Fluorescent Light Bulbs vs. LED Light Bulbs


Fluorescent Light Bulbs

      • The fluorescent bulb has been around in various forms since the early 20th century. It makes light by electrically charging a combination of mercury vapor and krypton, neon or argon. The interaction of the charge and the gas causes ultraviolet light to be emitted. The inside of the bulb is coated with a fluorescent material that converts the UV light to the visible spectrum light emitted by the lamp.

Advantages of the Fluorescent Light bulb

      • The incandescent bulb utilizes as much as 90 percent of its energy in the production of heat; it produces about 14 lumens of light per watt of electricity used. A fluorescent bulb does not need to heat a filament to produce light, so a greater amount of its energy is dedicated to producing light. It will produce about 80 lumens per watt. The fluorescent bulb will also remain cooler, giving it a much longer life.

LED Light Bulbs

      • The light emitting diode is a semiconductor that has been used as an indicator light in electronics for many years. The LED produces light through a process called electroluminescence and is capable of producing light in a variety of colors across the visible wavelengths. An LED used for lighting requires additional optical components in order to direct the light and its reflection. Current bulb models contain many LEDs to produce the desired output and are much more expensive than the fluorescent equivalent.

Advantages of the LED Bulb

      • The LED lamp has the lowest current draw per lumen of comparable light bulbs. It also has the longest projected lifespan. Efficiency of the LED lamp is difficult to compare since the manufacturers use different formulas to compute it. They appear to compare favorably with equivalent fluorescent lamps in output per watt and rate superior in estimated life. If the heat and current requirements are met, an LED bulb’s lifespan is on the order of 50,000 hours.

Cost Differences

    • Both fluorescent and LED bulbs are efficient replacements for incandescent lights, and both will save money on energy costs over the lifetime of the lamp. The biggest difference between the two is in the initial cost. A 60-watt equivalent fluorescent lamp will cost approximately 18 times more than the equivalent incandescent lamp. The LED replacement bulb comes in at a staggering 111 times the cost of the standard bulb, as of 2010.



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