Known for creating a warm and welcoming ambiance, incandescent light bulbs can be used for subtle accents or to light an entire space. In this guide, we showcase the best incandescent light bulbs you can buy to create the right mood in your home.
Why buy incandescent light bulbs?
The main reason many people still choose incandescent light bulbs over energy-efficient LED bulbs is the warm, pleasant light incandescent bulbs emit. In fact, many people with light sensitivity will illuminate their entire home with incandescent lighting to help prevent eye strain and migraines. Additionally, unlike many types of LED bulbs, incandescent light bulbs are dimmable right out of the box. Dimmable LEDs also require special dimmers, whereas the simplicity of incandescent light bulbs ensures that they will work with nearly any incandescent dimmer on the market, including the one in your home.
What should you look for in incandescent light bulbs?
- Brightness: An incandescent light bulb’s brightness (measured in lumens) will largely determine the best way to utilize it to amazing effect. While low-wattage bulbs are fantastic for accent lighting, there are also plenty of higher-wattage options out there for lighting an entire room. However, especially bright incandescent lighting can be quite costly on your energy bill, so cost-cutters should consider this as well.
- Light Color: Most people who love incandescent lighting appreciate the warm, cozy light that incandescent bulbs are known for. However, in terms of color temperature (measured in kelvins), there is definitely plenty of variety in terms of what different light bulbs will provide. For this reason, be sure to factor in a bulb’s color temperature, bulb color, and product photos to ensure you are purchasing a great lighting option that suits your space.
- Lifespan: Although incandescent light bulbs will not likely outlast harsher LED lighting options, it is still possible to shop around to ensure you are getting the most bang for your buck. While an average lifespan of 1,500 hours is normal for many incandescent light bulbs, an especially-durable one can last even longer.
What is the best way to use incandescent light bulbs?
Since incandescent light bulbs are less energy-efficient than LEDs, many people choose to utilize incandescent light bulbs for subtle accents and mood lighting. Incandescent light bulbs can also be used in tandem with LED bulbs to soften a room’s lighting for a more inviting feel. Of course, there are also plenty of great incandescent light bulbs that can light up entire rooms. However, these will cost you more over time than LED bulbs since they will have to be replaced more often and use more energy.
Brightown Edison Light Bulbs
These vintage Edison light bulbs offer the perfect warm glow for your favorite mood lighting fixtures.
Pros: Sporting a vintage Edison design, these Brightown Edison Light Bulbs are perfect for muted accent lighting or setting a special mood. Their warm white light and amber glass give off a soft amber glow that’s tailor-made for your favorite decorative wall sconce in order to soften the effect of surrounding LED lighting. If you’re looking for incandescent Edison light bulbs that look incredible on a dimmer and offer stable, flicker-free lighting, these are the best of the best.
Cons: While these bulbs are a superb choice for setting a mood in your space, they’re probably not bright enough to adequately illuminate your entire room. Also, these bulbs get very hot, so be careful not to situate them next to things that can be damaged by the heat that they put off.
Bottom Line: When it comes to Edison light bulbs, modern LEDs don’t hold a candle to the vintage appeal of warm incandescent light. These Edison bulbs really stand out in terms of both design and reliability, making them an excellent choice even if they are on the expensive side. If your home is in dire need of warm accent lighting to give it a touch of life, add these bulbs to your shopping list.
SYLVANIA Incandescent Double Life Light Bulbs
These candelabra bulbs score points for their brightness and longevity.
Pros: Featuring impressive brightness, especially when deployed in tandem, these SYLVANIA Incandescent Double Life Light Bulbs are an excellent option for your favorite chandelier. These bulbs stick out from the pack thanks to their impressive lifespan, outcompeting most other candelabra incandescent options. Their soft white light is great for preserving the natural colors of surrounding furniture and decor, making these candelabra bulbs a versatile choice that can be used throughout a home.
Cons: Unfortunately, incandescent bulbs have gotten much pricier over the years, and some may feel like the asking price for these are a little high. However, when you factor in their exceptional lifespan, paying a few extra dollars for these bulbs instead of a more budget-friendly option may still be a wise investment.
Bottom Line: High-quality incandescent candelabra bulbs can be a tricky product to find. These are excellent bulbs to stock up on to ensure you have them when the need arises. If you have a chandelier or bathroom light fixture in need of clean, steady light, these are your most reliable option.
SYLVANIA Incandescent BR30 Floodlight Bulbs
Featuring excellent longevity, these floodlight bulbs are a great choice for cost-cutters.
Pros: These incandescent floodlight bulbs from SYLVANIA are made for 130-volt applications but work perfectly in standard 120-volt homes as well. This means that their lifespan will exceed just about any incandescent floodlights designed for a 120-volt power grid, making them an excellent value for their price. Additionally, these floodlights look amazing when dimmed and provide clean light that reproduces natural colors while still providing a hint of warmth.
Cons: While these floodlight bulbs aren’t dim, they will likely be less bright than most 120-volt alternatives. If you value savings and longevity over brightness, you’ll find this to be an agreeable compromise. However, those looking for something exceedingly bright will have to look elsewhere.
Bottom Line: If you’re seeking everyday incandescent floodlight bulbs that won’t break the bank, these are a solid bet. Changing floodlight bulbs can be a real chore, so finding great value on long-lasting bulbs like these is a cause for celebration. That being said, there are better products out there for applications that call for brightness over longevity.
GE G25 Incandescent Light Bulbs
Featuring impressive light output and an attractive design, these bulbs are great for your bathroom vanity.
Pros: These GE G25 Incandescent Light Bulbs are a nice touch of style for those who need new bulbs for their bathroom vanity. Featuring soft white light that will allow you to see colors as they truly are, these bulbs are much less expensive than similar products while still sporting a very impressive lifespan. As a bonus, these are slightly brighter than comparable bulbs, giving you an excellent view of your face while you get ready for a night out on the town.
Cons: Like most bulbs of their kind, these round incandescent bulbs are fairly delicate, so you will want to install them carefully. Realistically, one of these can easily be destroyed by your child’s errant bouncy ball, so they might not be a great bulb to use in areas where children play.
Bottom Line: In terms of overall quality and price per bulb, these GE bulbs are one of the best values around. While they aren’t the most durable light bulbs you’ll find, you’re likely to be impressed by how long they last if used for a few hours per day. If your bathroom vanity is in need of a touch of style, you can’t do much better than this.
Xtricity Frosted Incandescent Light Bulbs
These extra-bright incandescent light bulbs are great for illuminating large spaces with soft white light.
Pros: If you’re looking for bright 100-watt incandescent bulbs that provide unbeatable natural light, the Xtricity Frosted Incandescent Light Bulbs are for you. These bulbs sport a 360-degree beam angle, so they do well to spread their soft white light around your space. Also, despite their brightness, these bulbs are incredibly easy on the eyes, thanks to their frosted glass and clean, natural color temperature. These bulbs are also incredibly hard to break, making them one of the more durable options out there.
Cons: Unfortunately, these light bulbs aren’t the longest-lasting option you’ll find, so if you plan to leave them on all day, you can expect to change them frequently. That being said, they’re also nearly a dollar cheaper per bulb than similar products, which isn’t a bad trade-off for their limited longevity.
Bottom Line: Due to their impressive brightness and pure, natural light, these incandescent light bulbs are great for many applications. They’re convenient for those who need powerful light bulbs to illuminate large workspaces or living rooms. If you need powerful light bulbs that are incredibly easy on the eyes, look no further.
As LED light bulbs become less expensive and more pleasing to the eye, it’s safe to say that many homes will still find a place for warm incandescent lighting. Check out our recommendations if you want some incandescent bulbs in your home.