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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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