• CFL = Compact Fluorescent Light
• Invented by Ed Hammer in 1976 (but shelved by General Electric)
• First real challenger to the incandescent bulb (~1995)
• Popular lighting choice to replace 100-year old incandescent technology as
a result of:
• energy efficiency/cost savings (uses 1/5 to 1/3 of electric power)
• superior lifetime (last 8-15x longer)
CFL light bulb
Are they still the best lighting technology choice today?
While CFLs do outperform a 100-year old technology, how do they compare
against newer lighting technologies, such as the Light Emitting Diode (LED)?
This presentation examines both CFLs and LEDs to see how they stack up
against one another.
Note: For all performance-related categories, the output of a standard 75-
watt incandescent bulb is used as a basis of comparison.
LAMP LIFETIME (HOURS) REPLACEMENT FREQUENCY
LED 40,000 1
CFL 10,000 4
• Fewer bulb replacements
• Less landfill
• Lifetime not shortened by power usage patterns
(see “On/off cycling effects”)
• Lifetime not shortened as a result of installation method
(for example, when a CFL is inserted upside down in a
hanging, enclosed fixture, the power supply heats up. As
a result of inadequate heat sinking capabilities, CFLs
tend to bake and die much faster than their published
IMPACT LED CFL
Contains Mercury (toxic to both environment and
No Yes (~5mg)
RoHS-compliant (Restriction of Hazardous
Substances – directive in controlling the use of six
Carbon Dioxide Emissions (CO2 is the main
4.4 kg/yr (1300lm
@ 2 hrs/day)
7.3 kg/yr (1300lm
@ 2 hrs/day)
Infrared or ultraviolet radiation emissions? Extremely low IR Yes
• Less environmental contamination
• Less personal exposure to hazardous material
• No degradation of artwork, furniture, carpets, etc.
IMPACT LED CFL
Turns on instantly? Yes Delay
Light flicker? No Yes
Heat emitted? Very low (3btu’s/hr) Medium (30btu’s/hr)
Temperature sensitivity? Slight
Sensitive where unable to vent
excess heat, but much less sensitive
-Low/no in freezing temps
-Lifespan significantly shortened depending on
how bulb is installed (ie. Upside down or within
enclosure traps heat)
Durable? Yes Fragile
On/Off cycling effects? No Yes
• Immediate light (no wait period)
• No risk of triggering migraines or epilepsy attacks (no light flicker). NOTE: The relationship has been
contended, even though cases have been reported (see http://bit.ly/PTUA23 for more information).
• Minimal risk of fire
• Superior lamp performance in all weather conditions
• Less risk of breakage
• More dependable – lifetime unaffected by frequent use
• Reduced electricity bill
Comparing lumens per Watt (lm/W)
LAMP WATTS KWh/yr (@24 hours/day) COST/yr (@0.119/KWh)
LED 12.5 109.58 $13.04
CFL 20 175.32 $20.86
The math is pretty simple: Less energy used greater electricity savings
Return on investment is recovered quickly (from a few months to a couple of
years, depending on usage).
Note: While dimmable LEDs do cost slightly more than non-dimmable LEDs of
similar wattage, you can scale back the light to ~10% of its full output, thereby
reducing the amount of energy required.
There’s also a hidden savings: that which is achieved through cost avoidance.
A longer lamp lifespan means you don’t need to spend valuable time
performing maintenance tasks (for example, buying new bulbs or replacing
Leapfrog Lighting provides specification-grade LED products for
industrial, retail, and commercial applications. We’ve created an innovative
LED lighting solution that uses Intelligent Optics to provide architectural
quality illumination unrivalled in the industry. Additionally, all our lamps are
top performers in virtually all major efficiency-performance categories.
remark on how
gallery is now…”
Mr. John Newman, Associate Director
at Kinsman Robinson Galleries in Toronto, ON
Leapfrog Lighting Web Store
The Leapfrog Lighting Web Store, shop.leapfroglighting.com, provides all
product specifications required to select the right product for your
application. Ordering is easy! And if you have any questions, one of our live
customer service agents is available to chat live.
400 March Road
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K2K 3H4
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Sarah Bailey is the Manager of Marketing at
Leapfrog Lighting. She has an interest in all things
solid state lighting (SSL), the environment, and
being a Canadian, hockey. She is an active
participant in several LED lighting groups on
LinkedIn, where many of Leapfrog’s blogs are
Stephen Naor is the President of Leapfrog Lighting.
In 2003, Stephen set out to improve the
affordability of energy-efficient lighting and his
innovations earned him two patents and an award
from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics
Engineers. Stephen is married, has two kids and a
dog, and is an avid nature photographer.