LED Vs CFL Bulbs

LED Vs CLFs: Which One to Choose?

In the world of lighting, there’s a big competition between LED lights and CFL lights. These are both new kinds of lights that use less energy than old-fashioned light bulbs.

They’re good for homes, offices, and other places. But each type has its good points and things to think about. We’ll look at both LED and CFL lights in this article to help you understand which one might be better for different situations.

Difference Between LEDs and CLFs

For a better comparison between LED and CFL technologies, let’s have a look at what they are and how they work before going deep into comparison.


LEDs (light-emitting diodes) are mostly used for lighting purposes. LEDs use P-N Junction diodes to direct the electricity flow. These diodes contain two electrodes that allow the current to flow in a single direction. These diodes of LED are usually made up of selenium or silicon. When voltage is applied through these diodes, it will cause electrons to combine and emit a unit of light. This effect is called electroluminescence.


CFL ( compact fluorescent light) is a lighting technique mostly used in areas where there is a need for energy saving as they are also known as energy saving lights. It works on the principle of gas discharge. CFL works when low-pressure mercury gas is discharged, which in return uses fluorescence to produce visible light. When an electric current is applied, the electrons that are attached to mercury atoms will get excited to the state, where they will radiate ultraviolet light when coming back to a low energy state these emissions of ultraviolet radiation will then collide to fluorescent coating resulting in the production of visible light that causes lumination.

Making of LED Lights or Bulbs

Typically LED lights differ from other lighting sources in their making; they are available in various sizes and shapes with great flexibility of designs. They contain three main parts. 

The base which is usually made up of light metals is used to screw the light into an electric fixture.

The bulb contains a lens that assures even light distribution and is usually made up of plastic.

The last and most important part of LED light is a chip that creates illumination; it is connected to a metal circuit. There is a heat sink that holds chips and keeps the heat away that is produced during the lightning process.

Making of CFL Lights or Bulbs

Generally, CFLs are manufactured as spiral-shaped tubes made up of tungsten. CFL lights consist of a gas-fitted tube having two electrodes that are mounted in a cap. This tube contains a mixture of different gasses at very low pressure such as liquid mercury,  argon gas, and mercury vapors. This tube containing gasses is coated with three layers of phosphorus. On getting voltage atoms inside the tube will get excited and emit UV radiations. The phosphorus coating will produce visible light when exposed to these UV radiations.

It also contains a compact cove that is usually made up of glass.

And a base that serves as an electric conductor.

Energy Efficiency

Lighting is an expensive feat, don’t waste your money to buy inefficient lights for your space. Always prefer to buy efficient and high technology lights for economical purposes and better results of lighting.

If you are confused about choosing between LED or CFL light then here is a brief comparison for you to choose the perfect one for you according to your needs and finances.

Both of them are advanced in technology and have expanded consumer choice.

A. LEDs Efficiency 

LED lights work by emitting light when current flows through the semiconductor material in it. These lights are more efficient than other lighting sources as they use less energy to generate visible light. About 90% of the input energy is converted into visible light. LED lights are one of the most efficient lights nowadays in the lighting industry due to their variability in design so that there is less consumption of power and more output. 

LEDs use less power (watts) per unit of light and tend to bring a visible reduction in your electricity bills.

Another reason for their energy efficiency is that they produce less heat as compared to other lights so most of the energy is utilized to produce lumination.

LED lights are a better choice as compared to CFL lights because CFL lights generate most of their energy in heat whereas LEDs are cooler to touch and waste less energy in the form of heat.

LEDs are power efficient as compared to CFLs as a 16.5-watt LED bulb is equivalent to a 2-watt CFL bulb.

Overall LED lights are incredibly efficient and make your electricity bill economical by using less wattage of energy.

B. CFLs Efficiency 

As already described CFL lights work by using a gas-fitted tube when an electric current passes through this tube it causes the gas to emit UV light that interacts with phosphorus coating to produce visible light. They were designed to replace incandescent bulbs as incandescent bulbs are more energy efficient for less electricity usage they use one-fifth to one-third of electric power and last about 8 to 15 times longer.

Compact fluorescent lights (CFL) have gained popularity in recent years due to their power efficiency as compared to incandescent bulbs. They usually convert 75% of voltage input into output in the form of powerful bright lumination.

But nowadays CFL lights are losing their position in the market due to the increased power efficiency of LED lights as they emit less heat to produce lumination whereas CFLs produce more heat and are not that much more efficient than LEDs.

Due to their higher energy usage and increased heat emission, many countries are trying to eradicate CFLs from their lighting sources because now they are not considered safe to use in household and commercial areas.

In comparison to power usage, CFL uses about 13-15 watts for a brightness of 700 lumens, whereas LED uses 6-8 watts to produce equal amounts of lumen.

Also, the estimated value of electricity used by CFLs is 765 KW/yr, whereas LEDs use less electricity 329 KW/yr. Which is a huge difference for you to understand and choose a better option for your space.


While comparing the lifespan of LEDs and CFLs we can see that LEDs handily beat CFL lights.

Nowadays LED is referred to as the most advanced and economical lighting system due to its higher lifespan and durability than other sources like CFLs and incandescent bulbs. 

  • LEDs have a greater life span of 50,000 hours.
  •  The average lifespan of CFLs is less than that of LEDs. The typical service time of CFL is about 6000-15000 hours.
  •  If CFLs are turned on and off frequently or used close to the electrical fixture then their lifespan will be drastically reduced due to heating up. That makes them prone to premature failure and need maintenance and replacements. They also face flickering problems.
  • There is no effect of an on/off cycle on LEDs as they are cooler so they require less maintenance and replacement throughout their service.
  • CFLs are not that long-lasting and durable because they are made up of fragile glass that can be broken easily.
  • LEDs on the other hand last longer as their case is mostly made up of plastic which can bear jarring and bumping easily.

Light Quality

Emitted light from both CFLs and LEDs have their specificities and both have a wide range of uses in daily life. For the quality, longevity, brightness, and color of light emitted the amount of lumens provided is important. For that manufacturer provides all the information on the label to make it clear for you to choose the best quality light according to your needs. For brighter light always select a higher amount of lumens. Other than that here are some points to be clear between the quality of light of both technologies.

  • LEDs give instant bright illumination when switched on. In contrast, they don’t glow instantly and require some time to heat up and give luminosity.
  • LEDs give higher lumens with little energy consumption as compared to CFLs.
  • LEDs produce brighter light than CFL. Some LEDs produce too bright light that you need to make it dim.
  • CFLs lights are the best lights to be used in grow lamps to increase the process of photosynthesis and plant growth.
  • CFL lights are considered high-quality lights for medical treatments like they are used in germicidal lamps.
  • Keeping in mind the quality of light LEDs provide a wide range of uses in local market products such as flashlights, traffic signals, and for household and commercial lighting purposes.
  • CRI(color rendering index) also describes the difference between the quality of lights. For that CFLs have a low CRI index and make consumers skeptical of alternative light as compared to LEDs have higher CRI and provide a wide range of colorful lights.
  • CFLs produce light in omnidirectional 360 degrees While LEDs are naturally directional and emit light for 180 degrees which makes them target-specific.

Environmental Impact

A.Environmental impact of LED 

LED lights have a major advantage over CFLs in that they don’t have any bad impact on the surrounding environment and human health. They don’t contain any harmful material like mercury.

LED lights are made up of a semiconductor material that can easily be recycled by the process of doping.

The disposal of LED lights is easily done as they don’t contain any harmful toxins that cause environmental pollution.

So, overall, the view about LEDs is that they are highly recommended products due to their environmentally friendly aspects.

B.Environmental impact of CFLs 

CFLs have the drawback of having a different mixture of gasses in the glass tube, mainly mercury, which is hazardous for the environment and causes health problems for human beings.

Disposal and destruction of CFLs require a proper channel of procedures as they contain toxic mercury vapors, which are harmful and can’t be disposed of openly in the environment.

CFLs are made up of glass and can’t be recycled.

Cost Considerations

LEDs are considered to be more cost-efficient than any lighting source like CFLs.

Initially, LEDs had higher costs as compared to CFLs due to their increased technology and higher manufacturing costs. But along with that, they will also save you money in the long run. They work for a longer period and don’t require replacement like CFLs. The operating cost of LED light is very low, and it saves about 80%  of energy. Whereas the operating cost of CFL lights. For is higher than that of LEDs and still less than incandescent light, they are also energy savers and save about 75% of energy during working hours.

LEDs offer longer cost savings when compared with CFLs because LEDs are highly energy efficient. They use less energy and give greater output. They are well known for longevity and longer efficacy. Switching to LED will bring a visible decrease in your electricity bill.

CFLs may have lower upfront costs but they can bring an increase in your electricity bills due to their shorter lifespan and lower energy efficiency.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which Technology, LED or CFL, is more energy-efficient?

LED technology is more energy-efficient compared to CFLs. LEDs consume less power and generate minimal heat, resulting in significant energy savings.

How do the lifespans of LED and CFL bulbs differ?

LED bulbs have a longer lifespan compared to CFLs. On average, LED bulbs can last up to 25,000 to 50,000 hours, while CFLs typically have a lifespan of around 8,000 to 10,000 hours.

Do LEDs and CFLs produce the same quality of light?

LEDs generally offer better light quality than CFLs. LEDs can produce a wide range of colors and have a higher color rendering index (CRI), providing more accurate and vibrant lighting.

Are there any environmental concerns associated with these technologies?

LEDs have fewer environmental concerns compared to CFLs. LEDs do not contain hazardous materials like mercury, which CFLs do. Additionally, LED technology’s energy efficiency helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

How do the costs of LED and CFL bulbs compare?

LED bulbs have a higher initial cost compared to CFLs. However, LEDs offer long-term cost savings due to their energy efficiency and extended lifespan. CFL bulbs have a lower upfront cost but may result in higher energy bills and more frequent replacements.


To sum it up, both LED and CFL lights have their strengths and weaknesses. LED lights are efficient and last a long time, but they can cost more upfront. CFL lights are also energy-saving and more affordable, but they might not last as long.

LEDs do come with their pros and cons, still, the pros outnumber the cons.

The best choice depends on what you need. If you want a long-lasting and efficient light, LED is great. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, CFL could be better. Whatever you pick, both types are a step forward in making our world brighter while using less energy. Although, there are some problems with LED lights, still, they are way lower than the advantages.

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