3 Way Light Bulbs

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3 Way Light Bulbs

Most homes don't necessarily need a uniform amount of light at all times, and it can be helpful to be able to adjust the brightness of your lamps according to the time of day. 3 way light bulbs have been around for the better part of a century, and they are among the most common bulbs consistently put to residential use. Here at Walgreens, we have a variety of 3 way light bulbs so that you can easily switch between soft, dimmer lighting and brighter lighting as needed.

How Do 3 Way Light Bulbs Work?

While traditional bulbs have a single filament that produces a consistent level of light whenever they are illuminated, 3 way light bulbs are made with two independent filaments--one of which is stronger than the other. The low-power filament (usually 50 watts) and medium-power filament (usually 100 watts) can each be turned on independently, or you can turn them on together for a high-power light that's typically equivalent to 150 watts. 3 way light bulbs can only be used in lamps that are equipped with specific sockets and switches, so you should check your lamp's manual before installing one of these bulbs.

Different Types of Light Bulbs

For decades, incandescent light bulbs were essentially the only type available to consumers. These bulbs have a traditional filament that produces a warm, white light, and the amount of energy they use corresponds with the wattage numbers listed on the bulb (for example, a typical 3 way incandescent bulb uses 50/100/150 watts of electricity). Recently, efforts have been made to reduce energy consumption as it relates to residential lighting, and newer energy-efficient bulbs have started to replace the incandescent variety. So far, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are the only newer type of bulb able to imitate traditional 3 way light bulbs. CFLs use mercury to glow and are recognizable for their signature spiral shape. As with all CFLs, these bulbs advertise their actual energy usage numbers as well as the equivalent amount of light produced--so one that glows as brightly as a typical 50/100/150-watt light bulb might only use a fraction of that amount of energy.