LED Vs. CFL: Which Is More Energy Efficient?

For a long time, facility managers had only one choice when it came to lighting. By and large, standard incandescent ruled the market. Today, though, the situation is very different. The traditional light bulb has been phased out of most applications, and the rise of energy-efficient alternatives has provided better options to Facilities Managers, Project Managers, and Maintenance Managers alike. The two most prominent are compact fluorescent (CFL) and light-emitting diodes (LED). They are both guaranteed to offer significant savings on your utility bill.

Although they are both a step in the right direction in terms of efficiency, they’re not equals. LED and CFL lamps have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. If you’re wondering what is the best energy-efficient light bulb, take a moment to read and understand how these two choices differ.

How They Work

Before making a decision between CFL bulbs vs. LED bulbs, it’s a good idea to understand how they work. CFLs work similarly to fluorescent tubes. A glass tube is filled with gas, with electrodes on each end. When a current passes through the gas, it reacts to create light that is passed through a special coating on the inside of the glass. The difference with CFL is that the tube is coiled to approximate the shape of a standard light.

On the other hand, LEDs give off light when an electric current passes through its diodes. Various combinations of these can be used to create a certain color, although typically they are known for giving off a cool, white light.

Energy Efficiency

A common consideration when choosing between these bulbs is how efficient they are. Both offer substantial benefits over traditional lighting; however, where CFL uses about 14 watts to provide the same amount of light as a 60-watt incandescent one, an LED version uses only 10 watts. That may not strike you as a big claim, but you will likely see the results add up over time.

Assuming you pay the average rate of 12 cents per kilowatt-hour on your utility bill, an LED bulb will cost you approximately $30 a year to illuminate your space. By comparison, CFL will cost around $42 per year. The more fixtures you have around your property, the more pronounced this difference becomes.

Overall Cost

One of the most noticeable CFL bulb benefits is that they tend to be less expensive per unit. This means that if you’re looking to retrofit your entire facility with energy-efficient lighting, you may gravitate toward them rather than LED because you’ll spend less at the onset. Regardless, this can be misleading.

That’s because one of the most important LED bulb benefits is a significantly longer life span. Over the same timeframe, you can expect to replace CFL bulbs more than twice as often as LEDs. Our LED Volumetric Retrofit is backed by a 10-year warranty and 100,000-hour rated life, ensuring far less maintenance overtime.

Which One Is the Way to Go?

Looking at it from a practical perspective, LED lighting is more cost-effective than any other choice on the market today. Litetronics can help upgrade your building with affordable, long-lasting fixtures that can be installed easily and quickly. For more information or to request a quote, reach out to us today.