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Bulb Styling Tips

Posted on December 16 2020

LED, Fluorescent, and Halogen Incandescent are the major light bulb types used in households. These bulbs can vary in color, efficiency, brightness, appearance, life expectancy and in cost.

Choosing the right type of bulb for your needs is important, but there is so much more to bulbs than just the source type. Bulb shapes and appearance can really affect the overall look and feel of your fixture. Selecting bulbs that stylistically fit can be a great way to dress up your fixture.

Option, Options, Options....There are so many styles!

The style of bulb used can drastically change the look and feel of the fixture, which is oftentimes why its best to layout your options and test to see which look best fits with your light.

Here are a few of our favorites bulb styles…

Chrome-Tipped Bulbs

Want to create a modern statement? These chrome-tipped bulbs redirect the light they emit onto the fixture. This helps to reduce and control glare. On a chrome fixture, the bulbs become an extension of the reflective fixture.  These bulbs are recommended for bold, metallic, or contemporary fixtures.

Flame-Tipped Bulbs

Flame-tipped candelabra bulbs or candle bulbs are perfect for enhancing a dramatic and/or romantic looking fixture. Frosted or clear, these decorative bulbs add a traditional touch. These bulbs are recommended for traditional chandeliers and fixtures with intricate ironwork and/or rustic finishes.

Blunt-Tip Bulbs

Simple, yet elegant, this softly rounded blunt-tip candelabra bulb works well with traditional to transitional sconces, chandeliers, and pendants. We recommend this bulb for most decorative fixtures. Use them in dining rooms, entertainment spaces, and hallways.


Globe Bulbs

Have a round fixture with a lot of empty visual space inside, a Globe bulb may help you fill up some of that negative space and achieve an awesome look at the same time. Recommended for large, modern and mid-century-modern fixtures.

Tube Bulbs


Tubular bulbs can vary in heights and width, but the overall look is the same. These elongated bulbs add a modern touch. In the case of the tall example shown, these tubular bulbs do a great job of filling the vertical space. We recommend these bulbs for fixtures in modern or industrial styles.

Straight-Tapered Bulbs


Straight Tapered Bulbs, usually found on rustic and vintage-inspired fixtures, can be a great upgrade to simple lamps. The bulbs have an industrial look that is a great complement to these styles. We recommend these bulbs be used in large, bold, Rustic to Modern-Industrial fixtures.

Frosted vs Clear Bulbs

At the store, options may be limited. Sometimes, you can find either frosted or clear bulbs. These bulbs have an obvious color difference when taken out of the box, but the difference is much more significant when installed.

Clear or Frosted Bulbs

Clear bulbs simply omit light while frosted bulbs offer more diffuse light. Diffuse light can be beneficial when dealing with shades.

To see this clearly, look at the example above. Here, we can see the what happens when we place clear and frosted bulbs in the same fixture. Look at the fixture at the top. Here we installed clear bulbs. The clear bulbs create harsh vertical lines on the shade and create distorted shadows.

In contrast, look at the fixture below where we installed frosted bulbs. The shade on the fixture with the frosted bulbs appears to be smooth with an even color tone and more appealing shadows.

Keep this clear vs frosted bulbs demonstration in mind, when shopping.