Pros vs. Cons: Edison Light Bulbs

Find out if Edison bulbs are the right fit for your home.

Related To:

You can instantly add a vintage look to your home by replacing regular light bulbs with Edison bulbs, but they’re not right in every fixture or room. If you love the look of a turn-of-the-century replica incandescent bulb and want a bulb that demands to be seen, weigh the costs and benefits of Edison bulbs.

Pros and Cons of LED Light Bulbs

Pros and Cons of LED Light Bulbs

How (and why) to choose LED light bulbs for your home.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

PROS

They’re Stylish

Pros and Cons of Edison Light Bulbs

Pros and Cons of Edison Light Bulbs

How to choose Edison-inspired vintage, warm light bulbs for the home.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Edison replica light bulbs effectively capture the warmth and ambiance of traditional bulbs from the 1900s. For certain fixtures and home styles, the decorative shape of the glass bulb and the internal filaments make Edison-style lighting a must-have accent for both form and function. The detail is perfect for fixtures when the bulb is visible – you wouldn’t want to hide it – and the design will nearly effortlessly accessorize vintage or replica fixtures that homeowners of Victorian, steampunk, and other early turn-of-the-century properties embrace. Even modern homes can use Edison-inspired light bulbs to their advantage, and merge cleanly-lined fixtures with ornate, complex filament designs. 

They Offer Warmer Color Temperature

The color temperature emanated from an Edison bulb exceeds the warmth of an incandescent bulb, making a living space cozier. Don't expect an Edison Bulb to light a whole room, however: It’s truly just an accent light.

They're Better for Your Health. Maybe.

Exposed Bulb Sconce

Exposed Bulb Sconce

A study from the Harvard Medical School suggests that blue light that’s more prevalent in LED and cool light wavelengths is disruptive to sleep patterns, so using warm Edison bulbs could mean a more restful night sleep.

They’re Dimmable

Replica Edison incandescent bulbs are dimmable with fixtures with a dimmer switch and are less likely to have compatibility issues than an LED bulb. That said, if you choose an LED Edison bulb, you may experience flickering even if the product is marketed as dimmable. This is often due to transformer, fixture or switch incompatibility, not the bulb itself.

They’re Surprisingly Affordable

Pros and Cons of Edison Light Bulbs

Pros and Cons of Edison Light Bulbs

How to choose Edison-inspired vintage, warm light bulbs for the home.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Bulbs are between $3-$11 per bulb, with LED bulbs priced at the higher end. Considering the design and technology, it's an affordable way to add more detail to your home. Buy in bulk online to get a better rate.

CONS 

They're Fragile

Embroidery Hoop Chandelier in Cozy Apartment

Embroidery Hoop Chandelier in Cozy Apartment

This DIY embroidery hoop light fixture add style to this warm apartment.

Photo by: Shannon Adams

Shannon Adams

The ornate filaments visible through the glass of an incandescent Edison bulb are fragile and prone to damage if knocked or dropped. It may not be suitable in homes with kids and pets. 

They're Less Energy Efficient

A conventional Edison bulb is not as energy efficient as modern alternatives. Thanks to the evolution of LED technology, however, there are compelling LED Edison bulbs that are more durable and efficient than incandescent filaments. They still produce less light than regular LED bulbs, but the filaments produce a warm color temperature for a pleasant and energy-efficient glow in your home. 

Keep Reading

Next Up

Pros vs. Cons: LED Light Bulbs

Keep these in mind if you're thinking of replacing bulbs in your energy-efficient home with LED bulbs.

Change a Bulb, Change the World, Save Some Green

Installing energy-saving fluorescent bulbs will not only help save the planet, it will help save your budget.

Four Tips for Cutting Bulb Glare

No one wants to deal with the unpleasant glare from bare light bulbs. Here are four options for reducing bulb glare in kitchen chandeliers.

Upcycled Light Fixtures = Cool Character

Two Atlanta homeowners share some DIY inspiration for redoing light fixtures in their 1920s Craftsman-style bungalow.

Buyers' Guide For Outdoor Christmas Lighting

Find tips and trends on the latest outdoor lighting gadgets and decorations.

Landscape Lighting

Learn how to light up your home, add curb appeal to the front yard or turn your backyard into evening entertaining space.

10 Things You Must Know: Accent Lighting

The right illumination can change the look and feel of your home. Check out these tips on where and how to place accent lighting.

Bathroom Lighting

Check out these important tips on lighting your bathroom from HomePortfolio's Alan Kauzlaric.

Bright Idea: Home Lighting

Don't underestimate the transformative power of good lighting. Learn about ambient, accent and task options.

Bathroom Lights That Let You Shine

A lighting expert shares tips for properly illuminating your bathroom for maximum beauty and functionality.

On TV

Custom Built

7:30am | 6:30c

Mega Decks

8am | 7c

Yard Crashers

8:30am | 7:30c

Yard Crashers

9:30am | 8:30c

Yard Crashers

10am | 9c

Yard Crashers

10:30am | 9:30c

Yard Crashers

11am | 10c

Yard Crashers

11:30am | 10:30c

Yard Crashers

12pm | 11c

Yard Crashers

12:30pm | 11:30c

Yard Crashers

1pm | 12c

Yard Crashers

1:30pm | 12:30c

Tiny Paradise

2:30pm | 1:30c

Tiny Paradise

3:30pm | 2:30c

Tiny Paradise

4:30pm | 3:30c

Tiny Paradise

5:30pm | 4:30c

Tiny Paradise

6:30pm | 5:30c

Love Yurts

7pm | 6c

Love Yurts

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Love Yurts

8pm | 7c

Love Yurts

8:30pm | 7:30c

Love Yurts

9pm | 8c

Love Yurts

9:30pm | 8:30c
10pm | 9c
11pm | 10c

Love Yurts

12am | 11c

Love Yurts

12:30am | 11:30c
1am | 12c
2am | 1c

Love Yurts

3am | 2c

Love Yurts

3:30am | 2:30c

Hidden Gold

4:30am | 3:30c

Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.

Consult Our A-Z Guide

Everything You Need to Know

Browse a full list of topics found on the site, from accessories to mudrooms to wreaths.  

How-To Advice and Videos

Get video instructions about kitchens, bathrooms, remodeling, flooring, painting and more.

Watch DIY Downloads Now

Watch DIY Network LIVE

Don't miss your favorite shows in real time online.