The Difference Between LEDs and CFLs: Glass Envelope

LED Reflector Lamp
If you’re deciding which light source to use for your next project, look no further! In this blog series, we’re going in-depth to explore the differences between LEDs and CFLs, so you can make the best┬ádecision. In this post, we’re talking about structure…

LEDs and CFLs are built very differently.

LED light bulbs use glass or plastic envelopes of almost any thickness. They’re built to last, even in the most demanding circumstances. CFLs, on the other hand, have a daintier construction. If you drop one, the thinner glass envelope could easily break. This can be a problem, especially because CFLs contain trace amounts of mercury that will be released when the light bulb shatters.

To prevent CFLs from cracking so easily, some manufacturers have begun encasing CFLs in silicone coatings, so even if the glass breaks the shards and mercury will stay within the silicone, not allowed to get into your environment. The CFL’s traditional spiral is covered by a more conventionally shaped envelope like this:

Covered CFL

As a general rule, we at Pegasus Lighting recommend you use LED light bulbs for rougher applications, when the light bulb faces a lot of wear and tear – think traveling or within portable fixtures. For more static, quiet applications, either light bulb should serve you well.

Annie Josey

Annie Josey

Annie was the E-Commerce Marketing Specialist at Pegasus Lighting from June 2012 to October 2013. She has a background in English literature, and loves using language to help illuminate the world. So covering lighting news and tips naturally fit her interests. In her personal time she enjoys painting, biking, and reading.