You've probably seen them in plenty of places, like coffee shops, bars, and restaurants and anywhere else that wants to add a touch of nostalgia to its atmosphere.
Edison bulbs -- those historic looking light bulbs with swirling, looping filaments that create a piece of glowing art and cast a dim, warm glow. For comparison purposes, your standard incandescent bulb provides light at about 2700K, which is already a warm color temperature. Fluorescent lighting in an office setting is typically 3500K and above (much cooler, or whiter). An Edison bulb clocks in at a super warm 2200K or so, with a possible range of about 1800K to 2400K.
While they're not a great idea for general lighting (roughly half the light produced of a traditional incandescent bulb for the same wattage), Edison bulbs are widely embraced for decorative purposes, helping to drive a calming and retro ambiance.
Also sometimes called "carbon filament bulbs," these antique styled bulbs normally use modern tungsten filaments to reproduce the look of early light bulbs, which did indeed use carbon filaments. And to recreate that look, the bulbs are formed in historic shapes and the filaments are strung out in patterns like those of early bulbs. This can include filaments with double, triple, or quad loops; hairpin or horseshoe patterns; or the very popular "squirrel cage" option like in the bulb shown here.
While you should verify with the details on a website or packaging before buying, most Edison light bulbs come with a medium (E26) base, which is the common base in the United States. So it's easy to simply replace a standard light bulb with one of these. But again, you should only do so for decorative purposes: they're not ideal for general or task lighting since they're not as bright and don't have the same ability as other bulbs to render colors properly.
While there are several places where you can buy Edison bulbs, we think you will love the pricing and selection available at Lighting Supply. We work hard to give you an easy user experience on our website; we offer help by phone; and in-stock products ship same business day when you order by 5 p.m. EST.