If you are looking to renovate your home or have recently bought one, chances are you are looking to modify or entirely revamp the lighting scheme. Whether it is just replacing a bulb or changing the entire lighting decor, the question of light-emitting diode (LED) or compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) haunts us!
The power used by a single incandescent bulb to burn over a lifetime, is estimated to be about five to ten times more than the cost of the bulb itself. This is probably the reason why incandescent bulbs were soon replaced by CFLs. CFLs are fluorescent lamps that emit light as a result of mixed phosphors inside the bulb. They use anywhere between one fifth to one-third of the electric power as compared to an incandescent bulb and last at least eight to fifteen times longer.
Light-emitting diode or LED lamps emit light in the form of a narrow band of wavelengths making them much more efficient than CFLs or incandescent lamps. Moreover, light from LED is much more closer to natural daylight. LEDs light up almost immediately up to their full potential, unlike CFL and incandescent bulbs which take time to warm up.
What do you choose? It really depends.
From a longevity point of view, though incandescent bulbs are the cheapest, on an average they only last for about 1,000 hours as compared to CFLs which last 8,000 hours or LED that last for 25,000 hours.
From an economic point of view, the price for running a 60w incandescent bulb for 20 years, for 6 hours each day is around $360. The price for 60w LED for the same duration comes to merely $72. Even though one might argue that the price of an LED is almost ten times that of an incandescent bulb, it is not rocket science that LED brings much more cumulative savings if you replace all the lights into LED.
One key factor for deciding the choice of bulb is its usage. Experts recommend steering clear of LED bulbs for an in house environment. This is because they possess a Colour Rendering Index (CRI) between the range of 70-95 CRI and anything below 75 CRI is not recommended for indoor lighting.
While these numerics are merely estimates, it is clear that LEDs are one of the most energy and cost efficient option for light bulbs available in the market. With growing concerns regarding the ecological balance and efficient recycling of waste, the disposal of CFL bulbs is one of the key issuesg for governments across the world. CFL light bulbs contain large amounts of mercury. This makes them toxic and their recycling tedious. Governments around the world are taking cognizance of this and welcoming many recycling programs to ensure that this efficient source of light stays ecologically efficient too.