CFL Bulbs vs LED

cfl bulb

Today’s two popular lighting options on the shelves are light-emitting diode (LED) and compact fluorescent light (CFL bulbs), thanks to the Energy Independence and Security Act that sought to eliminate the less efficient incandescent bulbs on the market.

Traditional incandescent bulbs are banned across Europe, with the US Department of Energy (DOE) phasing them out in 2022.

The shift to more efficient lighting options is estimated to drastically reduce carbon emissions with over 200 million metric tons for the next three decades.

The more efficient LED and CFL bulbs also help save energy costs at home by about 80% of what you’d pay using incandescent lamps.

CFL vs. LED vs. Incandescent Light

Incandescent lamps have been the traditional lighting solutions, and they work by heating the tungsten filament until it begins to glow.

Halogen lights are also incandescent and coated with an inert gas in the interior, such as iodine, halogen, and bromine, to enhance their light quality and durability.

Despite all the efforts to create a better incandescent lamp out of inert gases, they still get hotter and pose burn hazards.

90% of incandescent lamps’ energy is heat, making them highly inefficient in lighting solutions. Besides, their lifespan averages around 1,500 hours, a fraction of what you get with other options.

When it comes to the CFL bulb, the tube is coated with argon and small amounts of mercury gasses to produce visible light when connected to electricity.

Although the CFL bulb still costs a little more than an incandescent lamp, it uses at least 70% less energy and lasts ten times longer.

But it’s the LED lights that topple them all. This diode has two semiconductor materials that convert electric current to light. These bulbs are regarded as the most efficient in the market, using about 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs.

Moreover, LED lights are more efficient than CFLs in terms of efficiency and durability.

10 Reasons Why LEDs Are the King of the Global Lighting Market

With other lighting technologies slowly being phased out, LEDs are on their way to conquering the global lighting market. LED technology has made enormous leaps in versatility, efficacy, and quality over the last ten to fifteen years.

Below are the main reasons why LEDs have a substantial advantage.

1. Costs of CFL Bulbs vs LED

In the long run, you will save money using LED vs. incandescent lights or CFLs. Although the LEDs are more expensive up front, they offer substantial energy savings over time, given that they consume significantly less electricity.

Besides, having about only 10% of their energy output as heat, your air conditioners won’t have to run as high as in the hot weather in Halogen lights or CFL lamps.

2. Energy Efficiency

LEDs consume about 85-90% less energy to produce the same light in an incandescent lamp. This makes them at least 75% more efficient than halogen lamps, a significant margin from CFLs’ 25%.

Besides, incandescent and CFL bulbs generate most of their energy in heat, but LEDs remain cool most of the time, so they have less wasted energy. With the increasing energy costs, lighting options with much-wasted energy become impractical.

This is why CFL and incandescent bulbs can’t be sold to retailers due to failure to meet energy code requirements for efficiency.

3. Lifespan and Durability

The estimated lifespan of LEDs, CFLs, and incandescent lamps is 25,000, 12,500, and 3,000 hours, respectively. It means you will have saved for about eight halogen lamp changes or two CFL bulb replacements for a single lifespan of an LED.

LED bulbs are also the most durable as they don’t use the tungsten filament in incandescent lights, which are prone to breakages from energy surges and vibrations. The glass on halogen lamps can also burst due to extreme heat or cold shock.

Unlike CFL lamps, LEDs can also withstand extreme temperatures since they don’t contain mercury.

4. Safety and Health Concerns

Homeowners feel safer around LED vs. incandescent and CFL bulbs as they pose no fire risk. Halogen lamps and CFL bulbs convert over 50% of their energy to heat, creating a high risk of fire if located near combustible materials.

However, since only 15% of the LED energy is heat, they’re unlikely to start a fire and are safer to handle.

Besides the heat, CFL bulbs also have mercury and phosphor gasses, which, despite their trace amounts, make consumers wary in case the bulbs break.

5.Brightness and Color Temperature

You will get a much higher brightness level from LEDs, even with a less powerful bulb. The LED bulbs will produce 80-100 lumens per watt (lm/W), while a CFL bulb produces 50-70 lm/W and 16-24 lm/W for a halogen lamp.

So, for example, you will get the same brightness level in a 15-watt LED bulb as you would in a 20-watt CFL or an 80-watt incandescent lamp.

LEDs are also available in many color temperatures, and the best choice comes down to the kind of room you’re hoping to light. Check the “Lighting Fact” label on the box for a spectrum bar that indicates whether to expect a bluish or brightness.

Moreover, the dozens of LED chips are a backup factor when some fail or blow up. So, you can still get a reliable lumen without immediately replacing the bulb and spending extra money.

You can also use a dimmer switch for LED lights to maximize dimming ranges for nighttime use or fancy features like flickers, fades, and jump lights.

CFL Bulb

6. Environmental Impact

One of the most compelling reasons to switch to LEDs from CFL bulbs is their minimal environmental impact. Unlike CFL bulbs, which contain a small amount of mercury, LEDs do not have toxic materials and are 100% recyclable. This makes disposal easier and safer, contributing to a reduction in pollution and hazardous waste. Plus, the longer lifespan of LEDs means fewer bulbs end up in landfills over time.

7. Instant Lighting

Ever noticed how CFL bulbs take a moment to warm up and reach full brightness? LEDs don’t have this issue. They light up instantaneously to their full luminosity without the need for a warm-up period. This feature is particularly useful in spaces where instant, bright light is necessary the moment you flick the switch, making LEDs a more convenient option than CFL bulbs for both home and commercial spaces.

8. Flexibility in Design

LED technology offers unparalleled flexibility in design, allowing for creative and innovative lighting solutions that CFL bulbs can’t match. From thin, sleek profiles to integration into architectural elements, LEDs can be designed to fit any space or aesthetic. This adaptability extends to color options as well, with LEDs available in a wide range of hues beyond the capabilities of the standard CFL bulb.

9. Smart Technology Compatibility

Given the rise in smart home technologies, LED lights have kept pace by being more compatible with smart systems than CFL bulbs. LEDs can be easily integrated into home automation systems, allowing for remote control, scheduling, and even voice-command operations. This compatibility enhances the user experience, making LEDs not just a lighting choice, but a lifestyle one, too.

10. Ease of Disposal

Unlike CFL bulbs, which require special care during disposal due to their mercury content, LEDs are much easier to dispose of. This ease of disposal is not just convenient for consumers but also significantly reduces the environmental hazards associated with improper disposal of toxic materials. While CFL bulb users must find a recycling center or special disposal services to safely get rid of their bulbs, LED users can rest easy knowing their lighting choice contributes to a safer, greener planet. This stark difference highlights yet another advantage of LEDs over CFL bulbs, further supporting the switch to more sustainable lighting solutions.

What Else Can I Do To Reduce My Lighting Bill?

Besides adding LEDs as lighting solutions, you should observe the following practices to maximize energy savings while enjoying a more efficient and convenient lighting experience.

  • Turn off lights when leaving a room: Putt off light when exiting or invest in sensors and timers to ensure energy is only used when necessary. This way, you could save a lot in the long run.
  • Reduce the number of lights in a room: You may not need the lamps and flickers if the main light is on.
  • Consider transparent shades and fitting: Transparent shades can increase the impact of light than dark lampshades. Be sure to clean these shades regularly to maintain high light impact.
  • Dispose of old bulbs properly: Disposing CFL bulbs may need sealing on a Ziploc bag and correctly placing them in a recycle garbage can.
  • Spread the word: Once you transform to LEDs, encourage neighbors and friends to follow suit to make the world a better place for all of us.

Do the Math

A single LED bulb to replace a 60-watt incandescent lamp will cost below $2 and reduce your energy demand by 85%. Therefore, you will now only need about 10 watts of power to get the same light as the old 60-watt bulb.

The LED bulb benefits go beyond your bill as you will not be replacing it any time soon like you did with the halogen lamps. Besides, you’ll no longer be exposed to fire hazards or toxic elements in CFL bulbs. That is not to mention the favor you’ll have done to the planet and humanity.