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Our guide to choosing the right light bulb

11 September 2018

You've found the perfect light, now you need the perfect light bulb. We've put together a Tom Raffield guide to help you choose the right bulb for your space.
Skipper Pendant Small with Tala Globe.

The language and lingo associated with light bulbs can be confusing at the best of times. With so many options to choose from and words like 'lumens' and 'the kelvin scale' dashed about, finding the right bulb for your light fitting can be challenging! 

We've summed up our range of energy efficient LED bulbs in this handy guide to make life a little easier (and hopefully a little brighter).

The Basics...

All Tom Raffield lights are designed to fit a standard E27 screw bulb (or E26 if you’re in the US). If you opt not to choose a Tom Raffield ceiling kit and want to use an existing rose you will need to check if your fitting takes a bayonet or screw bulb. We only sell E27 screw bulbs via our online store.

Today’s LED and low energy bulbs are a fantastic alternative to traditional incandescent bulbs. These bulbs not only look the part, but will save you money from your electricity bill in the long run. It's estimated that by switching from incandescent bulbs to LED you can cut your energy costs (associated with lighting your home) by up to 75% in one year. All of our bulbs are LED and incredibly energy efficient.

The typical halogen uses £11 of electricity a year, while a replacement LED would use only £2 worth.

- The Energy Saving Trust.
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Before we get started...

Light is measured in two ways: by brightness in watts/lumen output, and by the colour of light, known as the Kelvin scale.

Watts and lumens (brightness)

Traditional incandescent bulbs were measured in watts, which is actually a measure of power. However, since energy-saving and LED bulbs were introduced it is a less useful measure as new bulbs use a lot less power to produce the same amount of light. So instead it is measured in lumens.

As a rough guide, 350 lumens would be suitable for a bed-side table lamp, whereas you might want between 1,500 and 3,000 lumens from more than one bulb to light a living room.

Kelvin Scale (colour)

The colour of light can have a dramatic effect on the mood of a room. Most people will want a warm yellow light as opposed to stark white or blue light for their home.

As a rough guide, the warm-yellow light to light your home would be around 2,700 on the Kelvin scale, while candle light is around 1,500K and direct sunlight around 5,000K.

The Drift Pendant featuring the Porcelain III.
The Drift Pendant featuring the Porcelain III.

Opaque white light

Awaken your space with a bold, white light. Providing ample task lighting, these bulbs are slightly less decorative than others we retail, but provide fantastic, bright illumination for our more concealed designs.

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Crompton Golf Ball. A superb efficient replacement for existing incandescent light bulbs, the Crompton produces a high lumen output but is compact in size and has an opaque aesthetic. We recommend this bulb with our Stem Table Light and any of our wooden wall lights.
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Crompton 11823. This light bulb gives off a warm white light and produces 470 lumens of light - equivalent to 40 Watt of the older style bulb. The Crompton 11823 bulb works well with our Mullion Floor Light, Urchin Lighting Range, and Leven Lighting Range.
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Osram Parathom Opal. Our brightest output bulb to date. A great choice for darker rooms that require task lighting and lampshades that conceal the luminaire but still require a high lumen output. Perfect for our No. 1 Lighting Range and Urchin Lighting Range.

Exposed Filament

Providing a warm glow when switched on and a point of interest when switched off, exposed filament bulbs are a great, attractive addition to designs that leave the bulb on display.

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The Tala Elva. The Elva has a unique filament structure enveloped by a traditional blown-glass form that is tinted to add softness and character to its hue. We recommend this design in our steam bent table lights, Kern Pendant, and smaller pendant lights.
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The Tala Gaia. The Elva bulbs big brother. We recommend this in our larger statement pendant lights and floor lighting such as our Wheal Floor Light and Skipper Floor Light.
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The Tala Squirrel. The combination of brass base, unique tinted glass and elongated sapphire filaments enveloped by a traditional blown glass form, make this dimmable bulb the perfect series in our Flock Chandelier and Archer Table Light.
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The Tala Globe. The Globe's sapphire filament array includes eight specially designed thin filament LED columns to produce a central vortex of warm, soft light guaranteed to add ambience to any living space. Well suited for smaller shades, such as our Skipper Pendant Small and Verso Pendant Small
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The Tala Squirrel bulb stands proudly in our Archer Table Light.
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Our Tala Globe illuminates our Flush Ceiling Light Collection perfectly.

Fully/partially coated

For a softer glow where you want to avoid any stark, direct glare, a partially coated, or frosted bulb is a great route. The following bulbs are a great alternative to filament and are sure to enhance your new lighting design...

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The Tala Porcelain II. This bulb has been covered in a phosphor coating to control glare usually produced by filament bulbs and illuminates interiors with a comfortable and soft ambient white light. We recommend with our Hanter Lighting Range and Skipper Lighting Range.
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The Tala Porcelain III. The Porcelain III has been moulded from matte glass, individually mouth-blown and then sandblasted to create a smooth, silky to the touch finish. Looks great with the Hanter Lighting Range and the Verso Lighting Range.
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The Opus Crown. The Opus LED Crown light bulb has a unique, golden mirrored cap which reflects light upwards through its traditionally shaped glass form to softly illuminate and add depth to any interior. Well suited to our Skipper Wall Light and Arame Wall Light.
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The final flourish. When the bulb is fully on display like in our Hanter Table Light, choosing the right bulb is a vital decision to set the tone for your space.
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Make or break: our Arame Wall Light illustrates the importance of having a bulb that compliments your light fitting.

If you require further assistance choosing the right light bulb for your Tom Raffield light then please talk to a member of our team - call +44 (0)1326 722725 or email


Posted: 11.09.18
Updated: 01.05.24

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