Should I Replace CFLs with LEDs?
One thing has been made more and more clear over the past 10 years – incandescent light bulbs are out, and more efficient, energy saving bulbs are in. States like California are actively working to discourage the use of incandescent light bulbs and replace them with more cost effective alternatives like halogen incandescent bulbs or compact fluorescents (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). But which of these more efficient alternatives is the best one? We’ll discuss the benefits of both CFLs and LEDs, and why you should consider replacing your CLFS with LEDs if you can.
CFL bulbs use way less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs – approximately 70 percent less, in fact. While at first CFLs were more expensive than incandescent bulbs, the price has gone way down. Now CFLs are almost the same price as traditional bulbs, and the fact that they last many more years also makes the extra buck or two worth it. Most importantly, CFLs cut down on your energy use, providing the double benefit of being less wasteful, more “green,” and cutting your energy bills down by a large chunk.
Note that it does take CFLs a bit of time to warm up, so you won’t get full light the moment you flip the switch. CFLs also contain trace amounts of mercury, which is a problem if a bulb ever breaks and also means they need to be disposed of in a certain way.
LEDs have been around for a while, but have only more recently achieved a more wide use. LEDs are now found in all major hardware stores and online, and they’re not that expensive either. These little bulbs provide instant light, so there’s no need to wait for anything to warm up. And they also are even MORE energy efficient than CFLS, and last many times longer than incandescent bulbs or CFLs.
While LEDs are now more affordable than ever, they are still more expensive than CFLs. But that’s almost negligible when you consider that you can buy an LED bulb for $5 at IKEA and it will last you for years and years – and save you tons of cash.
Why LEDs Are the Better Choice
So should you change out your CFLs for LEDs? Our recommendation is that yes, if you can, go with LEDs. The benefits are just too many to ignore. While you’ll pay money up front to replace all the bulbs in your home, you’ll see a monthly decrease in your energy bills that will end up making up for that initial cost. One user found that over a 25,000 hour lifespan (estimated running the bulbs for 23 years, 3 hours a day) a single CFL bulb costs $48 to run, while an LED costs $38. (Oh, and it costs $201 to run a comparable incandescent bulb – yuck!) Sure, that’s just $10 but when you multiply that by 10 or 20 or however many bulbs you have in your home, the cost savings add up considerably.