We won’t rest until we’ve explored every way LEDs and CFLs differ! This post is part of a series doing just that. So far we’ve covered everything from the basics, like rated-life and energy-efficiency to more complex topics, like how each source performs in cold temperatures. Click here to explore the entire series.
Radiation. We’re talking about lights here, so the topic was bound to come up sooner or later.
Infrared Radiation (IR)
First of all, it’s a myth that LEDs don’t generate heat. All light sources generate some heat, and LEDs are no exception. Excessive heat can damage an LED or lessen its rated life – so it’s essential that LEDs have well designed “heat sinks” to dissipate the heat generated in the rear of the LED.
This myth may have originated from the very true fact that LEDs don’t emit infrared radiation in the same direction as the emitted light, unlike other light sources.
A CFL, on the other hand, does emit IR and can get very hot to the touch.
Ultraviolet Radiation (UV)
White LEDs don’t emit any UV radiation from the faces of their light bulbs, unlike CFLs and other light sources.
Since bugs are attracted to UV rays, LEDs are well suited for outdoor use. They won’t lure pesky insects to come bother you. CFLs will.
More importantly, the fact that LEDs don’t emit either kind of radiation makes them ideally suited for use in art galleries and museums where degradation of precious artwork and artifacts is a genuine concern.