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    LEDs vs. Fluorescent: Which bulb is better for your business?

    February 13, 2019 | Energy Management, Facility Management, Lighting Retrofits

    LED and fluorescent lights are two of the most popular lighting options for large facilities nowadays. People may think they are very similar at a glance. However, they are in fact very different in the ways they function, their usable lifespan, and their energy cost, according to a blog from Panel Built.

    Let’s first take a look at their history and what they are. According to Panel Built, an LED, or “light-emitting diode,” bulb was developed in the 1960s. It can transfer electricity directly into light. There is a semiconductor inside of an LED light bulb, and when the current goes through it, it “gives off photons which produce light.”

    On the other hand, fluorescent lights were developed in the mid-1800s. According to Panel Built, fluorescent light is “typically a tube that has a mercury vapor and a phosphor coating on the inside of it.” When the light bulb is galvanized, the electric current will excite “the mercury vapor which causes it to emit ultraviolet light.” The UV light will then be absorbed by the phosphor coating and re-emitted “in the form of visible lighting.”

    LEDs vs. Fluorescents

    According to the Department of Energy, LED lights are better than fluorescent light in several areas:

    • Highly efficient: they generally use 75% less energy than fluorescent light and last 25 times longer
    • Environmental-friendly: unlike fluorescent lights, LED lights don’t contain mercury, making it safe for humans and the environment
    • Safety: LED light bulbs emit very little heat whereas fluorescent bulbs “release about 80% of their energy as heat”
    • Energy cost: even though LED bulbs are more expensive than fluorescent, the average cost per hour is actually much cheaper because LED bulbs last longer
    • Installation: general households can install LED light themselves pretty quickly whereas they have to be very careful about fluorescent light installation

    Fluorescent lights, on the other hand, are better than LED lights in a few areas:

    • Product cost: a single fluorescent light bulb is cheaper than an LED light bulb
    • Short-term ROI: according to the EnergyLink website, expected ROI for LED light bulbs is about 3 to 5 years. If the lighting system is only installed for 3 years or below, using fluorescent light could be more cost-efficient
    • Better than incandescent light: according to the Department of Energy, fluorescent light is at least more cost-efficient than incandescent lights

     

    Upgrading to A LED Lighting System

    If you are running a business in a facility for more than 3 years, and you want to lower your energy cost, think about upgrading your current lighting system to LED lighting. With a LED lighting system, you can worry less about common lighting problems, such as bulbs overheating or possible poisoning from fluorescent bulb chemicals. Moreover, it only takes about 3 to 5 days to install, depending on the size of your business. If you are interesting in doing so, please contact one of our energy experts here.