June 29, 2018

LED vs Incandescent vs CFL bulbs – In-depth Comparison

LED is the clear winner in the battle of incandescent, CFL, and LED bulbs, but the comparisons are still being made between the most popularity lighting tech of the last century, mainly because of the slightly expensive nature of LED lighting products. CFL & incandescent bulbs are cheaper to initially buy so are still popular in developing countries.

The future looks dim for incandescent light bulbs and they will soon be a thing of the past. But the LED vs CFL vs incandescent bulbs comparison is still important to gain clarity of the lighting advancements we have made.

Here in this article, we compare LED, CFL, and incandescent bulbs on the basis of lifespan, carbon emissions, lumens, energy usage and more, to help you understand their differences and advantages!

Lumen capacity & watt usage 

Lumens determine the light output from a source. To put it simply, more lumens means brighter light, fewer lumens means less light. The lumen capacity of incandescent bulb, CFL bulb & LED bulbs varies on a large scale. Among these, LED is more durable and power efficient. For example, a 60W incandescent bulb gives a lumen count of 750 and 18W CFL bulb gives 1000 lumens output. Whereas the same 500 lumens output can be given by a 6W LED bulb. Keep on reading for more LED vs Incandescent vs CFL bulbs comparison!

LED vs Incandescent vs CFL bulbsAverage lifespan 

The lifespan varies from light to light and strictly depends upon the working hours. The average life of an incandescent bulbs and CFL bulbs are 1,000 hours and 8,000 hours respectively. LED lights on the other hand are more efficient in terms of average lifespan. It have about 30,000 hours of average working life. LED products from technology driven suppliers like SeniorLED deliver even more.

Repeatedly turning a bulb on and off reduces the lifespan of incandescent & CFL bulbs. But this doesn’t apply to LEDs. Check out this resource for more insights of lifespan and savings.

LED vs Incandescent vs CFL bulbsCarbon footprint 

The carbon emission of an LED light is 514 lbs of CO2 per year which is much lower in comparison to carbon emissions of CFL and incandescent bulbs. About 1028 & 4405 lbs of CO2 is recorded every year from CFL and incandescent bulbs respectively. The higher the carbon emission, the greater the harm your lighting product is doing to the environment. The demand of LED lighting products is increasing steadily amongst households and businesses because of their low emission carbon footprint. No wonder LED scores the highest in the LED vs Incandescent vs CFL bulbs showdown.


The major factor behind product adoption is price. The same applies to the lighting world. LED lighting is not a new innovation and has been around for some decades now. Therefore, the price has become competitive in comparison to CFL and incandescent bulbs. Still, CFLs and incandescent lighting products are very cheap in comparison to LED lights. That said, LED products become cheaper on the whole by lasting much longer and triggering power savings in the long run.

LED vs Incandescent vs CFL bulbs

Homeowners and businesses are now looking for lighting solutions that are more durable, power efficient and environmentally friendly. Since LED lights fulfill all this demand, they have become the center of attention in the modern lighting industry. In addition to the points above, LEDs have some additional benefits over CFL & incandescent bulbs. Have a look:

  1. LEDs emit very little heat in comparison to incandescent bulbs and CFLs. While the prior release 90% of their energy as heat, the latter only releases about 80%.

  2. LED lights have evolved into smart lights. They come with built-in sensors, dimming capabilities, and mood functions. Incandescent and CFL bulbs on the other hand have no such features.

  3. LEDs emit light in a specific direction and don’t use diffusers or reflectors that trap light. This helps increase LED efficiency for uses such as down lights or task lighting.

  4. LED lights contain no mercury whereas CFL and incandescent contain mercury in heavy quantities, which makes disposal complex and hazardous for the environment.

  5. LED bulbs are available in different sizes and usage in comparison to CFL and incandescent bulbs. The catalogue of LED lights is extensive and includes T8 linear tube, LED flood lights, LED panel lights, LED high bay UFO lights etc. Have look at our full indoor and outdoor product catalogs

LED vs Incandescent vs CFL bulbsBy 2030, LED lights will account for nearly 75% of all lighting in the market.  High power consumption, short lifespan and the presence of mercury are the biggest drawbacks of incandescent & CFL bulbs. Due to this, they are disappearing from the markets. Very soon, the LED vs Incandescent vs CFL lights comparison will cease as well!

With the improvements in LED technology, LED bulbs are becoming more and more popular in homes, industries and public places etc.

In the end, it’s not wrong to say that LED’s are the future of lighting. It is the most promising technology in the industry and serves as a great alternative to incandescent and CFL bulbs.  In upcoming years, LEDs will also do away with the pricing drawback since top LED brands are improving the technology and bringing down the costs.

Learn what makes us the best LED lighting supplier in Asia and check out customer recommendations on Quora!

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