How To Buy Home Light Bulbs On Line

Do you fully understand all the different shapes, sizes, attributes of light bulbs?

Or do you have an expert in the family who does?

If you answered yes to either of the above questions, then go over to the right side of this page and select a different home renovation, maintenance, electronics or energy conservation article within from the election of our article categories.

If you do not, then you just might be interested in a gold mine of easy to understand information on light bulbs.

Especially if you need to buy some light bulbs for your home on line because you do not live near, or cannot get to, a lighting store or a building supply retail outlet; or you might live near a store selling light bulbs but you can’t get anyone knowledgeable to help you decide which size, shape, type, etc. of light bulb will meet your needs.

I was approached recently by The Home Depot to write about my experiences selecting on line and using some LED light bulbs for my home. The timing was good because some CFL light bulbs which were only 3 years old had already started to stop working in the ceiling of our bathroom and hallway. The Home Depot has a new line of LED light bulbs for the home called EcoSmart which has been released in the United States and is very soon to be released in Canada. To the best of my knowledge we will be the first home in all of Canada to use some of their new EcoSmart LED light bulbs. icon smile How To Buy Home Light Bulbs On Line

I do not know much about light bulbs in general, yet what I do know about LED light bulbs is that:

  • LEDs do not contain Mercury like CFL light bulbs,
  • LEDs are supposed to last much longer than incandescent or CFL light bulbs,
  • LED light bulbs use much less electricity than CFLs and a lot less electricity than incandescent light bulbs
  • LEDs are currently more expensive to purchase than either than those two types,
  • Incandescent light bulbs are being phased out from a variety of factors in various areas of North America in the next year or two (check the legislation in the area where you live)
  • LED light bulbs are, like any technology, supposed to be coming down in price (just look at the price decline of CFL light bulbs over the past few years)
  • LED lighting is supposed to be cheaper in the long run than either the other two types of lighting, and
  • pretty much the only indoor or outdoor Christmas lighting available to purchase these days are LED type of lights.

So, with The Home Depot being both a retail store and an on line retailer, I decided to see how much help I could find on my own from their web site before taking them up on their kind offer.

I was prepared to be underwhelmed because retail organizations all have on line web sites for you to buy their goods in case you cannot make it to their stores. However, in my experience not that many have on line information presented in an easy, understandable yet comprehensive way for an average consumer (which I consider myself to be on most household items) to become informed and make the right purchase for their needs … especially with something which has so many different shapes, sizes, colors, and differing technologies (which in this case would be incandescent vs florescent vs CFL vs LED).

I can honestly tell you that I was the opposite of underwhelmed; I was significantly overwhelmed, but in a good way because the information provided exceeded by expectations.

I wrote last week about The Home Depot’s Buying Guide for LED light bulbs. However, while that was specific to LED lights, there was more information I needed.

What I found on their web site was collection of pages within their Shopping Tools – Lighting Basics area.

First, there was this Light Bulb Shapes page. What I really liked about this lighting information page was that for each different shape of light bulb, there were:

  • the shape name (e.g. Twist, Blunt Tip, Reflector, Mirrored Reflector, etc.)
  • a picture
  • identification of the common lighting fixture which would use that shape of light bulb (e.g. table lamp, chandeliers, recessed cans and track lighting,  etc.), and
  • most importantly to me the ‘symbol’ code (e.g. A – Standard, B – Bullet, MR – Mirrored Reflector, and more)

The symbol code is important whether you are buying on line or are going into a retail store but there is no knowledgeable staff to assist you.

Next, there was this Light Bulb Sizes page whose purpose was to explain how to determine each different shape of light bulb. Guess what? The light bulb industry uses another code to define the size of any individual light bulb. These codes are made up of two pieces of information; namely, the bulb type and the bulb diameter’s width at its widest point in 1/8 of an inch.

So, as I learned, for example lets take the common light bulb which fits into many different home lighting receptacles like a table lamp or a non-recessed ceiling light outlet, the A-19.

The letter A represents the standard type of the light bulb. The number 19 represents the width of 2 and 3/8 inches.

There are more pages of information on light bulbs in this area of’s ‘shopping tools’ area such as lighting fixture basics and color temperature.

My personal favorite from a purchasing perspective in making sure the darn light bulb will actually fit the lighting receptacle is the Light Bulb Bases page. It does no good if you order an A-19 LED (or any type) of light bulb if when it arrives in  your home you cannot screw it into the lighting receptacle because its base is too small or two large.

So, the Light Bulb Bases page provides a diagram and name for each of the different type of bases such as the most common Medium (Med), or the Medium Skirted (Med-Skt.), Mogul, and more.

Here’s my only complaint about this wonderful collection of light bulb information pages on the web site; it is not easy to fine. I only found it because I used the search feature in trying to locate LED light bulbs and happened to click on one of the several links which appeared beneath the search field.

I would rather see an obvious link provided on any page of The Home Depot’s web site which listed light bulbs for sale on line. That way, others who might not read this article would be more likely to use this freely available information before they purchase perhaps the wrong type, size, base size, etc. of light bulb, LED or otherwise, for their needs and then have to go through the effort of trying to return it because they didn’t know any better.

At least now you know (and have the links above) to be better informed, even if you still plan to go to a nearby retail store to purchase your light bulbs.

Select this link where we start to talk in detail about LED light bulbs for the home.

NOTE: The Home Depot works with bloggers such as myself to conduct product reviews. They do not tell bloggers what to say about their products or how to say it. THD fundamentally believes that people should be free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. The Home Depot often provides product – free of charge – to bloggers for review as they did for this post. The Home Depot’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

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