Lighting Fixture Basics

Using the wrong bulb is a fairly common problem, but choosing a light that fits your fixture is a simple, efficient and affordable home improvement.

  • Flood and Spot Lights: For recessed light fixtures and track lighting, floods project a wide beam of general light and spots produce a narrow beam for accent lighting. If standard A-shape bulbs are mistakenly used, 40% of the light is trapped inside the fixture.
  • 3-Way Lights: When using 3-Way table and floor lamps, bulbs can provide three levels of easily controllable light. A low setting saves energy, medium is for general lighting and high is perfect for specific tasks like reading.
  • Globe Lights: Globes add a decorative flair and work great in bathroom vanity fixtures and hanging pendants.
  • Garage Door Opener Lights: Using light bulbs specified for garage door openers is very important, since they are designed to withstand shock and vibration.
  • Fan Lights: A fan light bulb is designed to fit comfortably inside the fixture and can withstand the constant vibration of ceiling fans.
  • Appliance Lights: Refrigerators and ovens need lights designed to hold up against shock vibration and have special basing cement to ensure long life in extreme temperatures.
  • Halogen Capsules: Use halogen capsules, which are tiny bulbs with pins, for under cabinet lighting, task lights and outdoor landscape lighting. They are available in 12 and 120 volt versions, with the base numbers representing pin spacing in millimeters.
  • Bug Lights: A special yellow coating on bug lights minimizes attractiveness to flying insects.
  • Night Lights: To provide a small amount of light in a dark room, use small long-life bulbs designed to fit inside night light fixtures.
  • Compact Florescent Non-Integrated (PL) : A special yellow coating on bug lights minimizes attractiveness to flying insects.