Which should you buy – LED or CFL, and why?

When we consider home or office lighting, all of us are keen to save power and go green. So, switching from age old incandescent bulbs is a necessity. However, today, we have two alternatives to saving energy and going green – CFLs and LEDs. Hereon, let us see which should we switch to and why?

When we visit a home improvement store to source bulbs, the argument of CFL Vs LED is always at the forefront. This argument goes neither way since LEDs are more efficient than CFLs, but CFLs are comparatively much cheaper than LEDs. LEDs will pay for themselves over time, but many of us are not willing to invest today, at least not as much the difference that there is.

In the real world, the scenario is a little different. We need to understand that all of the above mentioned facts are true; however these are based on optimized laboratory environments. In real life, they do translate to truth; however, most of the stated efficiencies may not be as much.

As an example, a LED manufacturer claims to have developed an LED chip that can deliver 230+ lumens per watt. The same manufacturer does not sell LED bulbs in the market that are rated above 75 lumens per watt. Why? Because, the development was in a controlled environment and under entirely different conditions, far different from reality.

LED Vs CFL Bulb


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The above comparison chart shows that LEDs are far more efficient, however, some real world factor come in play here.

  1. Price: This is the clinching factor for the CFL. Though, it does not last as long, the cost of a CFL is about 33% of an LED. So, for replacement, a consumer might consider the end-of-life of a CFL before opting for an LED. Hereon opting for an LED will be a better choice although the price is three times since the cost of operation and the life of the LED beat the CFL hands down.
  2. Maintenance: In this scenario, LED bulbs are recommended since they come with zero maintenance costs and need to be replaced at the end of their life which is considerable at 25,000 hours.

Also, consider that an LED is non-toxic and gives out much cooler light compared to the CFL. LED is technical marvel and is the future of domestic as well as commercial lighting considering that it is an eco-lighting solution in addition to being cost effective and efficient.

All in all, the price of an LED lamp may deter the best of customers, but once they stop and think in terms of energy savings and shelf-life, the decision would certainly go in favour of the LED.

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