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    CFL vs. LED Lights: The Better Bulbs

    When you replace your incandescent bulbs, should you buy CFL or LED lights?

    CFL vs. LED Lights: The Better Bulbs

    By Green America

    Energy experts agree the incandescent bulb is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. In fact, in 2007, Congress passed the Energy Independence and Security Act, which requires all light bulbs sold on the market have a 30 percent increase in efficiency over today’s standard incandescent bulbs. The law has already meant that store shelves once stocked with only incandescent bulbs are now full of CFL and LED lights.

    In the past decade, many consumers have shifted to using compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) or light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs). Lighting can account for up to 20 or 25 percent of a home’s energy costs, so switching can result in savings on your monthly energy bill.

    Unfortunately, in September 2019, the Energy Department moved to rollback regulations put into place in 2017 that would have phased out incandescent light bulbs over time. That rollback means that bulbs first developed over 100 years ago will remain on the market longer, which will result in wasted energy and greater pollution. But, even though the Energy Department took a major step backward on energy efficiency, it still makes sense to move to more efficient lighting in your home.

    Why Abandon Your Incandescents?

    Invented by Thomas Edison in last quarter of the 19th century, modern incandescent electric light bulbs have been lighting much of the world for more than 100 years. Incandescent bulbs are lit by heating a wire tungsten filament until it begins to glow. Because approximately 90 percent of the energy generated in these bulbs is heat instead of light, they are extremely inefficient. The average incandescent bulb has a lifespan of about 1,500 hours—a fraction of what you can get from a CFL or LED bulb.

    Halogen lights are a more efficient form of incandescent lighting because they last longer; however, they get hotter than regular incandescent bulbs and pose fire and burn hazards.

    For nearly every incandescent bulb still in use today, there’s a CFL or LED light bulb that can replace it—saving energy and curbing carbon emissions. If you still have incandescents at work or home, it’s time to send them back to the Dark Ages.

    CFLs: An Improvement on Light Bulbs

    CFLs (and fluorescent tube lights) are lit by an electric current that is sent through a tube containing argon and a small of amount of mercury gases. This in turn generates an invisible ultraviolet light, which then stimulates a fluorescent coating on the inside of the tube, producing visible light.

    Pros of CFLS

    Longevity—With an average lifespan of approximately 10,000 to 15,000 hours, a CFL bulb lasts about ten times longer than an incandescent bulb—which means they need to be replaced less often, making them convenient for those hard-to-reach light fixtures and lamps.Efficiency—“CFLs are about four times more efficient than the equivalent wattage of incandescent bulbs,” says Naomi Miller, the senior lighting engineer at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Portland, OR. “So if you take the wattage of the CFL and multiply it by four, that equals the incandescent bulb you would replace. So, for example, a 15W CFL is roughly equivalent in light output to a 60W incandescent bulb.” According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), if every household in America replaced just one incandescent bulb with a CFL, the energy saved would be enough to light 3 million homes and prevent greenhouse gas emissions from the equivalent of 800,000 cars.Price—CFLs have dropped dramatically in price since they were first introduced to the market in the 1980s. They still cost a little more than incandescents; however, they will pay for themselves after a year or two of use. Because they last so much longer than incandescents, you will continue to see savings on your energy bills throughout the life of the bulb.

    Cons of CFLS

    Mercury concerns—Many people are concerned about the mercury in CFLs, and with good cause: mercury is a neurotoxicant. The amount in a CFL bulb, however, is smaller than the tip of a pencil. Increased use of CFL bulbs instead of incandescents actually reduces the amount of mercury released into the atmosphere, since the main source of mercury emissions are smokestacks from fossil fuel burning power plants, according to the EPA. CFLs pose little risk to your family if they break, but proper clean-up is important.Some usage limitations—CFLs are not dimmable, and they are not efficient in recessed lighting, where they waste about half of the energy they produce. To maximize their efficiency, avoid exposing them to extreme temperatures.

    Best uses:

    CFLs were a placeholder for LED lights, because LEDs are even more efficient. LED lights are now readily available in both brick and mortar stores and online and come in all shapes and sizes.

    If you adopted CFLs as replacements for incandescent bulbs go ahead and use them until they stop working; just make sure they are disposed of properly at the end of their life cycle.

    LED Lights: The Future of Lighting is Here

    Source : www.greenamerica.org

    LED vs. CFL Bulbs: Which Is More Energy

    Compare the energy efficiency, life span and cost of CFL vs. LED bulbs and learn which is better for your home’s energy efficiency.


    Energy Efficiency Published:

    March 25, 2016 Updated:

    September 8, 2021

    LED vs. CFL Bulbs: Which Is More Energy-Efficient?

    Confused about choosing between CFL bulbs vs. LED bulbs? Since 2014, government regulations have been pushing consumers to replace familiar incandescent light bulbs with more energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs.

    Advances in both CFL and LED technologies have expanded consumer choice — yet make evaluating your options a little more complex. Knowing how different kinds of light bulbs stack up against each other will help you not only get the right lighting for any given space but also save energy in the process.

    Understanding energy-efficient light bulbs

    When considering a CFL vs. an LED bulb to replace an incandescent one, it helps to understand the basic differences in the three major light bulb technologies on the market today:

    Incandescent bulbs are the familiar pear-shaped or round screw-in light bulbs that have been marketed since Thomas Edison perfected the carbon filament bulb in 1879.CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) bulbs are commonly manufactured as a spiral tube connected to a screw-in ballast or base. Newer technology replaces the curly light bulb with one that looks like the traditional incandescent bulb. They also now come in round and flame shapes.LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs are a newer technology. Once only available as a longish tube, bulbs now come in nearly every shape and size, including flexible ropes for decorating.

    CFL vs. LED bulbs

    In the CFL vs. LED battle for energy efficiency, life span and cost, the winner is the LED bulb.

    We’ve come a long way in energy-efficient light bulb technology. While incandescent bulbs remain on the market for now, the benefits of newer technology are driving the switch to LED bulbs. To understand the advantages of LED bulbs vs. CFL, or even incandescents, it helps to know a little bit about how they work.

    In an incandescent bulb, electricity passes through a filament that gets so hot that it produces light. About 95% of the energy is wasted as heat, with only 5% of it going toward light.

    In CFL bulbs, an electric current flows between two electrodes at the ends of a gas-filled tube coated in phosphor. When energy hits this coating, it changes into light. The reaction takes between three and 30 seconds to start, which is why you experience a delay when you first turn on a CFL light.

    LED bulbs produce light when energy is passed through a semiconductor in a way that produces visible light through electroluminescence.

    Which is more energy-efficient: CFL vs. LED?

    LED bulbs are much more energy-efficient than CFL and incandescent bulbs. They are hands down the best smart light bulb to use with your smart home system. When first commercialized, CFLs were heralded for their 25%-35% energy savings over traditional bulbs.

    LED efficiency, however, has upped the ante. Comparing CFL vs. LED bulbs, LEDs with an ENERGY STAR® rating cut energy use by 75%. Both technologies are used in energy-efficient dimmer light bulbs.

    Did you know? By 2027, widespread use of LEDs could save about 348 TWh of electricity, according to Energy.gov. That is the annual electrical output of 44 1,000-megawatt electric power plants and represents a savings of more than $30 billion at today’s electricity prices.

    How much heat do CFL and LED bulbs give off?

    LED efficiency is best because the bulbs waste very little energy on heat, concentrating electricity on the production of light. Incandescents waste the most energy. CFLs are not all that much better, releasing 80% as heat.

    LED or CFL: Which bulbs last longer?

    LED bulbs last longer than CFL bulbs. With 25,000 or more hours of life, an LED handily beats the  CFL bulb’s and incandescent bulb’s averages of 8,000 hours and 1,200 hours, respectively. Comparing CFL vs. LED bulbs, LEDs last much longer.

    Did you know? The LED holiday lights you buy today will still be brightening the season 40 years from now, according to Energy.gov.

    What kind of light do LED and CFL bulbs emit?

    Light from LED bulbs is intrinsically directional, making it perfect for task lighting. LEDs  can be beamed to focus as downlights in kitchens, offices and bathrooms. Because they don’t get hot, LEDs are safer for use in tight spaces like closets and are more energy-efficient in refrigerators and other appliances.

    Did you know? At least 500 million recessed downlights are used in U.S. homes, with more than 20 million sold each year. The Department of Energy estimates switching to CFL and LED bulbs in these fixtures could decrease downlight wattage use by 75% or more.

    The difference between lumens and watts

    Understanding the difference between lumens and watts can help when you evaluate your choices. Choosing light bulbs based on energy used measured in wattage is the familiar way to shop.

    Source : blog.constellation.com

    Comparing LED vs CFL vs Incandescent Light Bulbs

    What's the difference between LED, CFL and Incandescent Light Bulbs? Why does the LED light bulb reign supreme? Uncover everything you need to know in this article.


    Comparing LED vs CFL vs Incandescent Light Bulbs

    May 10, 2022 Posted by Brandon McBride

    05 APR

    3 minute read – The Ultimate Guide by VIRIBRIGHT (Charts, Tables, and more)

    Over the years, advances in technology have brought about innovations in how to light our homes and commercial buildings. In the beginning, all we had was the standard, incandescent light bulb. Now we have compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) and light emitting diodes or LED for short. We are going to tackle the question… which light bulb type reigns supreme? There are many variables, so let’s dig in!

    Quick Menu – click below

    Brightness: which bulb is brighter?

    Life Span: which bulb lasts longest?

    Cost: which bulb costs less?

    LED VS CFL Brightness

    Are LED lights brighter than or equal to Compact Fluorescent (CFL) bulbs? The trick is to understand the technology. In short, LED and CFL as technologies do not have a difference in brightness intrinsically. Brightness is determined by lumens. Lumens is best described as the measurement of light. A single CFL and LED bulb might have the same lumen (brightness) output but vary greatly in the amount energy needed to generate that level of brightness.

    Many LED bulbs in the past were not omnidirectional which gave the upper hand to CFL in various scenarios. For example, in a floor lamp, a CFL would perform better because of the light coverage was, at the time, much broader. In most recessed lighting (ceiling), however, the LED would have greater efficacy. Fast forward to new LED generations, and we see the little light-emitting diodes surpassing CFLs in overall energy consumption, color and even becoming more competitively priced in the marketplace.

    Lumen & Wattage Comparison

    The chart below illustrates the amount of brightness in lumens you can expect from different wattages of light bulbs. LED bulbs require much less wattage than CFL or Incandescent light bulbs, which is why LEDs are more energy-efficient and longer lasting than their competitors.

    How to understand this table – look at the lumens (brightness) in the far left column, then compare how many watts of power each light bulb type requires to produce that level of brightness. The lower the wattage needed, the better.

    Lumens (Brightness)  Incandescent Watts  CFL Watts LED Watts (Viribright)

    400 – 500 40W 8 – 12W 6 – 7W

    650 – 850 60W 13 – 18W 7 – 10W

    1000 – 1400 75W 18 – 22W 12 – 13W

    1450-1700+  100W 23 – 30W 14 – 20W

    2700+ 150W 30 – 55W 25 – 28W

    To compare different light bulbs, you need to know about lumens. Lumens, not watts, tell you how bright a light bulb is, no matter the type of bulb. The more lumens, the brighter the light. Labels on the front of light bulb packages now state a bulb’s brightness in lumens, instead of the bulb’s energy usage in watts. When shopping for your next light bulb, simply find the lumen output you’re looking for (the bigger the brighter) and choose the bulb with the lowest wattage (the lower the better).

    Are CFL or LEDs more cost-effective?

    To examine the cost comparison, let’s take a look at a standard 60-watt replacement incandescent bulb in this example. The energy consumption to use a bulb like this would cost about $90 over the course of 10 years. For an LED, running over the course of 10 years the actual cost would be only $18 to operate. Take a look at the table below for a breakdown.

    LED vs CFL vs Incandescent Cost Incandescent CFL LED (Viribright)

    Watts used 60W 14W 7W

    Average cost per bulb $1 $2 $4 or less

    Average lifespan 1,200 hours 8,000 hours 25,000 hours

    Bulbs needed for 25,000 hours 21 3 1

    Total purchase price of bulbs over 20 years $21 $6 $4

    Cost of electricity (25,000 hours at $0.15 per kWh) $169 $52 $30

    Total estimated cost over 20 years $211 $54 $34

    Winner: LED (in the long run)

    The above chart shows a clear-cut winner when considering the price over time with energy consumption factored in. In addition to LED’s cost savings, there are also government-backed rebates in some scenarios for Energy Star products.

    Do CFL or LED bulbs last longer?

    Quick Answer: LED

    Although LED technology for use in bulbs has not been on the market for long, the lifespan estimates for the new technology are astounding and leave CFL and incandescents with little to show for in comparison. With an astonishing lifespan of 25,000 hours, LED light bulbs are the undisputed, heavyweight champion in longevity. The next best are CFL bulbs which bring in a respectable 8,000 hours of average life expectancy. Keep in mind, most tests are based on a running time of 3 hours per day.

    Life Span Challenge Incandescent CFL LED (Viribright)

    Average Life Span 1,200 Hours 8,000 Hours 25,000 Hours

    Ready to Start Shopping Viribright LED Light Bulbs?

    Source : www.viribright.com

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