Bulbs for spotlights: types, characteristics, nuances of choice + best brands

Vasily Borutsky
Checked by a specialist: Vasily Borutsky
Author: Natalya Listyeva
Last update: May 2019

You must admit that the first lighting fixture that comes across should not be installed in drywall constructions, suspended ceilings, furniture elements and other objects. We need bulbs for spotlights located in hard-to-reach and poorly ventilated places. What type of bulbs and manufacturer should I prefer?

We will help you make a choice - the article discusses the main types of lamps used for installation in spotlights. Their advantages and disadvantages are given, useful recommendations are given for choosing the optimal lighting device, taking into account its future location.

Visual photo materials and video tips are also selected that will help to acquire a light source with good performance and minimal heating. A properly selected device will allow you to qualitatively illuminate the desired areas and comply with fire safety parameters.

Varieties of suitable light sources

In spotlights, traditional incandescent lamps, halogen, energy-saving and LED devices are used. Typically, the instrument housing is configured to specific base and, based on these parameters, a suitable bulb is selected for it.

What type it will be depends on the comfort and fire safety requirements for the lighting system, as well as the desired effect and the amount that the buyer plans to spend.

No. 1 - the pros and cons of incandescent lamps

An ordinary light bulb provides a soft, pleasant light in a warm range and does not tire the eye even with prolonged glow. The bulb containing the filament is made of heat-resistant glass and has good transparency.

It transmits almost all of the generated light energy.It is inexpensive and easily replaced with a new one when burned out.

Classic incandescent lamp
Traditional Edison bulbs have a very short life span. Manufacturers limit it to one thousand hours, however, even this modest resource of the product is not always produced

The first big disadvantage of the device is the lowest level of efficiency, which is only 5-15%, depending on the power. In second place is a record high consumption of electric energy, forcing owners to pay large utility bills with the active use of incandescent lamps for lighting.

Installation of lamps in suspended ceilings
When arranging spot lighting for stretch ceilings, it is necessary to consult with the master installer regarding the power of purchased lamps. This will save the client from mistakes and unnecessary expenses associated with the purchase of the wrong light sources.

In spotlights, you can use such bulbs, but not too convenient because of their large size.

In order to correctly hide the light source, a good depth of the stretch ceiling or plasterboard construction is required, or in the overhead lamp there must be a voluminous, roomy ceiling that completely hides the luminous element.

Incandescent lamp in the housing of a spotlight
For spot lighting, incandescent lamps are advantageous only at a price. According to customer reviews, they have to be changed every 6 months, and excessive heating of the case during operation is bad for the general condition of the stretch ceiling

Incandescent bulbs are generally not suitable for installation in furniture or other flat surfaces due to their relatively large dimensions.

No. 2 - the advantages and disadvantages of halogen

Halogen options are more progressive light sources. In all respects they surpass classic light bulbshaving twice as long service life. Therefore, their use in the lighting system is more practical and economical.

Halogen spotlights
Halogen lamps attract a very high level of color index (IC). Their indicator is 100 units. This is of great importance when it is necessary to preserve the most accurate shades without distorting them with pouring light flow.

However, users who choose these devices for spotlights should know that for correct and stable operation, halogens need a stable voltage.

Any fluctuations that occur on the network affect halogen lamps in the worst way and reduce the operational period by up to 40%. In addition, there is a significant decrease in light output, which also can not be attributed to the merits.

Halogen spotlight
In spotlights, it is permissible to use not only classic 220-volt halogen lamps, but also 12-volt ones, however, only through a special transformer that reduces voltage

If halogens are selected for the spotlight system, it is imperative to mount them transformer, reducing the mains voltage to the values ​​consumed by the devices.

This will extend the life of the lamps, since the main percentage of burnout occurs precisely at the time of switching on. This equipment can be installed for each individual lighting device or immediately for a whole group.

Halogen lamp replacement
Mount halogens only with work gloves. Any grease that remains on the surface at high temperatures quickly burns out and forms an area of ​​vulnerability, which subsequently leads to the destruction of the integrity of the lamp

Among the main disadvantages of halogen products is excessive heating during operation. This significantly limits the scope of spotlights with such modules and reduces their level of popularity.

No. 3 - the nuances of energy-saving products

Energy-saving lamps behave well in spotlights and satisfy all basic needs.

6 times lower compared to incandescent lamps, the consumption of electric energy makes them not only attractive, but also beneficial for arranging even a very large lighting system, designed for a spacious, dimensional room.

Energy-saving spotlights
Energy-saving lamps for spotlights can be selected with both warm and cold temperature conditions. This moment remains at the buyer's choice and depends on personal wishes and the stylistic design of the premises.

The service life of energy-saving devices is very impressive and is 5-7 times higher than halogen indicators. By purchasing bulbs, you can rely on the fact that they will last up to 10,000 hours and provide a stable, non-irritating eye, a stream of light in any residential or working room.

Among the variety of socles, you need to look for the marking GU10 or GU5,3. These options are the most common and are available specifically for spotlights.

No. 4 - LED Features

LED bulbs have a wide range of useful and practical advantages.

Among them are such positions as:

  • minimum power consumption;
  • high mechanical strength;
  • lowest operating temperature of the housing;
  • poor susceptibility to on / off cycles;
  • operational durability.

Due to these qualities, LEDs are very popular and confidently crowd out many other light sources from the market.

LED spotlight
LEDs show the highest life among all light sources. With proper operation, modules from quality brands can work from 20,000 to 100,000 thousand hours

For installation in spotlights of suspended ceilings, these devices are considered the most preferred. The minimum profile height makes it possible to mount them even where, due to the structural features of the structure, there is very little free space between the decorative finish and the ceiling itself.

In the process of work, the housing of LED lamps heats up extremely poorly. This factor allows them to be used in structures made of refractory materials.

Light flow led fixtureshas a good density and saturation. The generated beam is distributed evenly and does not create glare spots on the floor or on any other illuminated surface.

Additionally, diode lamps are equipped with sealing parts and are suitable for use not only in places with high humidity, but even in spotlights installed underwater in pools or decorative aquariums.

Surface mounted downlight
With the help of colored LED lamps mounted in spotlights, you can create original lighting in the room, not like what is in the houses of friends or relatives

The range of LED devices is so wide and diverse that it is not difficult to choose a suitable lamp of the most extraordinary design.

Products are presented in a variety of capacities and color temperatures. This allows you to embody any exotic and unusual lighting solution in the room, absolutely impossible to implement with lamps of other types.

The only minus of the LEDs is the rather high initial price, especially for branded products that have proven themselves in the market of lighting equipment and related items. True, over time, it is more than compensated by the economical consumption of electric energy, which is almost 10-12 times less than that of traditional incandescent lamps.

What should be considered when buying?

Immediately before the acquisition, first of all, you need to determine the purpose of the lighting system and the intended use.

There are only two options:

  1. Create main lighting, designed to bring light to all corners of the room.
  2. Backlight. The implementation of the design solution, that is, the provision of background lighting for individual interior elements, zoning of the space, etc.

In the first case, it is better to opt for powerful devices available for installation in ceilings, walls, floors, enfilades and staircases. This will make it possible to make a bright saturated light that smoothly envelops the entire room and gives it community and wholeness.

Swivel spotlight lamp
A pivot spotlight with a lamp of a suitable shade can be used as a spotlight, directing its beam to a specific place to create an extraordinary or exclusive atmosphere in the room

For background lighting and decorative lighting, low-power light sources with different temperature ranges are needed.

With their help, it will be possible to highlight some specific interior details, to divide the living or working space into zones. And also to emphasize the paintings hanging on the walls or to beautifully highlight sculptures, floor vases or any other original elements of decorative style design.

Accent lighting with rotary lights
When making zoning in a room, it is appropriate to use rotary spotlights with medium power lamps. They will help create a beautiful area with bright light, but will not be crowded in one place.

A special approach is required for spotlights on stretch ceilings. The material from which they are made is characterized by low heat resistance and, under the influence of high temperatures above 50 degrees, can turn yellow, stain, crack and lose elasticity.

To avoid these troubles, you need to install the fixtures correctly and choose the optimal power lamps for them. Experts advise installing halogens or diode lamps in such systems.

They provide high-quality light flow, but at the same time they heat less and do not have a negative effect on the ceiling material. Another point to consider is the power limit.

The maximum numbers here are the following numbers:

  • 35 watts - for halogens in a fixed lamp and 40 watts in a moving one;
  • 50 watts - for luminescent;
  • 50-60 watts for incandescent lamps.

In addition, it is necessary to take into account the shape of the selected fixtures and select the lamps so that they fit the housing in size, rather than sticking out of the ceiling, creating an uncomfortable stream of light, beating in the eyes.

TOP list of the best brands of bulbs

The market for lighting equipment and related components is developing very actively. Promising newcomers from the CIS countries and China, who have only recently begun to produce high-quality light sources of various types and types, are actively competing with recognized European brands that have been offering their products to customers for decades.

Among the variety of brands, TOP-7 has been identified, whose products created for spotlights are sold best and cause a minimum of complaints.

No. 1 - offers from Philips

Philips is a recognized global market leader in progressive lighting. Possessing rich experience, production potential and an extensive base of scientific knowledge, the brand produces the entire line of lamps suitable for installation in spotlights.

Philips spotlights
Philips bulbs have a high level of reliability and can withstand significant loads under proper operating conditions. Their cost is slightly higher than that of competitors, but this is offset by the high quality of each product

In the list of products offered by the brand, there are incandescent modules of various shapes, equipped with socles of popular sizes and reflectors to create stray light.

The company makes halogens with a reflector and without under voltage of 220 V and 12 V. Philips LED fixtures offers in a wide variety of configurations.It’s not difficult to choose a suitable model among them, even if the spotlight has an original, non-standard design.

No. 2 - Osram product line

Osram is one of the oldest, most experienced and respected market players. Among the products of the German brand there are all kinds of devices suitable for spotlights, from traditional Edison lamps to progressive and economical LEDs of any power.

Ice Lamp Osram
Osram provides a branded guarantee on ice components and declares that they fully consume 45,000 hours of life and operate correctly in spotlights for 5 years

Lamps on diodes are presented in all popular types of socles and are suitable for cartridges and housings of different types and configurations. They provide good luminous flux in a wide range of shades from the warmest to the coldest.

Halogens are offered with or without reflectors, guarantee sparkling, eye-pleasing lighting with different scattering angles of the working beam. They help to revive the atmosphere in the room and allow you to make accent spots that give the interior solution a bright personality.

Integrated energy saving bulbs from Osram integrate into structurally diverse lighting fixtures and effectively replace incandescent modules that consume a large amount of electricity. They are sold at a reasonable price and, according to customer reviews, are reliable and operationally stable.

No. 3 - brand specificity Gauss

Gauss is a trademark owned by Vatron, a company registered in Russia. This is a relatively young manufacturer who has already managed to loudly declare himself by creating high-quality lighting products. The company does not produce incandescent lamps and specializes in the production of only modern and advanced light sources.

Spotlight lamp
With a quite loyal price, Gauss lamps fully develop the declared period, give out a light flux strictly corresponding to the parameters prescribed on the package and are completed with socles of popular types suitable for spotlights of different designs

In addition to the lamps themselves, under the Gauss brand, spotlights are made in a wide variety of design solutions. If desired, the client can complete the entire lighting system in the house only Gauss products, which together will provide the most correct operation.

No. 4 is a trademark of Navigator

Another fairly young Russian manufacturer offering a wide range of lamp products of various types at an affordable price. Has a modern enterprise in the city of Klin, equipped with advanced equipment.

Lamas Factory
The technological support of the workshops and the high level of working specialists make it possible to create not only incandescent and halogen lamps, but also progressive LED modules of various capacities

Actively introduces innovative technologies into production and produces bulbs for spotlights, meeting all European requirements. It sells its goods on the territory of Russia, the CIS countries and some EU countries.

Users note the decent quality of Navigator products, the adequate price and the company guarantee that the company gives to all types of light sources, except incandescent lamps.

No. 5 - Era company

The products of the Russian company "Era" occupy a niche in the market for budget lighting elements and offer users products that meet technical parameters, GOSTs and European certificates.

The pricing policy of the company is to provide customers with high-quality and aesthetically attractive lighting fixture Era at a reasonable cost.

Era lamps on sale
The designations of all the parameters required when choosing the lamps are printed very clearly on the front of the package. This makes it easier and faster to make your purchase simple and comfortable.

For spotlights, Era produces inexpensive incandescent elements, compact halogens with and without reflector, and a wide range of LEDs, presented in several low-cost and one premium series.

No. 6 - a few words about the "Chinese"

Chinese lighting products occupy a rather large segment of the market and create serious competition for both Russian and European brands.

Chinese spotlights
When choosing Chinese products, you should buy only branded products. Very cheap nameless modules will not work the promised period and will not provide the room with a sufficient level of light flow

Among all the brands of the Middle Kingdom, the most noteworthy Feron, Electrum, Voltage, Canyon and ELM.

These enterprises have proven themselves well and managed to attract customers by a harmonious combination of an adequate price with decent quality of their products.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

Video # 1. Which lamps for spotlights to give preference. Comparison of halogen and LEDs:

Video # 2. How to replace a light bulb that has stopped working in a spot-type lighting device:

Video # 3. Which LED lamps are better for spotlights and why:

When choosing bulbs to create spot lighting, it is necessary to take into account the design of the lamp, its location and the basic requirements for fire safety. Focusing only on cost and buying the cheapest appliances is unreasonable.

They have a short service life, and they consume a lot of electricity. But initially, more expensive devices work much longer and consume a resource economically, providing lighting that is pleasant to the eye.

Tell us about how you chose bulbs for installation in spotlights. Share the criteria that have become decisive for you personally. Please leave comments in the block below, post a photo on the topic of the article in it, ask questions about controversial and interesting points.

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Visitors Comments
  1. Yulia

    Spot lighting is now a modern trend in light interior design. But you need to remember that you need to install such spotlights competently and competently in order to avoid such a disaster as ignition. Therefore, you need to be savvy in this matter, or entrust the installation of a real electrician.
    Therefore, we must strive to ensure that the lighting is as reliable as possible, in addition to beauty and efficiency.

    • Julia, not everything is so complicated) In fact, for the correct installation of lamps from an electrician, superpowers are not required. It is enough for the master to have a minimal understanding of how this works, and to follow the elementary rules of electrical safety. The question is rather not in competence, but in the accuracy and conscientiousness of the one who undertakes to carry out this work.

  2. Natalya

    Now it will be easier to make a choice in the store of fixtures and bulbs due to the presented rating of the best brands. I understand that it is better to contact specialists, but I would also like to cover such questions as how many spotlights are needed for a particular area of ​​the room, what lighting rate is set for it (tentatively).

    • Expert
      Vasily Borutsky

      Good day, Natalia.

      The number of spotlights, bulbs can be carried out according to a crude technique based on sufficient average illumination per square meter of living space (the purpose of the room is not taken into account) with a certain type of lamp. The methodology assumes that one 20-watt incandescent lamp or a 6-watt fluorescent, or 3-watt LED is enough per square meter. A screenshot of the table that helps calculate the power of the lighting fixture or appliances attached.

      More accurate results can be obtained by focusing on lighting standards for different rooms - a screenshot of the table is attached. Multiplying the norm of illumination by the area of ​​the room, you get the required total luminous flux. Dividing it by the value of the flux of a single lamp from the first table, you get the number of lamps.

      In fact, the calculations require taking into account many factors that result in a “complex formula”. Lighting engineering calculations take a whole semester in electrical engineering universities, so I don’t explain the professional methodology.

      Attached photos:
  3. Stepan

    It seems to me that now it makes no sense to consider any options other than LEDs. Economical, reliable, fireproof - win in all respects.