Lightbulb Buying Guide

lightbulb buying guide

It’s no secret that Pooky lamps are both beautiful and appealingly priced. Buying bulbs to go in them, however, can be a confusing business – and getting it right is key to the overall look of your lighting. Depending on their purpose, you’ll need to choose from Edison or LED, filament or pearl, bright or dim, big or small… To help get it right, we’ve selected a range of brilliant bulbs to complement our lamps. Before you buy, here are few Pooky pointers to get you better acquainted with the finer details. As always, don’t hesitate to give us a call if you’d like to know more.

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led vs edison

In a nutshell, Edison bulbs are the familiar kind that emerged in 1879 thanks to Thomas and his clever science-bod pals across the pond. They generate light from their glowing filaments – and lots of heat, too. LED bulbs, on the other hand, began appearing over a hundred years later and are dependent on electrical components called diodes. At first they emitted horrible headache-inducing bright white light, but they’ve come a very long way since then. Here’s a summary of the key differences:


LED bulbs generally last up to 10 times as long as Edison bulbs. The metal filament in an Edison bulb can reach a blistering 2,500°C – all that heating and cooling puts a lot of strain on it.


If Pooky had been around 10 years ago, we’d have wept if our customers used LED bulbs in our lamps. Now, though – with careful choice of size, colour, shape and type – they can look every bit as warm and lovely as their Edison forebears.


Edison bulbs are normally cheaper than LEDs, although the price of LEDs has come down rapidly as the technology has become more widespread. LEDs are designed to last, so you’ll save money in the long run if you make the switch.


It’s now a requirement that manufacturers classify the number of ‘lumens’ a bulb will give out – this is a measure of brightness. Although it also depends on the colour of the light (see “Ambiance” above), in rough terms an old 60-watt Edison bulb gives around 6-700 lumens of light, while a 40-watt bulb gives around 3-400 lumens.

pearl versus filament

This one’s fairly simple – a pearl bulb has opaque glass, while a filament bulb is clear. Normally a pearl bulb is good, behind a shade as it gives a more diffused light. A filament bulb – especially if it’s a fancy twisted filament – looks good where you can see the bulb, for example in a glass pendant.

fitting type

If the world were perfect, manufacturers might agree to standardise, but until they do, we have to deal with bayonet (‘B’ fittings) and screw (‘E’ fittings). The B system used to be almost universal in the UK, but E is gradually taking over as so many more manufacturers use it worldwide. The most common fittings are B22 and E27 – they are both widely available in lots of shapes and sizes.

bulb sizes

And, finally, we must address the size of the bulb – lightbulbs come in lots of different shapes and sizes. Perhaps unsurprisingly, big bulbs go with big lamps!

congratulations, now you’re a bulbologist….

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