Should I Use CFL or LED Light Bulbs?

A person replaces an incandescent light bulb with an LED light bulb.

A lot of people don’t put much thought into the light bulbs they use to light their house. After all, all that matters is that the lights turn on when you flip the switch, right? Wrong. What if we told you that the type of light bulbs you use could affect your energy usage, utility bills, and even your mood? It’s true. Keep reading to learn if you should use CFL or LED light bulbs to brighten up your space. 

What is a CFL light bulb?

CFL stands for Compact Fluorescent Lamp. CFL light bulbs were created to replace incandescent light bulbs. In fact, they use ⅕ to ⅓ of the electrical power and last 8 to 15 times longer than incandescent light bulbs. While yes, the purchase price of a CFL versus an incandescent light bulb is going to cost you a little extra at the beginning, they’ll last longer and save money over time. CFL light bulbs are commonly recognized by their unique helical integrated design with a thin spiral bulb. 

The main issue with CFL light bulbs is that they contain mercury, and known toxic chemical element. Because of this, CFL light bulbs should not be disposed of like a regular light bulb, and several countries consider then to be toxic waste. 

What are LED light bulbs?

LED stands for Light-emitting diode. It is a “semiconductor light source that emits light when current flows through it.” LED light bulbs produce light 90% more efficiently than incandescents. LED light bulbs are known for being the most efficient, versatile, and longest-lasting bulb on the market when designed well. The cool thing about LED light bulbs is that technically, they won’t “burn out” on you. They simply start producing less and less over time. LED light bulbs produce excellent color quality and light output. 

Do CFL or LED light bulbs last longer?

What if you only had to replace your light bulbs every 11-17 years? It might sound too good to be true, but it’s possible with LED light bulbs. LEDs typically last around 50,000 hours, which equates to roughly 11 years (used 12 hours per day). Not only that, but an LED light bulb lasts 25 times longer than an incandescent and ten times longer than a CFL. CFL bulbs, on the other hand, last anywhere from 10,000 – 30,000 hours.

Do LED light bulbs give better quality light than CFL light bulbs?

This ultimately depends upon two things: the type of lighting you want and the quality of the light bulb you get. Typically, LED light bulbs produce excellent quality light. On the Color Rendering Index (CRI), most LEDs have a rating of at least 80.  Another cool thing about LED light bulbs is that they are known to increase alertness, focus, and mood. 

Are CFL or LED light bulbs more cost-efficient?

While CFL and LED light bulbs will both cost you a little more upfront than a typical incandescent bulb, they will both save you money over time. And just like any new technology, their price has decreased over time, as their product has become more mainstream. However, here are a few things to keep in mind. 

  • LED will pay for themselves within a few months of purchase.
  • Over the life span of a single LED bulb, you can save at least $52 per bulb in electricity costs. 

Overall, if you’re willing to pay a little more upfront, LEDs are the best option for your home or business. A bonus? Over their lifetime, they can reduce your carbon footprint by 500lbs of CO2 emissions. Pretty cool, right? 

Contact Complete Electrical in Springfield, MO for all of your lighting needs.