that doesn't last as long (750-1000 hours), or paying more for a bulb that will last longer (6,000-15,000). Your overall savings for fluorescent bulbs will be about 70%. this includes the electric bill and the initial purchase price. Many people have debated the effects of various types of light bulbs on the environment.
When compared to other factors, such as auto exhaust and industrial gases, it really has no impact at all. Actually, the amount is negligible and isn't a point to consider. So after all of this, the type of bulb you choose will be determined by a number of factors, mostly personal preference. This and your budget will be the biggest factors, at least until you learn about LEDs.
Moses Wright loves working on DIY Home improvement project during his free time. He provide more tips and resources on DIY lighting home scheme, Incandescent and Fluorescent Lightings on his web site.