Q: What's more efficient LED lighting or Fluorescent lighting?
I've been thinking about replacing a lot of the lighting in my house with some greener, more energy efficient options. What is more energy efficient, LED or fluorescent lighting? What is more cost effective? What has a longer life? Thanks.
In my opinion, LED lighting wins on all accounts, though it will be more expensive on the front-end. LED fixtures will be more energy efficient than fluorescents. For example, compare a recessed fluorescent fixture at 22 watts, to a CREE LR6 fixture at 12 watts of input power. The LED will not need to be replaced for 20 years, whereas the life of a fluorescent lamp (bulb) is a lot less, and is also affected by how many times it is turned off & on. LED fixtures are also dimmable. So are SOME fluorescents, but you must use the dimmable fluorescent FIXTURE, for which you will pay substantially more. (You can’t screw in the twisty fluorescent bulbs into your incandescent fixtures, and use your existing dimmers. This will result in that annoying flickering, and they burn out quickly – Trust me – I did this in my own home before replacing with LEDs.) Then, there is the environmental question about the mercury content in fluorescent bulbs. LEDs have no mercury, so after 20 years of use, if they happen to end up in the landfill, there will be no contamination of the soil or water. It freaks me out to think of all the millions of fluorescent bulbs NOT being properly recycled! This is definitely NOT eco-friendly, especially for the long-term, and therefore, not very Sustainable. Think cost-effective and environmentally friendly over the long-term, and choose LEDs over fluorescents.
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I agree with Susan's(Spectrum Fine Homes)answer. LED Bulbs are a fantastic start to going Green and can be installed in your existing home or business light fixtures. LED Bulbs do cost substantially more and can be used to replace virtually every bulb that you may have in your home or business. Unfortunately, you may not be able to find every replacement bulb type at your local Home Improvement Store and may need to special order from an Electrical Supply Store. They even make LED's in the linear tube bulbs which you may have in your kitchen or bathroom and definitely in your business's accoustical ceiling (grid) in lay fixtures. LED bulbs can come in a variety of light spectrums.
Like Susan said, LED's reduce the impact on our Landfills by having a longer Life than incandescent bulbs. Flourescent bulbs & Compact Fluorescent Bulbs contain Mercury and should be disposed of properly. There is a particular Home Improvement Store that will take a small amount of these bulbs and dispose of them properly for you.
I Like to combine LED's and Dimmer Switches to help conserve energy. I personally have the majority of the lights in my Home on Dimmers and recommend all of my Clients to do the same. Dimmers vary in cost and have evolved in design from the ugly looking knobs that operate them. I tell my Clients that you can never have too much light, due to being able to control the volume using dimmers. Another benefit of installing dimmers, besides environmental, is the ability to control lighting brightness to create moods and settings.
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