LED vs. CFL

LED lighting is the choice today over compact fluorescent lamps. CFLs are considered by many today to be obsolete technology and sales are declining significantly. One major lamp manufacturer has eliminated CFLs from their product offering. It just makes good business sense to use high quality LED lighting today.

Energy Efficient – LEDs are at least two times more efficient than compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). This lumens per watt improvement can mean a welcomed savings on your power bill.

Lifetime – CFL lamps have a much shorter lifetime than LEDs. CFLs are rated in average rated life, which means after a certain number of operating hours, half of the lamps have burned out. A typical average life rating for a CFL lamp is between 8,000 and 20,000 hours. LEDs are rated in average useful life. That typically means when 30% of the light has depreciated, however the LEDs are still fully functional. This is referred to as L70 which can be as high as 300,000 hours. This means that if a CFL is used, the lamp will need to be replaced between 5 and 10 times over the same period of time. This equates to significant maintenance cost savings with LED.

Switching Sensitivity – The life of a CFL will be less than the rated life if operated less than 3 hours per start. If an occupancy sensor is used with a CFL, its life could be reduced as much as 75% if on a 15minute cycle time. LEDs can be switched as frequently as you like with no compromise in performance.

Instant On – Most CFLs are slow to warm-up before getting to full brightness. This can take several minutes. LEDs are instant on to full brightness, no warm-up needed.

Lamp Lumen Depreciation – As lamps age, their light output decreases. This is called lamp lumen depreciation. The light output (lumens) from CFLs decrease much more quickly than LEDs.

Delivered Light Percentage – Up to 50% of the lumens from a CFL lamp can be trapped in the fixture and never reach the work surface. Horizontal mounted CFL downlights are the worst offenders. With LED fixtures, 100% of the delivered lumens exit the fixture which results in more usable light at the task.

Temperature Sensitivity – CFLs like linear fluorescent lamps are sensitive to cold ambient temperatures and will decrease in light output when they get cold or hot. LEDs love cold temperatures and actually get more efficient and have a slightly longer life.

Dimming – It is possible to dim CFLs with costly dimmable ballasts and can shorten lamp life. LEDs can be dimmed easily and dimming will increase LED system life.

Color Rendering – CFLs do not render colors as well as high quality LEDs. Saturated colors like red, green and blue often appear less vivid or faded compared to LEDs.

Hazardous Waste – Compact fluorescent Lamps contain mercury which should be disposed of properly, often at an additional cost. LEDs have no mercury.

For more information on LED lighting, contact us today.