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February 17, 2020
Luminaires comparison: LEDs vs. CFLs

The invention of the incandescent light bulb by the great Thomas Alva Edison and his team of researchers is undoubtedly one of the greatest inventions in the history of lighting. Though it had its challenges, his discovery marked the beginning of commercially manufactured luminaires in the world. Further in time, scientists and engineers have made the world witness remarkable developments in the lighting domain with the invention of CFLs and the energy efficient LED lighting solutions.

Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and light emitting diodes (LEDs) emerged as better counterparts of the conventional incandescent bulbs across almost all parameters. Thus, the popularity of these traditional lamps has experienced a stern downfall. For instance, the Government of India plans to phase out incandescent light bulbs in the coming years by putting gradual bans on their manufacturing and sales. The top commercial lighting manufacturers assert that this take on incandescent bulbs has made LEDs and CFLs the two primary competitors in the lighting market.

Here are some major differences between LEDs and CFLs:

1. Functioning

CFLs typically function by sending an electrical current flow between the electrodes at each end of a gas filled tube. This initiates a reaction and creates UV light which is then converted into safe light. On the other hand, the functioning of LED lights is fairly simple. They contain a semi-conductor light source that emits light when electrical current is passed.

2. Life

LED’s are powerful and durable lighting devices that savour a long life of almost 50,000 hours. On the contrary, CFLs typically last for around 8,000 hours. Though they have a better life than incandescent bulbs, they are in no competition with the LEDs.

3. Efficiency

Various researches have asserted that LEDs are the most efficient lighting devices available in the market today. CFLs typically have an upper hand over incandescent bulbs as they use 25-35% lesser energy than the latter. However, LED luminaries are highly energy efficient as they use nearly 75% less energy than the incandescent bulbs.

4. Heat emission

Lighting devices tend to emit heat when electricity is passed. Researchers believe that CFLs release almost 80% of the energy as heat. As a result, they get heated up and become highly prone to damage. On the other hand, the leading LED lighting manufacturers claim that LED luminaires convert about 95% of the electricity into illumination. This promises efficient use of electricity with no or very low heat emission. For instance, various luminaires offered by Wipro Lighting are also powered by thermal management system that limits the heat emission and ensures a longer service life.

Last but not the least, cost is one of the primary parameters that people consider while deciding on luminaires. Though the initial cost of CFLs is a little lower than LEDs, they fail to provide cost benefits in the long run. LED lights are more durable, consume lesser energy, and last for almost 50,000 hours. This aids cost savings in the long run.

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