Knowing the difference between Light Bulb Types



Knowing the difference between Light Bulb Types


  Incandescent: CFL: LED:
General Information
  • Standard 60 watt bulbs in homes
  • Compact Fluorescent Lamp-smaller version of standard fluorescent
  • Light Emitting Diode
  • Filament heats and produces light, some gases present
  • Uses gases to produce light, contains Mercury
  • Solid state light using semiconductor, no gases present
Energy Use
  • Uses most watts per lighting output-standard 60 watt bulb=800 lumen*
  • Uses less watt/lumen than incandescent but more than LED-800 lumen=13-15 watt bulb*
  • Uses least watt/lumen bulbs-800 lumen=6-8watt bulb*
*Watts (W) are unit of power, more watts=more energy used.


Lumens (lm) are unit of visible light

  • Avg: 1,200 hours
  • Continuous use: about 50 days
  • Standard day (6hr/day): 6 and a half months
  • Avg: 8,000 hrs
  • Continuous use: 11 months
  • Standard day: 3 yrs 8 months
  • Avg: 50,000 hrs
  • Continuous use: 5 yrs 9 months
  • Standard day: 23 yrs

*Lasts 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs

  • Some sensitivity to low temperatures and humidity
  • Sensitive to low temperatures and humidity
  • No sensitivity to low temperatures or humidity
  • Some effect of On/Off Cycling (decrease lifespan from switching on/off)
  • On/Off Cycling reduces lifespan significantly
  • No effect from On/Off cycling
  • Instantaneous Light
  • Not instantaneous, needs time to warm up
  • Instantaneous light
  • Give off 90% of energy as heat
  • Gets very hot (85 btu/hr)
  • Gives off 20% energy as heat
  • Heat: 30 btu/hr
  • Gives off 10% energy as heat
  • Doesn’t get hot at all, 3.4 btu/hr
  • Failure mode sometimes typical
  • Failure  mode typical: may catch fire, smoke or emit odor
  • Failure mode not typical
  • Not very durable, filament and glass break easily
  • Not very durable, glass breaks easily and gases escape
  • Very durable, can handle jarring and bumping
Approx Energy Cost Per Year (30 bulbs, 2,200 hrs/yr estimate)
  • 60 W bulbs
  • Approx. 132 kWh/yr
  • Approx. $16/yr single bulb
  • Approx. $475 for 30 bulbs
  • 13W Bulbs
  • Approx. 29 kWh/yr
  • Approx. $3.50 single bulb
  • Approx. $105/yr 30 bulbs
  • 6W Bulbs
  • Approx. 13 kWh/yr
  • Approx. $1.5/yr single bulb
  • Approx. $45-$50/yr 30 bulbs




LED lights are more durable, cost effective, and safer for the environment than standard incandescent bulbs or CFL bulbs. They are not sensitive to temperature and humidity as other bulbs are, and they use most of their energy for emitting light instead of heat, making them more energy effective as well as easier to handle after having been on for a long time, if needed. LED bulbs can also be dropped and bumped around without incident and when they fail, they don’t emit odors, gases, or start fires as others do. And since they use less power to light, they cost less to light as well, at least 10 times less than incandescent lights that are probably in your house now.


Department of Energy states that approximately 5% of average energy bill is dedicated to lighting and LEDs use about 15-25% less energy than standard bulbs. Replacing your most used bulbs with LED could save you around $75 each year.


LED bulbs also don’t emit harmful gases such as mercury and they last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs, meaning less cost on replacing them and less hassle for the problem bulbs as well as less waste from constant replacement. So, not only are they better for our health and finances, but they are also good for the environment!


In conclusion, LED’s are good for the environment, our health, and our finances. Switching to LED lighting has such a positive impact, it’s a no brainer! Give us a call for help switching your home or business to LED lighting today!

 (Watt and lumen lighting) (watt=unit of power, lumen=unit of light)