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I met a home owner the other day and he asked the difference between incandescent, CFL and LED lights. Below is gist of what we spoke about…

Incandescent light- Incandescent lights are the regular filament bulb/lamp. In incandescent bulb/lamp the wire filament gets heated to a temperature by current passing through it until it lit /glows to produce light. This is same technology Thomas Edison had invented. Incandescent bulb consumes load of electrical power. Like a 60 watt bulb consumes 60 watts of electrical energy. But Incandescent bulbs are not that durable and the glass or filament can break very easily. Incandescent bulb lasts for 2000 burning hours only. In most cases, Incandescent is now replaced by CFL bulb/lamps.

CFL Lamp – CFL are compact fluorescent lamp that are energy savers and compact as compared to incandescent lamps. As compared to incandescent lamps, CFL lamps use 1/5th to 1/3rd of the electric power, producing the same amount of visible light. CFL lights are thin tube/spiral tubes lamps or light. These are usually milky white in color. CFL lamps are more durable. But the life of CFL lamps is reduced by frequent switching on & off.

LED Lamp – Led lights/lamps are light emitting diode (LED), arranged into a lamp/tube. LED lights/ lamps are more significantly more durable & save loads of electrical energy as compared to incandescent lamps and CFL lamps too. But LED lights are very much misunderstood by home owners. Like home owners usually ask for LED lights, but which LED lights they want, is not known to them. There are different type of LED lamps/lights like LED bulbs, LED tube lights, LED concealed lights, LED strip lights, LED hanging lights and more. For every type of LED light different fittings are used, therefore a home owner shall know which lights he wants to but for different rooms/areas of his house.

Power Consumption of Incandescent, CFL and LED lights.

Incandescent lights are not durable as CFL and LED light, and CFL is not as durable as LED. I.E an Incandescent has a life of 2,000 burning hours, while CFL bulb has a life of 4,000-6,000 burning hours whereas LED lights are most durable with 25,000 burning hours. Here you can clearly see that LED lights are most durable than any other lights. Even if you calculate the burning hours of each of them LED lights would work for minimum 10 years if it is switched on for 4 hours daily. While CFL and incandescent light would work for fewer years.

With innovation/advancement, life of the lamp/bulb increased and consumption of power decreased. You can say that a 100 watt incandescent bulb got replaced by 18-20 watt CFL bulb which has now got replaced by a 9 watt LED light bulb. You therefore can say that a 9 watt LED bulb projects equivalent light as 100 watt incandescent bulb.


Thus having/using LED lights can save loads of energy and also the heating of the bulb reduces. More the electric being consumed, faster and more easily the bulb/lamps gets heated up. If a home owner happens to touch an incandescent bulb within 2-3 mins after it is switched on, he may get burnt due to heat while, if you happen to touch an LED light/lamp even after 10 hours of its working, a home owner will not find it hot.

The cost difference of each of them i.e. Incandescent, CFL and LED lights

Incandescent bulbs come for as cheap as Rs. 15 to Rs. 20 per piece.
The cost of CFL lamps is quite higher than incandescent lamps. The cost of CFL lamps ranges for RS 100 to RS. 500 to 600. But with CFL lamps, higher the lumen power (higher watts), costlier it is. Lets say a PHILIPS CFL 42 watt cost around RS. 600 while a lower watt bulb will cost for RS 100 or Rs 125 per piece. But as I said earlier, CFL lamps are much more durable and energy savers that incandescent lamps.

The cost of LED lamps/light is on the higher side. 2 years back LED lights of 1watt to 7 watt came for Rs 1,500 o Rs 1,200 . But now a home owner can buy the same piece for Rs 600- Rs 700. It is said that soon a lower price range for LED lights will be launched like Rs.200-Rs.300 i.e. same as CFL Lamp.