What is the difference between the incandescent, CFL and LED lights?


This is the traditional lighting that most people are used to. However, it is inefficient and more costly to use than other types of light. It is made up of thin filaments that are heated as an electric current passes through them. The filaments are inside a glass bulb that is filled with inert gas. As they heat, they produce a glow that creates the light. The lifespan is usually only 1,500 hours.


CFL stands for compact fluorescent light or lamp. This is really a modified form of the fluorescent lamp. It is made up of a glass-filled tube, sometimes referred to as a bulb, and magnetic or electronic ballast. The CFL uses a very small amount of mercury, which can be very hazardous and present disposal problems. They also tend to be more sensitive to extreme temperatures and humidity. The lifespan is 10,000 hours.


LED stands for light emitting diodes. These lights started out as indicator lights for electronic devices. They are actually quite small. It takes a grouping of them to create a bulb. Because they are so energy efficient, there are becoming more popular among Vancouver electricians. The lights tend to be slightly less bright than other types of lights. However, the efficiency and durability is the trade-off.

Costs & Energy

On the surface, the incandescent light bulb wins the competition with the CFL and the LED. The incandescent costs a lot less than a CFL or a LED. However, an electrician will point out that there is more to this than the cost of the bulb. Energy consumption and the life of the bulb must be considered.

The incandescent uses more energy than either the CFL or LED. Also, keep in mind the lifespan. You would be buying incandescent light bulbs more frequently than with CFLs or LEDs.

As a result, CFLs and LEDs are popular recommendations for electricians. Though they have a greater upfront cost, the energy efficiency and lifespan make them more economical.

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