Incandescent bulbs are being phased out. In fact, manufacturers have stopped making some incandescent lamps because of legislation that mandates more energy-efficient lighting. Great hopes were put into Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) as more energy-efficient alternatives but they have not been widely accepted due to a few drawbacks with this lamp type. Recent advances find a better low-energy solution than CFLs, â€”light emitting diodes (LEDs).
The Advantages of LED over CFL Light Bulbs – Explained
LED bulbs are fairly new to many home owners, at least as fixtures for lighting up living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms and other areas inside the house. What most people probably donâ€™t know is that their homes are actually filled with LED lights. They are found in flashlights, clock radios and cell phones. A lot of Christmas lights are also made of LED bulbs. The most obvious home appliance that uses LED is the LED flat-screen television. As the price of LED bulbs continue to go down, they can easily replace CFL bulbs and become the lighting solution of choice for all households.
There are three important factors to consider when buying light bulbs for the house: cost-effectiveness, energy-efficiency and durability. Letâ€™s take a look at how LED lights compare to CFL bulbs in terms of these factors.
â€¢Â Â Â Which is cheaper?
The straightforward answer is CFL bulbs are cheaper than LED lights. A high-quality CFL bulb costs around $4, while a high-quality LED light is pegged at somewhere around $10.
The not-so-straightforward but more accurate answer is LEDs can actually save you more money in the long run, even though it costs more upfront. Here is why. One CFL bulb lasts up to 8,000 hours, while a LED light has a lifespan of up to 50,000 hours. That is more than six times as long as a high-quality CFL bulbâ€™s lifespan. A homeowner can purchase one LED bulb for $10, while another has to purchase six CFL lights to last that long. That means it takes only $10 for an LED bulb to light up a place for 50,000 hours, while it takes $24 for six CFL bulbs to do the same.
â€¢Â Â Â Which is more energy-efficient?
There is no question about it, LEDs are far more energy-efficient than CFLs. LED bulbs require about 1/3 the power (watts) to produce the same amount of light as a CFL.
Furthermore, LED lights do not produce as much heat as CFLs. A good CFL lamp emits up to 30 BTUs/hour of heat, while an average LED bulb produces only 1/10 of that amount. It may be impossible to touch a CFL bulb after it has been turned on for several minutes, but an LED bulb will still be cool to the touch.
The less heat it produces, the less pressure the LED bulbs make on the homeâ€™s cooling system. An air conditioner naturally has to consume more electricity and work harder to cool a home installed with CFL lights during the summer. These savings in energy can easily translate to more savings in money, which further improves the cost-effectiveness of LEDs over CFLs.
â€¢Â Â Â Which is more durable and or Dangerous?
Again, LEDs win this round hands down. LED bulbs are not made of glass. They emit light from a semiconductor, which is as solid as solid can be. This is why LEDs are sometimes called solid state lights. If a bulb is dropped, it will still work as well as it did before. On the other hand, if a CFL bulb is dropped, the bulb shatters and releases mercury, a poisonous gas that is bad for humans and the environment.
LED lights are new players in the home lighting solutions industry, but they easily hold cost-effectiveness, energy-efficiency and durability advantages over CFL bulbs. Manufacturers continue to improve upon LED lighting technology, bringing the cost of LED bulbs down as they become the preferred lighting solution of the future.