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Comparing Incandescent To LED Bulbs

Incandescent bulbs and LED lighting are popular illumination choices for homeowners and businesses. As a top-rated lighting company in St. Louis, Starbeam Lighting is uniquely positioned to analyze both options and discuss the pros and cons of each.

Incandescent

What Is It?

An incandescent lightbulb is the classic bulb we’re used to seeing everywhere. Luminance is achieved by heating a wire filament until it produces light. The glass bulb surrounding the wire can be filled with an inert gas, or left gasless to create a vacuum.

Advantages Of Incandescent Lights

  • Manufacturing process of an incandescent bulb hasn’t changed in more than a century, which makes these bulbs cheap to design and cheap to purchase.
  • Incandescent bulbs offer significant variety: there are many different combinations of voltage, current, and light output
  • Despite their basic construction, incandescent lighting is reputed for its ability to render exceptional color

Disadvantages Of Incandescent Lights

Incandescent lights have three big disadvantages that today are more pronounced than ever:

  • Worst lifespan on the market: no other lighting type has a worse lifespan than incandescent, whose average lifespan is just 1,200 hours.
  • Worst energy efficiency on the market: almost all of the energy that incandescent bulbs consume is for heat generation. Only around 10% goes towards lighting.
  • Also, incandescent lights are “omnidirectional”, which means they only output light in 360 degrees, and require redirection in order to target a specific area. This limitation significantly compromises efficiency.

LED

What Is It?

LED (light-emitting diode) lighting uses two electrodes (an anode and a cathode) as conduits for electricity, which flows through the anode and out through the cathode. Silicon and selenium, both of which are semi-conductive materials, are used for the diodes. Thus, light is emitted when the electrical current passes through the electrodes.

Advantages Of LED Lights

  • Unbeatable energy efficiency, better than every other lighting technology on the market
  • Exceptionally long lifespan that far surpasses incandescent lighting, and trumps other choices like fluorescent and LPS (low-pressure sodium)
  • Maintenance costs and repair/replacement needs are minimal
  • Outstanding light quality with virtually zero adverse effects (doesn’t cause headaches, affect mood, compromise safety, etc.)
  • Size can be considerably smaller than other lighting solutions
  • Don’t require a warm-up or cool-down period, thanks to faster switching
  • Naturally directional: standard light emission is 180 degrees
  • Able to produce entire color spectrum without using filters
  • Require far less accessories than competing options

Disadvantages Of LEDs

LED lighting’s many upsides make it an easy choice for a new construction project or an LED retrofit in an existing building. LED’s only real disadvantage is its fairly high up-front cost, which exceeds that of other lighting solutions. However, the energy savings derived from using LED lighting, coupled with the fact that the price of LEDs will continue dropping, makes the initial investment more than worth it.

Partner With Us On Your Next Lighting Project in St. Louis

Starbeam Lighting brings extensive experience to any lighting project, whether it’s for retrofit lighting, a lighting control system, or brand-new lighting for a warehouse or commercial space. Partner with us on your next lighting project and benefit from our considerable knowledge and cutting-edge solutions.