Getting rid of artifacts and fireflies

What light source produces the least amount of artifacts/fireflies

spot light, point lights, or emission planes (objects as light source)

I can only speak subjectively, but I’ve found large area lights to behave better than large emission planes, but may depend on amount of clamping you’re willing to do. So bigger is better than smaller. Few better than more. Big difference in output power also seems to be worse than similar output powers. And then there all the other factors.

But my main issue was always having to deal with tiny bulbs of light, especially if there are larger sources around at the same time (indoor mixed lighting i.e.).

Tiny light sources do seem to be the worst as well as windows lighting (outside lights). Im not familiar with clamping, what does it do and how does it affect render times and quality?

Clamping (AFAIK) limits the maximum light a ray can carry. Doesn’t affect render times but helps get rid of fireflies. Can darken you render if you set it too low.

This will get rid of some noise from windows.