For more than 100 years, incandescent light bulbs were your only choice for use in household fixtures such as lamps. More recent advances have allowed for the development of energy-efficient CFL and LED bulbs. When choosing a bulb for your fixtures, keep in mind the ways that air temperature affect the bulb’s lifespan.

Evaluating Heat Release

Different types of light bulbs release different amounts of heat. Overall, incandescent light bulbs release the greatest amount of heat, followed by CFL and then LED bulbs. Incandescent bulbs also use 80 percent more energy compared to CFL bulbs that deliver the same level of brightness. Incandescent bulbs last for about 1,000 hours of use, compared to 25,000 hours for an LED bulb.

Placing the Light Bulb

The placement of a light bulb is another important consideration in its lifespan. A light bulb that is placed in an outdoor fixture and exposed to heat, humidity, extreme temperature shifts and precipitation may not last for as long as the same type of bulb used indoors. Placing a bulb near an indoor heat source, such as a computer monitor or oven could also shorten its lifespan.

Maintaining a Comfortable Room Temperature

Maintaining a comfortable room temperature requires a careful balance between air exchange with the outdoors and the generation of heat within your home or building. Some companies, like A & E Heating and AC Inc., know that whenever possible, avoid placing an incandescent bulb in a fixture that is located near the thermostat. The heat given off by the bulb will trigger the thermostat to run the air conditioner or will delay the triggering of the heating equipment. Place incandescent bulbs away from any thermostats.

Considering the Fixture Type

The air temperature immediately surrounding a light bulb is also important to consider. For example, a CFL bulb should not be used in an enclosed fixture, such as the globe of a ceiling fan. The small amount of heat that is released from the CFL causes internal malfunctions and makes the bulb wear out before its typical lifespan. Incandescent bulbs can operate in higher temperatures. LED bulbs are efficient indoors and outdoors and at any temperature.

There are many considerations when choosing light bulbs. To minimize the interactions of air temperature and light bulb lifespan, consider the LED option. Today’s LEDs are affordable and come in many different sizes and styles. There are still times when CFL and incandescent bulbs are beneficial, and each type of bulb plays an important role in air temperature, home comfort and safety.