Incandescent or LED: Why Not Both?
TheraBulb offers two different types of bulbs: incandescent and LED. We sell both types of bulbs because each one offers some features that the other does not. This not only makes them alternatives for each other, but also complementary. In this blog post we're going to discuss how using incandescent and LED bulbs together can offer you the best of both worlds.
TheraBulb Incandescent Bulbs
TheraBulb offers five incandescent bulbs. Three of these are designed for use in countries with 110V-120V electrical systems, most of which are located in North and Central America. These include the United States, Canada, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico. Japan also has 110V electrical systems. Our 120V bulbs are available in 150W, 250W, and 300W sizes. We also offer two incandescent bulbs designed for use in countries with 220V-240V electrical systems, a 150W and 300W bulb. 220V - 240V electrical systems are used in most of world, including Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania, and South America.
If you are not sure what voltage is used in your country, here is a guide to assist you.
TheraBulb Universal Voltage LED Bulbs
TheraBulb also offers a 5W universal voltage LED bulb that can be used worldwide.
Differences Between Incandescent and LED Bulbs
Incandescent and LED bulbs differ in several ways.
Incandescent vs LED Technology
The fundamental difference between incandescent bulbs is the way that they operate. Incandescent bulbs use the same technology that was patented by Thomas Edison in 1888. Inside each bulb is a wire filament, through which, electricity flows. This causes the filament to become so hot that it glows. It is this process that produces the visible light, infrared energy, and heat that TheraBulbs emit. The image below shows the inside of an incandescent TheraBulb.
LED produce visible light and near infrared energy as a result of electrical current passing through a microchip, which causes the light emitting diodes (LEDs) to be energized. Unlike incandescent bulbs, in which a glowing filament produces visible light and near infrared energy in a range of wavelengths, LED bulbs can be programmed to emit wavelengths in precise ranges. In the case of TheraBulb's LED bulbs, these ranges are:
- Visible Light 600nm - 675nm
- Near Infrared 800nm - 850nm
Incandescent vs LED Performance
Because the manner in which visible light and near infrared energy are produced by an LED bulb is reliant upon electronics, LED bulbs are able to deliver the same irradiance levels as incandescent bulbs, but with far less energy consumption. For example, TheraBulb's 5W LED and 250W incandescent bulb have identical irradiance levels (0.11 mW/cm2 at .33M and .01 mW/cm2 at 1M).
Additionally, LED bulbs do not produce significant amounts of heat and, instead, get just slightly warm. In contrast, incandescent bulbs get very hot (512°F - 589°F).
Using Incandescent and LED Bulbs Together
These differences in performance allow users to create a "best of both worlds" sauna array. You can increase the red light and near infrared energy output without significantly increasing the amount of heat produced or power consumed. Adding an LED bulb to a sauna array adds the same amount of red light and near infrared energy as a 250W incandescent bulb while increasing the power consumption a mere 2%.
The ability to increase red light and infrared output without significantly increasing power consumption is important because you're limited by the capacity of your home's electrical system, which is 15 amps per circuit in most homes. 15 amps allows you to draw 1800 watts of power from one circuit at one time. A home typically has multiple circuits, each of which is comprised of as many as 25 outlets. Circuits generally cover multiple rooms in your home. This means that, while the circuit offers 1800 watts of power, it is unlikely that all 1800 watts will be available to operate your TheraBulbs. To learn more about determining the number of bulbs needed, check out our blog post titled How Many Bulbs Do I Need?.
Incandescent and LED bulbs can be used together in a sauna array, but, because incandescent bulbs get very hot and LED bulbs have a plastic housing, you will want to keep them at least .33M (~12 inches) apart. This will prevent heat damage to the LED bulbs.
LED bulbs are not recommended for use in saunas that reach temperatures above 150°F.
Learn More and Save
If you have questions that we didn't answer here, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And, when you're ready to purchase your bulbs, take advantage of our sauna owner discount, which gives you 15% off when you purchase four or more bulbs — mixing and matching sizes is welcome. Simply enter the word SAUNA at checkout.