Skip to content

Our guide to choosing the right light bulb

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.
kern lightbulbs

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.

All of our bulbs are LED and incredibly energy efficient. 

We’ve picked a selection of our favourite bulbs depending on your light shade and preference, all of which give a warm white light, and are available to buy online.


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

- The Energy Saving Trust.


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.

Elva Light Bulb. 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.
Gaia Light Bulb. 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.

LED lights have a much longer life span than traditional bulbs – 20 years is not untypical – and also have the advantage of reaching full illumination almost immediately.

In the past, energy saving bulbs have received a bad reputation for being dim and taking a long time to reach full brightness, but those days are behind us. New technologies pioneered by lighting brands such as our friends at Tala LED mean that sustainably crafted, quality bulbs are now accessible to the mainstream.

Furthermore, with the ban on importing or producing new halogen bulbs in the EU now in force (the law came in to play on 1st September) there's no better time to switch to LED lighting.

Make or break: our Arame Wall Light illustrates the importance of having a bulb that compliments your light fitting.


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.

Crompton G95 Light Bulb. The perfect solution for those seeking a high lumen output (a nice bright light) but don't like the glare sometimes produced by traditional filament light bulbs. We recommend this design in light shades that obscure the bulb such as the Scots Pendant and our iconic No.1 Lighting Range.
Crompton Light Bulb. 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 Urchin Pendant Light and Mullion Floor Light.

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.

Porcelain II Light Bulb. 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 Skipper Lighting Range and Hanter Table Light.
Porcelain III Light Bulb. 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 Arame Pendant.
The right light bulb produces light and shadow in perfect measure.
Cape Wall
Cape Wall Light. Sustainably sourced ash, oak or walnut loop in layers to compliment it's integrated light bulb that emphasises or elevates the space it claims.
Lit by three filament Squirrel light bulbs, each piece of our Giant Flock Chandelier is in constant motion. The tiniest of thermals change the Flock's form in a heartbeat, creating a chandelier unlike any other.


Once you’ve found the right colour and brightness it’s up to you to decide on the shape and aesthetic of the bulb.

Depending on your Tom Raffield light, you might prefer a sculptural bulb (particularly recommended to complement our Cape and Skipper Pendants), or exposed filaments (which work well with our Wheal Range of lights), or if the bulb is hidden then a simple Crompton bulb may do the job! 

The choice is yours...

Squirrel Light Bulb. 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 Giant Flock Chandelier.
Crompton Golf Ball. 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 Golf Ball bulb works well with our Eddy Wall Light due to it's compact size.

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

Items added to basket