LED vs Fluorescent

Let’s start at the beginning. The term “LED Fluorescent Tube” is a misnomer…that is, the term does not in any way highlight the differences between LED tubes and traditional fluorescent tubes. This does a disservice to LED fluorescent tubes by totally ignoring their advantages, and the benefits they deliver when compared to traditional fluorescent tubes.

Let’s take a look at what separates LED lights from fluorescent tubes.

The differences between LED lights and traditional lights are clear-cut, and easy to understand. LED lighting technology moves electrons through a diode, which generates light by a process known as electroluminescence – which is a highly energy efficient method.

On the other hand, traditional lamps create ultraviolet light from electrical discharge by harnessing mercury and gas emissions. Why is this important? Because traditional lamps generate a much reduced volume of light, due to their 20th century, outdated design.

Light bulb projected lifespan

LED: 50,000 hours. CFL: 10,000 hours. Incandescent: 1200 hours

Watts per 60 watt bulb

LED: 10. CFL: 14. Incandescent: 60

KWh of electricity used over 50,000 hours

LED: 500. CFL: 700. Incandescent: 3,000

Bulbs needed for 50,000 hours of use

LED 1. CFL: 5. Incandescent: 42

Total cost for 50,000 hours

LED: $85.75. CFL: $89.75. Incandescent: $352.50

Granted, LED lighting is more expensive initially than other bulbs. But over a decade, the savings add up…really add up!

Also, if these number weren’t enough to convince you of the benefits of LED lighting, here’s something else to consider. Incandescent bulbs and CFL bulbs break far easier than LED’s, thus jacking up their cost even more. The durability of bulbs is measured in hours. Take a minute to compare those numbers above. It doesn’t take a degree in math to see the superiority of LED lights.

The most important measurement of lighting efficiency: Lumens

When a new bulb is needed, most folks automatically look at Watts, which is a measurement of power consumption, or how bright a light will shine. But when looking for an LED light, there’s something else you need to know about brightness.

Fact: Contrary to popular belief, wattage is not an indication of brightness. It simply measures energy usage of the bulb. For incandescent bulbs, there is a definite link between watts and brightness. However, watts are not as accurate when considering LED’s. For example, an incandescent 60W bulb puts out similar brightness to an LED bulb of 16-20 watts.

But before you worry about comparing the watts of incandescents to LED’s, look to a different form of measurement called Lumens.
The lumen abbreviation is (lm) and this is what you need to focus on when looking for a new light bulb. The lumen is the real measure of brightness provided by a light bulb. An incandescent bulb can use up to 5 times as many watts for an identical number of lumens.

Like the famous line of infomercials: “But wait! There’s more”, the benefits of LED lights just keep coming. Here is one that many people consider the most important. CFL’s and incandescent fluorescent bulbs are jammed-packed with dangerous, hazardous substances (mercury and phosphor) that are a threat to our health and our environment, and must be disposed of with care. LED lights, on the other hand, do not contain those hazardous materials, and thus are cleaner and more environmentally-friendly. Also, as mentioned earlier, LED’s dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

One last thing. The technological breakthroughs in LED lighting are exploding at a break-neck pace, and the added benefits of LED lights compared to CFL’s and incandescents will become more and more obvious in each passing year.

At the current pace, there is every reason to believe that LED lights will make all other traditional lights OBSOLETE within the next decade. No question about it. The LED lighting revolution is roaring ahead at full throttle.