Lighting: LED, CFL, or Incandescent?

Lighting: LED, CFL, or Incandescent?

Lighting is an essential component in all homes. For many years, only one type of light bulb was available, the incandescent bulb. The compact fluorescent light (CFL) was then introduced, giving a more efficient and cheaper alternative to the incandescent bulb. However, the need for a bulb that has low energy usage, low environmental impact and low heat emissions led to the development of the LED (Light emitting diodes) bulbs. When it comes to lighting up your house, you will have to decide which kind of lighting you want installed. Which lighting should you choose: LED, CFL or incandescent? Take a look at the following of the three types of lighting and make your choice.

1. Brightness

In most cases, the main purpose of a bulb is providing light which makes brightness a major factor to consider. The brightness of a bulb is measured in lumen. An ordinary 75 watts incandescent light has an output of 900 lumens, a 13 watts CFL light outputs 800 lumens while a 10 watts LED light gives and output of 850 lumens.

2. Average life

The average life of light bulbs is determined by the number of hours they can operate without getting burned out. For an incandescent light the life span is around 750 hours. CFLs can last up to 8000 hours while LED lights go for up to 50,000 hours.

3. Heat

Some home users prefer using incandescent lights in their homes since they increase the heat. A 100W incandescent light can produce 335.4 F of heat while CFL lights can produce 179.2 F. However, CFL and incandescent lights tend to release more heat energy than light energy which makes them inefficient. They can also present a fire hazard. LED lights produce very little heat burning at an average of 87.2 F.

4. Environmental impact

CFL bulbs pose a great danger to the environment. This is because they contain mercury which contaminates both soil and water. These bulbs are therefore not safe to be disposed of normally in a landfill. CFLs also emit greenhouse gases when they are in use and also when discarded. As for incandescent lights and LED lights, they are safe to use and discard normally.

5. Price

In the market today, the incandescent lights are the cheapest with one being sold for a dollar or less. They are followed by the CFL bulbs which you can buy with two dollars. LED lights are available at eight dollars or less.

6. Efficacy

The efficiency of a light bulb is dependent on the amount of power it uses compared to the brightness it produces. That is why efficacy is found by dividing brightness by the wattage necessary to light the bulb. Incandescent lights output 14lm/W, LED 85lm/W and CFL 65lm/W. This makes the LED bulbs the most efficient.

Those are some of the characteristics of light bulbs that will help you determine the kind of lighting you should have in your house. If you are still confused, take a look at the following pros and cons of incandescent lights, CFLs and LED lights.

Pros and Cons of incandescent lights

Incandescent lights are environmental friendly, light up immediately, are not sensitive to cool temperatures and are less costly than CFLs and LED lights. The light they produce is always evenly spread.

The cons of incandescent lighting are having a short life span and consuming a lot of watts. This makes their handling costs very high compared to LED and CFL lighting.

Pros and Cons of CFL lights

CFL lights use less energy than incandescent bulbs, are less costly than LED light bulbs and produce evenly distributed bright light. CFL bulbs are available in warm, bright and soft white hues.

The advantages of CFL include the fact that the bulbs cannot be used with a dimmer switch. When the light is switched on, CFL bulbs take a few moments to heat up and gradually reach full brightness. The bulbs are have trouble lighting in cold temperature. They also contain mercury which is extremely toxic.

Pros and Cons of LED light bulbs

LED lights have very many advantages. They light up immediately, last for an extremely long time, do not contain mercury and do not produce much heat. LED bulbs are not sensitive to cold temperatures. Some models can be switched to a dimmer option. The bulbs are available in warm, bright and soft white hues.

One conspicuous disadvantage of LED bulbs is its high cost compared to both CFLs and incandescent lights. The light produced by LED bulbs is not usually evenly distributed in the room or space of lighting.

Hopefully, you can now make an informed decision on the kind of lighting that best suits your home. Choose wisely!


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