home
We speak HVAC so you don't have to
Find Local Contractors

1. I need a new:

2. My zip code is:

Comparison Chart: LEDs vs. CFLs vs Incandescent Light Bulbs

Published May 11, 2017
More energy efficiency resources

Image source: NREL LED, CFL and Incandescent light bulbs
Efficiency Question Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) Compact Flourescents (CFLs) Incandescent Light Bulbs
How long will the bulb last? (life span)
Source
50,000 hours 9,000 hours 1,000 hours
How often would you have to replace each bulb over 50,000 hours of use?
Source
1 5 50
How much electricity does each use in 1 hour on the US grid? 8 watts 14 watts 60 watts
How much electricity does each use in a 24 hour period?
Source
0.19 kilowatts 0.34 kilowatts 1.44 kilowatts
What is the average yearly electricity cost to operate one light bulb?
Assuming 5hrs/day @$0.10/kWh
Source
$1.46 $2.56 $10.95
Are any of the types of bulbs sensitive to low temperatures?
Source
No Yes. Some CFLs are rated for use down to 10°F, though they will take longer to turn on in low temperatures. No
Are any of the types of bulbs sensitive to humidity?
Source
Yes. Excessive humidity can cause LEDs to corrode or short out. No No
Does turning the light on and off quickly affect the bulb's lifespan?
Source
No Yes. CFLs should be kept on for at least 15 minutes at a time to protect the bulb’s longevity. No
Does the bulb turn on immediately (or is there a delay)?
Source
Yes It depends. Some CFLs need to warm up to reach full brightness. This can take up to 30 seconds (for bare spiral CFLs) or up to 3 minutes (for globe or reflector shapes). Yes
How durable is the bulb? Can it handle bumps and jostles?
Source
LED bulbs contain no breakable filaments or glass. CFLs will shatter if dropped. Special cleanup is required because they contain mercury. Glass bulbs will shatter if dropped and the filaments can be damaged by excessive vibration.
How many BTUs per hour of heat (heat that is not light) are emitted?
Source
3 BTUs/hr 30 BTUs/hr 85 BTUs/hr
How many watts of electricity to produce the following number of lumens?
a. 450 lumens: 4-5W 9-13W 40W
b. 800 lumens: 6-8W 13-15W 60W
c. 1100 lumens: 9-13W 18-25W 75W
d. 1600 lumens: 16-20W 23-30W 100W
e. 2600 lumens:
Source
25-28W 30-52W 150W
Is it safe to throw old bulbs in the trash?
Source
Yes No CFLs contain mercury and should be recycled. Yes
What color temperatures (in Kelvin) are available?
Source
warm/soft white (2200-3000K)
cool/bright white (3500-4100K)
or daylight (5000-6000K)
warm/soft white (2200-3000K)
cool/bright white (3500-4100K)
or daylight (5000-6000K)
warm/soft white (2200-3000K)
Copyright 2002 - 2017 furnacecompare.com