Utility Bill Assistance



Pros and Cons of LED vs. CFL Lightbulbs.

Compared to incandescent light bulbs, LED and CFL bulbs both save money by saving energy. They are different types of bulbs though, each with advantages as well as disadvantages. The savings on your utility bills will even offset the higher up front costs for buying these bulbs. However, there are significant differences between these types of bulbs, even though they are both better for you in the long term. Brush up on the pros and cons of LEDs and CFLs to understand how the choices you make when buying bulbs will affect your utility bills and levels of light at home.

Pros and Cons of LED Lightbulbs

LEDs are more efficient than CFL bulbs. This means they will save you even more money on your monthly utility bills. These LED bulbs use just 7 to 10 watts of energy to produce light equivalent to 60 watts and last an average of 10 years. Seasonal holiday lights that get limited use could have a lifespan of 40 years.

LED bulbs do cost more at the outset (disadvantage), but their low running cost and longevity more than compensate for the higher price tag. Think about it, you may not need to replace a bulb even after 10 years of usage.

LEDs come to full power instantly (a major pro), unlike compact fluorescent bulbs, which take several minutes to warm up. In offices, this can help increase employee productivity. At home, LEDs make it easier to perform tasks and they are safer/more reassuring to have the lights come on instantaneously.

Homeowners who dislike the cold light from CFLs will enjoy the range of hues offered by LEDs, which can run cold, warm, or neutral. They can even come in multiple colors. Warm light creates a homey atmosphere, so these bulbs are favorites in homes, restaurants, spas, and anywhere you'd relax. Closer to natural daylight, cold light runs white to pale blue in hue. Cold lights promote productivity and alertness, which is why you'll often find these lights in offices, factories, classrooms, and home settings that require focused work.





While both an advantage as well as disadvantage, LEDs emit light in a particular direction. This directionality works well in areas that require it, such as task and recessed lighting. Elsewhere in the home, it can be a disadvantage: Since the light does not shine in all directions, you may need more bulbs to illuminate the room.

Pros and Cons of CFL Lightbulbs

CFL bulbs use 13 to 18 watts of energy to produce light that's equivalent to a 60-watt bulb. So they still save you vs. incandescent lights. At approximately double the wattage of an LED, CFLs offer midrange energy efficiency. For many homeowners, they're a good buy, offering many eco-friendly benefits while costing less than LED bulbs.

These bulbs produce minimal heat, so you can touch them without burning yourself. This advantage makes them great for homes with young children or pets. Earlier versions of CFL bulbs were noisy and took a long time to warm up, but they have improved since then and now warm up quickly but still not as fast as LED bulbs. CFL lights closely mimic the color of incandescent bulbs; when paired with an off-white shade, most people don't notice the color difference.

CFL bulbs last 10 times as long as incandescent bulbs on average, but not as long as LED. The lifespan is improved if you do not turn them on and off. However, you can significantly shorten their lifespan by turning them on and off frequently (for instance, in bathrooms or basements). CFLs perform best when they're allowed to run for an extended period, as in a living room or an office.

CFLs provide ambient light rather than directional light, which is a great pro to them. This quality makes them well-suited for lamps and overhead fixtures but not for spotlighting. CFL are better than LED when it comes to this issue.





Since CFL bulbs contain mercury, they can pose a threat if they shatter. Families with young kids should be mindful of it. They should be recycled at the end of their life to keep hazardous materials out of landfills.

Bottom line - CFL vs. LED

As noted, it may come down to personal preference, whether you have kids, the directional light you may or may not want. However keep in mind that both CFLs and LEDs will conserve money, reduce energy bills, and offer value throughout their lifespan. Knowing the pros and cons of each can help you select the best light for every application.

By: Jon McNamara


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