Led vs. fluorescent bulbs

Updated June 18, 2018

Fluorescent bulbs are a more energy-efficient form of lighting that is replacing incandescent bulbs in everyday use. LEDs are light-emitting diodes.


Fluorescent light bulbs use mercury to emit light instead of tungsten filaments that are used in incandescent light bulbs. LEDs use semiconductors to emit light.


Compact fluorescent bulbs can last about 10 times as long as incandescent bulbs. However, the life of a compact fluorescent bulb will decrease if you switch them on and off frequently. LED bulbs can last 10 times as long as compact fluorescent bulbs.


Fluorescent bulbs are capable of accurately producing the same colours, including a warm white, as incandescent bulbs. While LEDs can do well with colours, they still struggle to reproduce a white colour.


Compact fluorescent light bulbs produce 75 per cent less heat than incandescent bulbs and LEDs produce virtually no heat, which can reduce the costs of cooling your home.


Fluorescent bulbs contain mercury that will leak if the bulb is broken but will not cause any harm if it stays in the bulb. LEDs do not have any mercury.

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About the Author

Mark Kennan is a writer based in the Kansas City area, specializing in personal finance and business topics. He has been writing since 2009 and has been published by "Quicken," "TurboTax," and "The Motley Fool."