Monthly Archives: March 2011

Why CFLs are not the future

The next time you have a bright idea the light bulb above your head will no longer be an incandescent bulb, but instead a CFL (compact fluorescent light). But is changing from incandescents to CFLs a bright idea?

There are a lot of issues with both incandescent bulbs and CFLs, which should mean that CFLs reign as the light of choice will be much shorter than the time we’ve depended on incandescents. In this era of quality over quantity (at least I’m hopeful this era is in its infancy), the pendulum of what we require will fall on the side of LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes), which provides the same quality of light as incandescents with a much longer life span.

For an apple-to-apple comparison of the past, present, and future of lights (as described from this article):


Projected life span:

Incandescent — 1,200 hours

CFL — 10,000 hours (Eight times longer)

LED — 50,000 hours (42 times longer)

Electricity used to produce light equal to that of a 60-watt incandescent bulb:

Incandescent — 60 watts

CFL — 14 watts

LED — 6 watts

Cost per bulb:

Incandescent — $1.25

CFL — $3.95

LED — $20

Annual operating cost based on equivalent of 30 incandescent bulbs:

Incandescent — $328.59

CFL — $76.65

LED — $32.85

Instantly turns on:

Incandescent — Yes

CFL — No

LED — Yes

Contains toxic waste:

Incandescent — No

CFL — Yes

LED — No