Do you want an inexpensive and warm light? => Incandescent Bulbs
Incandescent bulbs are the least expensive bulb available due to their long history and extensive compatibility with the vast majority of lamps. They generally produce a warm glow but lack the overall brightness of its competitors. Additionally, they tend to less energy efficient and have a shorter lifespan than newer designs.
Want a bulb with a great lifespan, and don't use many dimmers? => Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs
A compact fluorescent light bulb or CFL is a light bulb made a fluorescent light tube that has been contorted into a compact shape to fit standard lamps. These bulbs are significantly more energy-efficient than an incandescent bulb and maintain their energy efficiency even when tasked with staying lit for long periods of time.
Additionally, CFLs generate significantly less heat than an incandescent light bulb, which is ideal for hotter months and climates. Unfortunately, CFLs still struggle to produce warm light, though they are excellent at producing bright white light in a room.
Another slight drawback of CFLs is that their design requires an initial surge of energy to start up the light. For this reason, dimmers tend not to work with CFLs, as a traditional dimmer switch functions by sending smaller and smaller amounts of energy to a bulb, which creates less and less light. For a CFL, the small units of energy are not enough to trigger the lamp and cause the CFL to stay unlit.
Do you want the longest lasting bulb? => LED Light Bulbs.
LED light bulbs, or light-emitting diodes, are great bulbs that can last for more than twenty years. Due to their exceptional life span, LED bulbs tend to have a higher price tag than other bulb options. These high tech bulbs are easily capable of producing warm light, and some models can even produce varied colors and hues.
Want an exceptionally bright bulb, and don't mind the heat? => Halogen Light Bulbs
Halogen bulbs are a popular light bulb for floor lamps, and some floor lamps will only function if a halogen bulb is used. These bulbs produce very bright light and can fill large rooms with ease. That said, to produce so much light, the bulbs also produce a lot of heat.
In fact, some colleges have even banned halogen floor lamps and bulbs, due to the heat being a potential fire hazard. The heat may be superfluous, but even with the loss of heat the halogen gas is a very energy-efficient way for producing light and uses less electricity than its incandescent predecessors.
Want the brightness of halogen without the heat? => Xenon Light Bulbs
Xenon light bulbs are very bright bulbs and don't produce excessive heat. These benefits have been noticed by car manufacturers and have become common in vehicle headlights.
As for floor lamps, the brightness is a great trait for lighting up a room, but all of the brightness benefits of xenon bulbs come with an increased price tag. Xenon bulbs are usually the most expensive bulbs available for floor lamps, and unfortunately, they also have a shorter lifespan than most LED bulbs.