Why Are There So Many Different Types of Light Bulb?

Written by Karen Bryan

I recently bought a couple of table lamps. The assistant in the store offered me a twin pack of  the required 40W light bulbs for £3.

I thought that sounded a bit expensive. I thought that we’d either have some in our home store of light bulbs, or I’d be able to buy them for less in a discount store.

Well, my first attempt ended up with me buying the wrong 40W light bulbs in B&M Bargains.

I had another look at the type of light bulb required, a screw in golf ball, prior to heading for Poundland. I bought two light bulbs for £1, thinking that I was glad I hadn’t paid £3 for two light bulbs in the shop in which I purchased the table lamps. But no, I had bought that wrong light bulbs again.

I should have looked more carefully on new table lamps, as it did give a light bulb model number of E14.

So far, that was almost one month of not being able to use my new table lamps.

I had a look online. If I didn’t want to wait a few weeks for delivery from China, the cheapest E14 bulbs despatched in the UK cost £1.50. The same price as in the store in which I’d bought the table lamps.

On the third attempt, armed with the light bulb model number, I bought the correct light bulbs for £1.19 each and Home Bargains. Wow, I saved a whole 62 pence on the price of the two light bulbs which I was offered when I purchased the table lamps.

Why, oh why, didn’t I just buy the correct light bulbs at the same time as buying the table lamps? Sometimes trying to save money turns out to be a frustrating waste of time.

But it did also lead me to ask why is it necessary to have so many different types of light bulbs?