Comparing LED vs CFL vs Incandescent Light Bulbs for Homes


Until a decade ago, even if you were an environment conscious citizen you didn’t have many options in light bulbs to reduce your carbon footprint. Sonica LED shares this comparative study of the options you have today. By choosing the right lighting you can be a part of the solution.


Smaller carbon footprint –You can reduce the global impact by checking the amount of CO2 produced per household. Incandescent bulbs produce 4.825 tonnes of CO2, while the CFL and LED produce 1.2 tonnes and 0.48 tonnes.


Mercury pollution – This means that over 35 years you would have released 756 mg of mercury into the air while the CFL and LED would have released 126 mg and 72 mg. In the same period, you would throw 700 incandescent as compared to 70 CFLs and 20 LEDs. These 70 CFLs will release 42 mg of mercury that is toxic to all living things.


The lifespan – of the incandescent is 1200 hours while that of the CFL and LED are 8000 hours and 50000 hours respectively. This means by using LEDs, you will replace the bulb less often reducing cost and carbon footprint.


Wattage used–One 6-8 watt LED produces the same illumination as the 13-15 watts CFL or 60 watts incandescent. This means that the LED uses less power or wattage per unit of light generated (lumens). LEDs help reduce carbon emission not only during their production but also during power generation. As they consume less electricity and lower bills.


Kilowatts of electricity used – If you use 30 incandescent per year then they use 3285 kWh/yr as compared to the 767 KWh/yr by the CFL and 329 KWh/yr by the LED. This is 10 times less electricity consumption than the incandescent.


Annual operation cost for a 30 incandescent will be $328.59/year while the CFL will cost $76.65/year and LED $32.85/year. Which is again ten times less than the incandescent.


Effect of low temperatures – The CFL may not work under -10°F or over 120°F. There is no effect of such extremes on the LED while the CFL may dim or damage.


Humidity – LED is unaffected by humidity, unlike the CFL and incandescent.


On/off cycling – Switching a CFL on and off reduces its lifespan. While the this may have some effect on the incandescent, the LED remains unaffected.


Turn on time – The LED and incandescent turn on instantly but a CFL take a while to warm up.


Durability – A LED is durable and handles jarring and bumping. Whereas, the CFLs glass may break and incandescent glass and filament are fragile.


Heat emitted – The LED emits only 3.4 BTU/h as compared to the 30 BTU/h by the CFL. While the incandescent loses 95% of energy by producing 85 BTU/h.

Light output – The LED will offer 2600 lumens at 25-28 watts. The incandescent will consume 150 watts while the CFL – 30 to 65 watts to produce the same illumination.


To stop global warming, we must reduce CO2 emissions by 70% from 42 billion tonnes to 12 tonnes. 20% of the world’s energy use is for lighting, using LEDs can reduce it to 4%. Lower energy consumption not only decreases CO2 emissions it also makes great economic sense. As we produce fewer pollutants and nuclear waste while producing electricity.


Sonica LED offers varied lighting solutions for your diverse needs. For the indoors, they have panel lights, tube lights and wall lights. While for the outdoor – ground lights, marker lights, etc.

Author: Editor

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