Home Lighting: Compact Fluorescent or LED?




Consumer trends are changing the market every day. The "go green" efforts have had the greatest impact on the market. Take-over bulbs in popularity, LED lights and CFL are favorites for their excellent energy efficiency ratings. LED stands for LED and CFL stands for compact fluorescent lamps.

LED technology has long been used for illumination of dashboards, digital clocks and even traffic lights, which use a cluster of LEDs. The CFL technology has also been around for a while, usually as the long bulbs in commercial settings such as office buildings. Both LED lighting and CFL lamps can be used at home, but which is the best overall?

light Emission

Typically, LED lights only provide directional lighting, which shines almost like a headlight. CFL provides a wider spread of light. But the latest improvements to LED lights have created lamps that have clusters of LED lamps with diffuser lenses. These next generation LED lights have helmet skins and extended uses.

Another disadvantage of LED technology is the price. CFL lamps are usually cheaper to buy than LED lamps. However, when you look at total cost, considering time, longevity and energy efficiency, LED lights charge ahead in comparison to CFL lamps. Research studies show that LEDs more than fill up the high price ahead.

Energy efficiency / Environmental impact

A standard LED lamp uses only 2-10 watts of electricity, 1/30 of the amount of energy used by a CFL lamp. In addition, CFL can cause higher temperatures in the home, especially in summer, which increases cooling costs. LEDs do not generate nearly as much heat as a CFL. Reducing energy use in your home helps save money on cooling costs and also reduces carbon dioxide emissions, which can have a positive effect on air and water pollution.

CFL lighting is also harmful to the environment due to the presence of mercury, a chemical toxin. The mercury content of CFL emits ultraviolet light which excites the phosphor coating of the CFL lamp. A broken CFL lamp can release mercury, which can pose a health hazard. When a CFL lamp is disposed of, it must also be done in a certain way to reduce the risk of mercury leaking into the environment. LED lamps contain no toxic materials or chemicals. LED disposal is simple, and some can also be recycled.

Lifetime for LED and CFL

LED lamps also last considerably longer than CFL lamps. According to research, one LED usually lasts between 50,000 and 60,000 hours, while the typical life of CFL is about 10,000 hours. In addition, newer LED types have clusters of LEDs that make up a single light, so if one or two LEDs emit, the rest of the light should not be affected.

As LED technology becomes more popular, further improvements to the manufacturing process will be made, and you should expect to see the cost go down over time.