Tuesday, September 2, 2014

LEDs vs. CFLs: Which is Right for You?

It used to be that choosing a light bulb wasn’t difficult. But today’s broad spectrum of products can leave you scratching your head over which bulb will serve you best.

Two of the most popular energy-efficient choices are Light-Emitting Diode bulbs (LEDs) and Compact Fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). Let’s compare the two.

Bulb Type
  Takes about a year to recoup cost
  Spreads light in all directions
  Slow to reach full brightening capacity, especially in cold temperatures
  Most can’t be dimmed
  Can’t be used in all sockets
  Contain mercury, which must be recycled
  Can last from 18 to 46 years
  Use a little less energy than CFLs
  Brighten instantly, even in frigid temperatures
  Can be dimmed
  Lifespan not affected by turning them on and off frequently

  A-type bulbs may not provide light in all directions
  Can be heavier
  May have unusual shapes
  More expensive, but getting cheaper

When choosing between CFLs and LEDs, ask yourself:
·         Do you need focused or multi-directional light?
·         What are your color temperature requirements?
·         How much do you want to invest in the bulb?
·         Will the bulb be used outside? (Most LEDs and CFLs work outdoors but can’t get wet, and CFLs are slow to brighten in cold temperatures.)
·         Do you require dimming?
·         Are there limitations for the fixture where the bulb will be used? (Heat build-up in enclosed fixtures may be a problem; check manufacturer recommendations.)
·         Will the bulb be used with a photocell or motion detector? (Check manufacturer requirements for bulbs before buying.)
·         Are you concerned about the mercury content in CFLs?

Finally, take a look at the Facts label that appears on all bulbs. It will tell you the energy usage and cost, brightness, life expectancy, and color temperature.

Need help choosing the bulb that’s right for you? Contact us at Bulb Direct!

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