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Bulb and LED Guide

Light Bulb Types and Styles

When you’re choosing ways to light up your space, there are many things to consider. Style, size, shape, color. But something you may not think about are your light bulbs. Yes, your light bulbs. Here are some tips to make sure you lighten up with the best bulbs for your room.

Light Bulb Type

The most important part of selecting the correct type of bulb is to check your product specs. Many fixtures require a certain wattage or only fit a certain type of bulb base, so know your requirements before you select a bulb. The four main bulb types are LED, Incandescent, Integrated and Fluorescent. For a detailed deep dive on these bulb types, check out What to Know About Bulbs.

In Good Shape

Changing the shape of your bulb is a simple way to alter the look of a fixture and create an entirely new style. However, it’s important to note that the shape of your bulb should be determined by what fits into your fixture, and what the bulb looks like in that fixture. For example, a regular A-shaped bulb may look out of place on a candelabra chandelier.

Briar pendant light with a tube light
Briar pendant lamp with curve light bulb

The most popular shapes are:

  • A (Arbitrary) - This is the typical bulb shape that most people are familiar with.

  • Candle - As its name suggests, this bulb is shaped like a candle flame and is also available with twists or flourishes at the top for extra authenticity.

  • Globe - Sphere-shaped bulbs offered in multiple base sizes depending on fixture needs.

  • Par - These are the bulbs you might see in flood lights or landscape lighting. They are shaped like a cone and are used for directional illumination.

  • CFL, Twist or Spiral - These are the bulbs where the glass is twisted in an effort to offer a shorter alternative to 120V screw base incandescent.

  • Tube Bulbs - Tube bulbs are longer than they are wide and come in a variety of bases. A commonly-seen tube style is the Edison bulb, although modern Edison bulbs use LED filaments.

Light Bulb Style

The style of your bulb can take a fixture from drab to glowing. Turn on the style in your space by switching up something simple but impactful.

Dining room with Armand chandelier and vintage light bulbs
Dining room with Armand chandelier and modern light bulbs

If your style is something old, or a bit industrial, an Edison bulb, which is a type of Tube bulb, can take your style back in time, but with a modern LED twist. Edison bulbs today are typically made with LED filaments, so they last for years but still maintain their timeless look. Put Edison bulbs in a rustic, vintage or industrial fixture to make the style stand out, or add to a mid-century or modern fixture for a more eclectic elegance. Put these lights on a dimmer to keep the mood reminiscent of their old-world charm.


A globe bulb adds a modern upgrade to a traditional or classic fixture. The rounded, symmetrical shape mimics the clean lines of mid-century and the geometric patterns of modern style. These bulbs offer a simple switch to nearly any fixture. Play around with clear vs. white globes to see which feels more in line with your look.

Bright dining room with Erzo chandelier and tapered light bulbs
Bright dining room with Erzo chandelier and tube light bulbs

Whether retro or glam is your go-to style, an integrated fixture is right up your alley. Integrated lights have the light system embedded within the fixture, so the light acts as both a piece of art, and a source of light. These lights often have an ultramodern feel, but can liven up even a traditional living space with a spark of style.


Candle bulbs mimic the glow of a candle and can play a moody part in a classic, traditional or transitional style home. Often seen in chandeliers, candle bulbs can also play a bright role in sconces, and look particularly stellar when paired with textured glass.

When choosing a bulb, it’s a bright idea to consider all lighting elements in a room to make sure the bulbs’ color temperature and lumen output work cohesively to create the desired look. Always feel like you need someone to light your way in the bulb aisle? Try keeping a list of the bulbs you use on each fixture so if one burns out, you know how to match the replacement.

With the twist of a new bulb, and a few quick art or décor changes, you can breathe fresh life into a room without overhauling the space (or your budget!).

Want more inspiration? Take a look at how these style standouts have incorporated bulbs into their design to shape their space. Click the images to browse these influencers' Instagram pages. 

Rustic dining room with chandelier
Living room with armstrong chandelier
Dining room in modern kitchen with chandelier over table
Looking for more bulb tips? Check out the Bulbs and LED Guide

Bulbs & LED Guide
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