In the field of energy efficient lighting, many become confused as to the difference between LED bulbs and CFL bulbs. LED bulbs produce light once a current passes through while CFL bulbs produce light when a current flows between electrodes at each end of a gas-filled tube. CFL bulbs take a little longer to become completely lit due to this reaction, which can be completed anywhere from 30 seconds to three minutes. These bulbs also differ in appearance – LED bulbs are long while CFL bulbs are curly.
While CFL bulbs use 25%-35% less energy than the standard light bulb, LED is the better choice as it uses 75% less energy and lasts up to 25 times longer. LED also helps save a total of more than $30 billion in electricity prices and holiday lights with LED bulbs can still be used 40 seasons from now. LED bulbs have a lifespan of 15-25+ years, while CFLs have a lifespan of 10 years. LED bulbs emit very little heat, while the standard bulb releases 90% and CFL releases 80%. LED emits light in a certain direction; therefore, these bulbs do not need diffusers or reflectors to trap light. With at least 500 million down-lights in American homes (lights found in kitchens, hallways, and bathrooms), LED and CFL can decrease wattage by 75%.
Here are some usage/price differences between LED bulbs and CFL bulbs. Keep in mind the higher the lumens, the brighter the light will be:
1. A 1600 lumens LED bulb used for 19 weeks can cost you $2.54 a year. A 1600 lumens CFL bulb used for 20 weeks can cost $2.67 a year.
2. An 1100 lumens LED bulb used for 15 weeks can cost $2 a year. An 1100 lumens CFL bulb used for 16 weeks can cost $2.14 a year.
3. An 800 lumens LED bulb used for 10 weeks can cost $1.34 a year. An 800 lumens CFL bulb used for 13 weeks can cost $1.74 a year.
4. A 450 lumens LED bulb used for five weeks can cost $.67 a year. A 450 lumens CFL bulb used for 10 weeks can cost $1.34 a year.
Whether you choose LED or CFL, both are better options at saving energy and money when used for lighting within your home.