Monthly Archives: April 2014

The Differences Between LED, CFL, Halogen, and Incandescent Lightbulbs

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a light source, and it can sometimes be difficult when trying to distinguish the differences between LED, CFL, halogen, and incandescent lightbulbs. These lighting technologies differ in how efficient they are, how long they last, and how they work. This article explores the differences between these four very different light sources.

 

Incandescent bulbs

Incandescent lightbulbs produce a light when an electrical current runs through its filament, heating the bulb to thousands of degrees in Fahrenheit. These bulbs are usually sold in different-colored varieties, the most common of which being white, soft white, and yellow. They don’t last long before they stop working, and can expect to illuminate a room for around 750 hours before they degenerate.

Halogen bulbs

Halogen bulbs are a cost-effective way to illuminate any room in your home. Similar to traditional incandescent bulbs, the halogen bulb has a filament surrounded by halogen gas. This enables the bulb to shine brightly – event hough you are using less electricity. The halogen bulb generates a warm light, and can work with dimmer switches. They are among the cheapest bulbs available on the market, and often cost just a few dollars each. However, they can consume much more electricity than other light sources, and have an average lifetime of 1,000 hours.

CFL bulbs

CFL stands for compact fluorescent lamp, and CFL bulbs provide instant illumination in the home. They contain mercury, so these bulbs need to be disposed of carefully once they have ceased working. CFL bulbs are also incompatible with dimmer switches, although they do have an average lifetime of 10,000 hours, significantly more than halogen and incandescent bulbs, making them very cost-effective. They produce more of a softer light than incandescents.

LED bulbs

LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, have become increasingly popular in the last few years, especially as light manufacturers have reduced the cost of these items. However, they are still considerably more expensive than other light sources available, even if they do offer an average lifetime of 25,000 hours. That’s more than CFL, halogen and incandescent bulbs combined. These lights were commonly used to decorate Christmas trees in the past, although they can now be found in homes and businesses around the country. They are often used in traffic lights and road signs, and are among the most frequently used light bulbs on the market. Poor air circulation in the home can reduce the life-span of the LED bulb.

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6 Benefits of Having LED Bulbs in Your Home

LED bulbs are quickly becoming a top choice for lighting the home. LEDs have definite advantages when compared to traditional incandescent bulbs and the more recent compact fluorescent bulbs.

6-benefits-of-having-led-bulbs-in-your-home

Here are six of the benefits you will enjoy when you choose LED bulbs for your home:

  1. LED bulbs are energy efficient. They are 80 percent efficient. That means the light bulb uses 80 percent of energy for lighting. Traditional incandescent bulbs, on the other hand, are only 10 to 20 percent efficient. That means that incandescent bulbs use only 10 to 20 percent of energy for lighting. The bulb emits the rest of that energy (80 to 90 percent) to the room as heat.
  2. Zero UV emissions are another benefit of LED bulbs. Many compact fluorescent lamps emit ultraviolet radiation. Some reports indicate that a person sitting near one of these CFL bulbs for a certain period will exceed the limits of safe exposure to UV radiation. Excessive exposure has been linked to skin cancer and aging. It can also lead to degradation of fabric fibers and color pigments, which leads to fading. LED bulbs used in the household have close to zero UV emissions.
  3. An LED bulb is operational in low temperatures. A common complaint about the CFL is that it does not work well in cold temperatures. Bulbs used in outdoor light fixtures do not come on immediately after flipping the switch. Some will eventually illuminate once the bulb warms up from the electricity flowing through it. Some will not illuminate at all in cold temperatures. LED bulbs do not have this problem. They come on immediately and give a steady light.
  4. Low voltage compatibility is another benefit of using LED bulbs. LEDs do not need much power to work. They are perfect for low-voltage outdoor lighting needs. They can run off a solar energy source and give light throughout the night. This is great for remote or rural installations.
  5. A significant benefit of LED bulbs is that they are ecologically friendly. They are completely recyclable. They do not contain the toxic materials found in CFLs, such as mercury. One LED bulb can replace 25 incandescent bulbs due to its long life and energy efficiency. That translates to a lower carbon footprint since the production needs of bulbs is greatly diminished.
  6. Durability is a hallmark benefit of LED bulbs. Due to their construction and design, LED bulbs can take many shocks, vibrations, and impacts without breaking. This is far different from the fragile glass casing of the traditional incandescent bulb or compact fluorescent bulb.

As your incandescent bulbs and CFLs start to fail, it is time to make the switch to LED. It is a safe, ecologically-friendly choice for your home.

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