You may find yourself in the lighting aisle in the hopes of simply replacing a single bulb, and quickly realize you’re totally overwhelmed. Which is understandable, there are so many shapes, wattages, and types to choose from.
That’s where we come in. We’ll provide answers for some frequently asked questions regarding the most popular bulbs: CFL (compact fluorescent) and LED (light-emitting diode).
How do these bulbs compare in terms of energy consumption?
There was a lot of buzz when CFLs were initially released because they were the first viable alternative to standard incandescent lamps. And they certainly improved on incandescents, because they use 75 percent less energy.
LEDs are right there with CFLs, as they also use 75 percent less energy than traditional bulbs. A big difference, though, is that CFLs release about 80% of their energy as heat, which not only makes them hot to the touch, but is also inefficient. Because LEDs emit very little heat, the generated energy can be dedicated to producing light.
Which bulb lasts longer?
CFLs improved on the traditional incandescent bulb, but still fall well short of LEDs’ longevity: LED lights can last for three times longer than most CFLs. Not only does that make them the obvious choice over incandescent bulbs, but LEDs are also way more efficient than the second-place option.
Which gives off the “better” light?
Both CFLs and LEDs have made amazing advancements on traditional bulbs, but many buyers find fault with CFLs’ light quality. The required “warm-up” period leaves people in the dark longer than they would like, and these bulbs have also been known to flicker or pulsate.
We’ve been very happy with the instant start and the quality of light produced by LED lights, and judging by their prominence in the market, consumers have too. A popular feature of LEDs is their adjustable output, which can be customized according to what mood you’re going for in a specific area.
For example, in lighting your home office, you may want to simulate a refreshing daylight environment. Or if you were settling down to watch a movie, you might adapt your lights to provide a warm, cozy atmosphere.
LEDs can bring this vision to life with beautiful light that is tailored to every room’s purpose. Looking to the future, we only see this helpful technology improving.
Don’t let the lighting aisle stress you out: next time come armed with the knowledge that you know the differences.