Mar 182013
 

Mercury The Difference Between LEDs and CFLs: Mercury

Image via PeriodicTable.com


This post is the second in a series on important differences between LEDs and CFLs, two of the most popular energy-saving light sources on the market today. You can read the first post about efficiency here.

Mercury is a toxic substance that can attack the brains and nervous systems of humans. CFLs (and all fluorescent lights) contain small amounts of mercury, LEDs do not. In the long run, this makes the LED a much safer, low maintenance light source.

Why do CFLs contain mercury? 

The mercury, when excited by an electric current, helps the CFL generate light. This small amount of mercury, barely enough to cover the tip of a ballpoint pen, poses no threat to your health as long as it remains contained within the light bulb’s glass envelope. You only need to worry about it if the light bulb should break.

To safely deal with your CFLs, take them to an EPA approved recycling center. You can learn more about the importance of recycling CFLs in this blog post: Don’t Toss That CFL In The Trash.

What to do if your CFL breaks…

If you wind up with a broken CFL in your home, follow these steps for safe cleanup and disposal: Continue reading »

Mar 112013
 

LED Better 300x199 The Difference Between LEDs and CFLs: Efficiency
This is the first post in a brand new series about the key differences between compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), the light source of the present, and light emitting diodes (LEDs), the light source of the future. We’ll touch on things like structure, function, and quality, so you can keep up with all the innovations currently happening in the lighting world…

One of the most obvious differences between LED light bulbs and CFLs is energy-efficiency. Yes, we consider both sources to be energy-saving, and both fall well within new government efficiency standards, but it’s a simple fact that LEDs use less power to generate more light.

We measure the efficiency of a light source (sometimes called efficacy) in lumens per watt (lm/W). If you’re unfamiliar with this measurement, we’re just talking about the amount of light produced by one unit of electrical power – similar to miles per gallon for a car.

In general, a good LED on the market today can produce 60-100+ lm/W, which is about twice as many as a CFL, which only produces about 30-50 lm/W. Continue reading »

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