In 1892 Edison Electric Company was formed in the United States. Edison was working hard on bringing lightbulbs to the masses and to the home. For at least eighty years more this type of technology was prevalent in our lights worldwide. These type of lights give off a nice feeling spectrum but are incredibly hot. They use only 10% of the energy consumed on light, the rest is wasted in heat. Bottom line is they are incredibly inefficient and need to be replaced every 6 months. A perfect product to sell but the home consumer gets ripped off.
Then came fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) which were drastically more efficient, using roughly three times less power than incandescent lights. They also run a lot cooler, but still enough to legally insulate right over the top of the unit in the ceiling. You can however insulate right up next to them. They are the most used type of light in the world currently, though in only a few short years LED will take the lead.
Halogen lamps, a type of incandescent bulb also became popular as they could run hotter, thus produce a nice type of light and lasted much longer than a standard bulb. The heat actually turned out to be a real fire hazard in the home and has been the cause for many destructive fires. Because they are so small and look better they have been marketed and installed in a majority of newer homes in NZ. Especially in kitchens or bathrooms. They tend to create a narrow sharper beam of light and thus is not ideal for living areas where more light dispersal is better.
Around five years ago LED lights started picking up in popularity due to their incredible efficiency and reliability. They are around 100% more efficient than comparable CFL lights. Also LED lights last much longer than fluorescent lights as well. Because they are so cool, the coolest running of these four light types, we can legally put ceiling insulation right over them. Which ensures your ceilings ‘thermal blanket’ has no big holes in it and brings your fire risk close to NIL. Currently LED bulbs are quite expensive and do tend to fail more often than stated by the manufacturers. Quality sealed LED downlights are much more reliable and thus usually come with a guarantee against failure. The downlights Home LED in Auckland, New Zealand install are guaranteed for seven years!