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Ten Aspects of Proper Bulb Selection

You have selected a beautiful fixture.
But how do you make sure you get the right bulb?

Here is a list of 10 things that need to be considered.
Getting any one of them wrong could mean that the bulb won’t fit,
won’t work, won’t last, won’t meet brand standards,
won’t meet local building code, won’t give enough light,
might be the wrong color, or may just look ugly.
If you want to be sure...

Use the Experts at Maris Lighting. Make it easy. Get it right.

Base - The base of a bulb is installed into a socket which comes built into a fixture. Edison base, pin base, twist base and wedge base are just some of the styles available and each comes in many sizes. E12, E17, E26, Gu10, Gu24, G4, G5.3, G6.35 are just some of the possibilities.

The base on the bulb must match the socket supplied in your fixture.

Voltage - 12, 120, 240, 277 volt etc.

The bulb you select must be designed to operate on the power voltage that will be supplied to it.

Shape - A, B, C, F, G, JC, JCD, S, St, T etc. The shape of the bulb will affect both the look and fit of the bulb in the fixture.

The shape of the bulb is a design element that is restricted by the physical constraints of the fixture and bulb availability.

Size - 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, 20, 21, 30, 38, 40 etc.

The size of the bulb is also a design element that is affected by the size of the fixture, light output requirements, and bulb availability. Not all bulb shapes are available in all sizes. Size may also be affected by potential heat management issues.

Lumen Output - 250, 450, 800, 1100, 1600 etc.

The Lumen Output or amount of light produced by the bulb is determined by hotel brand standards, designer preference, bulb availability, fixture limitations and heat management concerns.

Kelvin Temperature - 2000, 2200, 2400, 2700, 3500, 4000, 5000, 6000 etc

The Kelvin Temperature or Color of the light produced by the bulb is selected by hotel brand standards, designer preference and bulb availability. 2700k is the most available color and the most popular for guest room applications.

Finish - Clear, Frost, White, Amber etc.

The finish of the bulb is a design preference and is impacted by the fixture design and bulb availability.

Dimming or 3/way - Is the fixture controlled by a dimmer or 3-way switch? A non-dimmable bulb should not be operated in a fixture controlled by a dimmer. Even if the dimmer is permanently set to full bright. Dimmable bulbs can be controlled by dimmers or on/off switches. Fixtures controlled by 3-way switches (low/medium/high settings) must use a 3-way bulb to function properly.

Determined by designer preference, fixture design, external control equipment and bulb availability. Note: Dimming is generally only available on 12 or 120 volt systems.

Intended Fixture - Open Fixture, Enclosed Fixture, Damp Location etc.

Bulbs that will be operated in special situations may require special certifications.

Project Location - California or Not California.

Bulbs used in California require special certifications.

NOTE: The possible combination of bulb characteristics is almost unlimited. However, not every combination that could be produced is currently being produced and available on the market. One bulb manufacturer will produce a family of bulbs that it feels "covers" the market. A second manufacturer may produce a family of bulbs with a different set of characteristic combinations. Therefore, restricting bulbs to a certain manufacturer will also restrict the variety of bulbs that will be available to you. Your best results on a project may include bulbs produced by multiple manufacturers. Consequently, a distributor or consultant with product knowledge of many manufacturers is more advantageous than someone with product knowledge of only one. With more than 20 manufacturers to draw from, nobody has a wider bulb offering than the experts at Maris Lighting.