Comparing LED vs Incandescent Lighting

 In LED Lighting

Advances in lighting technology have given rise to the Compact Fluorescent lamp (CFL) and LED strip lighting, which is two of the most used lighting technologies. Of the two technologies, LED strip lighting is the more recent, with features such colour changing, dimming and programming. Many people looking to modernize their lighting will often want to compare the better of these two technologies. How do the two compare to each other?


Energy Efficiency

The ability of the lamp to convert current to light is known as source efficiency. LEDs have high source efficiency since there is no heating involved in the production of light. For an LED light, the source efficiency ranges 37-120 lumens per watt. There is also the system efficiency, which is the light that reaches the target, after accounting for other factors. LEDs typically have a system efficiency of 50 lumens per watt.

Compact fluorescent tubes achieve lower source efficiency because heavy gas is heated. The CFL also loses heat to the surroundings which further lowers the efficiency.

Winner: LED



The energy consumption of a bulb is measured in wattage. Higher wattage bulbs give off more light regardless of the type. The difference comes in converting this wattage to light. LEDs are able to give off more brightness than CFLs of the equal wattage.

For a customer shopping for a bulb, more lumen for lower wattage translates into savings on energy bills. This holds true for large homes and industries. Here is a sample comparison of lumen rating for LED vs CFL.

Lumens produced LED watts CFL watts
400 – 500 6 – 7W 8 – 12W
650 – 850 7 – 10W 13 – 18W
1000 – 1400 12 – 13W 18 – 22W
1450-1700+ 14 – 20W 23 – 30W
2700+ 25 – 28W 30 – 55W

Winner: LED



LEDs have high cycling lifespans (on/off) lifespans. LEDs on the market today have lifespans ranging 25,000-200,000 hours. This is 10+ years. The physical make of the LED also makes more durable. There is no glass covering to shatter. LEDs can withstand dropping, vibrations and shock very well. Working LEDs have been recovered from a collapsed building. LEDs can be used outdoors as they are waterproof.

CFLs have lower lifespans ranging 5,000-8,000 hours. They also have the disadvantage of shattering when subjected to vibrations or shock. CFLs are typically used indoors. When installed outdoors, they have to be protected.

Winner: LED


Health & Safety (Visible spectrum waves)

LEDs convert and emit most of the current they consume light, confining the emission of energy to a narrow band in the visible spectrum wavelengths. This means they give off less IR, UV and heat waves. On the other hand, CFLs will convert a significant portion of electric energy into heat energy, Infrared and Ultraviolet rays.

Winner: LED


Movilume is an installer of LED strip lights. Do you have any questions regarding the suitability of LED strip lights? Call us for more information.

Recommended Posts
Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt