What is the Difference Between LED & CFL Light Bulbs?

So, one of the light bulbs blew in your house, but you’re not quite sure what type of bulb to replace it with. There are many different choices at the store, but which bulb type will work best in your household and meet your lighting needs? Two popular choices are LED light bulbs (light emitting diodes) and CFL light bulbs (compact fluorescent lights). But, which is better? We discuss the differences between LED light bulbs and CFL light bulbs below.

LED Light Bulbs

Advantages of LED Lights

LED lights or light emitting diodes are an energy efficient light bulb that is built to last for long periods of time. The average LED bulb has a lifespan of 50,000 hours. That means the average LED bulb will burn for approximately 5.5 years if left on 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Assuming you don’t leave your lights on 24/7, LED lights will last for a very, very long time. They also fit into any household lighting fixture and do not require an adaptor. Unlike traditional, incandescent light bulbs, LED lights do not blow, or burn out. Instead, their brightness fades over time, and you should replace them when more lighting is needed. LED lights are RoHS compliant, meaning there is no Lead, Cadmium, Mercury, or other harmful elements found within the bulb.

Disadvantages of LED Lights

Although LED bulbs last an incredibly long time, they are more expensive than CFL light bulbs. However, due to their longevity, they may be a cheaper, long-term solution to CFL lighting.

Estimated Annual Operating Cost of LED Lights

The estimated annual operating cost of LED light bulbs is approximately $33 per year.

CFL Light Bulbs

Advantages of CFL Lights

CFL lights bulbs (compact fluorescent lights) are another energy efficient alternative to traditional incandescent bulbs. The average CFL bulbs has a lifespan of 8,000 hours approximately a full year of 24/7 lighting capacity. Although this is significantly less than LED bulbs, CFL lights should still last for a couple of years. CFL bulbs emit light that more closely resembles an incandescent bulb than LED lights and are less expensive than LED bulbs. CFL lights can also fit into any household lamp or lighting fixture.

Disadvantages of CFL Lights

Although cheaper than LED, the lifespan of CFL light bulbs is merely a fraction when compared to LED lighting. Perhaps one of the most significant disadvantages of CFL lights is the amount of Mercury found inside the bulb. Although the amount of Mercury found in the bulbs is minimal (approximately 1 5 milligrams), CFL light bulbs can be harmful if any Mercury makes contact with humans or pets. Due to the Mercury, CFL lights are not RoHS compliant.

Estimated Annual Operating Cost of CFL Lights

The estimated annual operating cost of CFL light bulbs is approximately $77 per year.

Talk With an Electrician Today!

Need help understanding what type of lighting is best for your household? No problem! At American Mechanical, our staff of licensed electricians are trained to help you with any electrical need. Contact us online.


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