CFLs v. LEDs

CFL (Compact Fluorescent) and LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights are the most energy-efficient light bulbs out there at this time. While having a lower wattage than other light bulbs, they emit the same amount of light, saving on energy cost.

CFLs – Produces UV (ultraviolet) light and heat through a reaction taking place within the bulb. This reaction takes place when an electric current moves back and fourth between electrodes at each end of a small tube that contains gasses.

LEDs – An electrical current passes through semiconductor material to light the teeny tiny light sources inside the bulb called LEDs. Each bulb contains a heat sink which keeps it cool to the touch.


To produce light, a filament is heated within an incandescent light bulb to the point of glowing. This glow from the filament is what illuminates the bulb. Lasting, on average, for about a year, incandescent lights have become less and less popular over the years.


Whether they are fluorescent tubes or bulbs, they are filled with mercury vapor that gives off UV light when electricity is introduced. Coating the inside of these bulbs/tubes is a material that turns UV rays into visible light.


To illuminate, halogen bulbs use a filament that is heated to the point of glowing – just like incandescent light bulbs do – though halogens use less energy. They also last, on average, for about a year and are not a popular bulb choice.

Lumens & Watts

Lumens – refers to the light that is given off by a light bulb. The more lumens, the brighter the light. A standard 100-watt bulb produces 1600 lumens give or take.

Watts – refers to the amount of energy the light bulb uses. Lower watt bulbs equals a lower electric bill. Both CFLs and LEDs have a lower wattage than incandescent light bulbs, even though they give off the same amount of light.

Never exceed the maximum wattage recommended for a lamp or appliance.

-IG Federal Electrical Supply