Energy Management

Looking for tips or advice on energy efficiency around the home? See what others are doing or share your experience!

Looking for tips or advice on energy efficiency around the home? See what others are doing or share your experience!

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3 Important Distinctions Between LED and Incandescent Lamps

 

Many consumers might not think about the kinds of lights they use, but understanding the different types available can, quite literally, change the way people see the world. More than that, knowledge of lighting technology can save home and business owners thousands of dollars a year.

 

Two of the most common types of lamps are traditional incandescent lamps, which emit light as a side effect of heat, and LED lights, which give off light as a result of electric currents running through certain materials. They may seem similar, but there are several key ways the two differ.

 

Construction

  • Fragility: Incandescent lamps use traditional light bulbs made of a vacuum sealed glass orb with a filament inside which tend to be fragile. LED lamps' bulbs use a collection of small diodes in a metal casing with glass housing which, if broken, does not cause the light to stop functioning.
  • Death: Incandescent light bulbs "die" at the end of their lifespan, ceasing to work completely. LED bulbs slowly fade over time.

Costs

  • Purchase Price: As LED lamps are a result of more recent technology, their bulbs are more expensive. A traditional incandescent bulb may sell for less than five dollars whereas LED bulbs can cost up to four times as much or more.
  • Operating Cost: However, the electricity required to run these different bulbs varies widely. The average annual operating cost of one LED lamp in Australia is about $3.62, but an incandescent equivalent costs around $21.90 to operate annually; six times as much.
  • Lifespan: The average lifespan of an incandescent light bulb is about 1000 hours. An average homeowner might replace an incandescent bulb once or twice a year. LED lamps are expected to last around 25,000 hours.
  • Bulbs Required: Because of radical differences in lifespan, a homeowner can expect to buy over 20 incandescent light bulbs to get the same amount of light from one LED lamp's life.

Performance

  • Brightness: Because of the volume of energy used, the average incandescent lamp gives off over twice as many Lumens as an LED lamp making them much brighter.
  • Color: An incandescent lamp has a Colour Rendering Index (CRI) rating of 100, meaning it can portray colours as they appear in daylight. Higher CRI rating is not to say the lamp makes things look better, only that they more accurately recreate colours as rendered by sunlight. Most LED lamps have CRI ratings of around 80.

Major Takeaways

 

An incandescent lamp works well for those who need bright light from fewer sources that accurately recreates sunlight. However, LED lamps vastly outperform them in terms of associated costs, lifespan, and durability.

5 REPLIES

Re: 3 Important Distinctions Between LED and Incandescent Lamps

Moderator

Cheers for the detailed contribution @writingjackie!

Re: 3 Important Distinctions Between LED and Incandescent Lamps

Player

Should also point out that there are vast differences in the performance and reliability of available LED globes.

 

We've had ones costing $15 each that didn't last a month and also ones that cost $5 that are still going strong after 2 years. It's a bit of a lottery

Re: 3 Important Distinctions Between LED and Incandescent Lamps

Player

My major issue with LED lights is the low CRI - the accuracy of colour reproduction of halogen spots is hard to beat, especially if you are illuminating art work. I also feel that the colour temperature even of "warm" LED lights doen't come near that of halogen lamps. In my cozy reading corner I still indulge in relaxing halogen light as a treat and without feeling guilty as most of my electricity is produced by solar panels 8-)

There is also a health effect - blue rich LED lights late at night are bad for your health as it resets the body clock. Health conscious people should avoid blue screen or white lights after dark. Turn to warm light and dim at least an hour before sleep. Some mobile phones also have the "warm" light option that can be turned on and off either by timer or sunris/sunset settings.

 

Re: 3 Important Distinctions Between LED and Incandescent Lamps

Player

I agree - this is especially true for situations where the LED bulb is contained in a lamp with little or no ventilation. 240V LED's need to convert voltage and produce some heat which can accumulate and raise the ambient temperature above the specs. This may cause premature failure.

Re: 3 Important Distinctions Between LED and Incandescent Lamps

Player

@quarkpower wrote:

I agree - this is especially true for situations where the LED bulb is contained in a lamp with little or no ventilation. 240V LED's need to convert voltage and produce some heat which can accumulate and raise the ambient temperature above the specs. This may cause premature failure.


This was meant as a reply to Talan2's comment