According to the US Department of Energy (DOE), compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) use 75% less electricity, reduce heat production by 75% and last 10 times longer than incandescent lamps. In EU countries, they will be replaced by CFL and LED. Annual savings – 40 billion kWh. Switching to alternative energy-saving light bulbs is an easy way to save money and help the environment. CFLs and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) consume less electricity and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Let’s consider which energy-saving light bulbs are better, comparing their pros and cons.

To begin with, let’s determine which light bulbs belong to the energy-saving ones used in everyday life, these are:

  • LED lamps ,
  • compact fluorescent lamps,
  • halogen lamps.

Which energy saving light bulbs are best

The main parameters of the lamps

The amount of light, quality and energy consumption are the basis for choosing lighting for your home.

The amount of light

Lumen is a unit of measurement of luminous flux, which is used to determine the amount of light. The more lumens, the brighter the light. As a standard, a 100 W incandescent lamp corresponds to 1600 lm. Can be used to compare the brightness of any light source: incandescent, CFL or LED. In practice, choose a lightbulb of greater brightness with lower energy consumption. Choosing an efficient lamp is easier to do if you base it on understanding the lumens.

Energy consumption

Efficiency of electricity consumption. It is measured as the number of produced lumens to the level of electricity consumption – lumen / W. Here it is clear: more lumens, less W – higher efficiency.

Color temperature

Yellow-red colors are considered warm, and blue-green – cool. Color temperature is measured in Kelvin (K). The temperature range of 3600-5500 K is classified as cool, and 2700-3000 K as warm light. Cool light is better for visual tasks because it produces higher contrast. Warm light is suitable for living spaces, it is better combined with skin tones and clothes.

LED lamps

In 1962, Nick Holoniak created the first visible light-emitting diode spectrum. Invented diodes of red, yellow, green light. In the 90s, blue and white LEDs were invented. Since 2013, manufacturers have produced lamps using Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology. Today, LED lamps and chandeliers are becoming popular in the homes of America and Europe. Let’s consider what energy-saving light bulbs have pros and cons.

harmful LED lamps


  • LED emits directional light, unlike CFL and incandescent lamps (electric bulb).
  • Other incandescent lamps create light using heat, which consumes more energy than using diodes.
  • The lifespan of an LED is more than 60,000 hours, 50-60 times longer than a traditional incandescent lamp.
  • LEDs are made from pure materials.
  • One LED reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 0.5 t during use.


  • The initial cost is higher than other lamps on the market.
  • Sometimes the light appears harsh if the wrong color or diffuser is selected.
  • Over time, flickering, darkening or discoloration may appear.
  • LED durability decreases at extremely high temperatures.

The table (here and below) shows data from the US DOE for 2013. The cost of 1 kWh is 12 cents.

Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLS)

In the 19th century, Heinrich Geissler passed an electric current through a vacuum tube and received a glow. In the 1920s, neon tubes were invented; and with the addition of UV-absorbing phosphors, white light (daylight) was obtained. These lamps were superior to ordinary incandescent lamps in terms of efficiency.

The energy crisis in 1973 led to the creation of a spiral-shaped fluorescent lamp. It was the first compact fluorescent lamp. Today’s models are smaller and cheaper. A worthy replacement for ordinary incandescent lamps.

Why does the energy-saving lamp flash when the light is off

Positive characteristics of CFLS:

  • They consume 75% of the energy of traditional incandescent lamps.
  • Lasts 10 times longer than a conventional incandescent lamp, reduces production and disposal costs.
  • Emit less heat, reduce cooling costs.
  • Cheaper than LED.


  • The content of toxic mercury. Difficulties with disposal are possible .
  • Frequent on-off cycles affect the duration of operation.
  • It takes a short time to turn on to full brightness.
  • Variants of work with dimmers (light regulators) affect the cost of lamps in the direction of increase.

It is important to know! On average, CLL contains 4 mg of mercury. Well-known brands offer lamps with less mercury.

  • Philips between 1.23-2.7 mg;
  • MaxLite 1.23-2.5 mg;
  • Sylvania Mircro-Mini and DURA-ONE less than 1.8 mg;
  • Earthmate and Litetronics Neolite are the lowest at 1 mg.

In specialized stores selling CFLs or in specially designated places, there are collection points for used lamps for their disposal. Find out from the seller where these points are located.

Halogen lamps

Thomas Edison became the first person to patent the light bulb in 1880. Since 1835, scientists have sought to obtain a constant flow of light from a lamp. For 180 years, incandescent lamps have been perfected. In 1955, Elmer Friedrich and Emmett Wiley developed halogen lamps. Over the past 50 years, General Electric has made great strides in improving the efficiency of halogen lamps. They save more energy than ordinary incandescent lamps.


  • A line of energy efficient halogen lamps is now available. They reduce the power: 100 W bulbs to 72-75 W, 60 W to 43 W, 40 W to 29 W – by 25%.
  • The prices of halogen lamps are lower than other energy-saving lamps.
  • They have a different color range, instantly emit light.


  • Most of the energy is spent on obtaining heat. 10% remains for lighting.
  • These lamps last for 1000 hours, using more energy than their production.
  • They heat up a lot, high cooling costs.

Summary table comparing the efficiency of energy-saving lamps

Total: Total costs for 25,000 operating hours: $33 (LED), $51.45 (CFL), $178.5 (Halogen).

Each of the characteristics has its pros and cons. Although some energy-saving lamps are initially more expensive, they are profitable in the long run because they save electricity. For comparison: a normal 60 W incandescent lamp in this competition for 25,000 hours would consume $180 worth of energy.

Interior lighting design

  • Focus the light on certain areas of the room.
  • Install CFL or LED in ceiling and wall lights that work more than 2 hours a day: kitchen, living room, bathroom, corridor and other places.
  • Use CFLs or LED bulbs in portable, long-lasting lights.
  • Connect the automatic switch on and off devices, use sensors. Halogen or LED lamps are suitable. Consider the color of the walls, minimize the need for artificial lighting.
  • Lights built into the ceiling must have space above. Use closed hermetic lamps.
  • For stretch ceilings, use chandeliers on a long suspension. Heat and light flow must be directed downwards.

busbar lighting systems

Outdoor lighting design

Consider the purpose for which lighting is needed, methods of rational energy use. Outdoor lighting should cover the entire home territory, driveways and walkways.

Methods of energy-saving outdoor lighting:

  • Safety and usefulness of lighting: it can be dim, but it is effective.
  • Use LED or fluorescent lights. In places where the light is turned on for a few minutes, incandescent lamps with automatic shutdown control will agree.
  • Use halogen spotlights with photo and motion sensors. Make sure that open fixtures have reflectors, deflectors, or covers for more efficient use of the light source and protection from contamination.
  • Use electronic control systems for decorative lighting: timers, dimmers , sensors, photocells, IT applications.

IMPORTANTLY! Do not use control systems for CFLs. Remember that frequent starts and stops damage the lamp. The best street option is halogen or LED .

Recommendations for choosing energy-saving lamps

Universal CFLs can replace all incandescent lamps in home use: built-in lamps, table and floor lamps, lamps, sconces and others. The socket is adapted to ordinary electric bulbs – E 27 and E 14. Simply put – ordinary with a diameter of 27 mm and minion 14 mm, E40 – for street lights. E26, E12, E17 are not popular, it is even more difficult with G23, G53, 2D and other pin-type sockets. They are found in various designer lighting.

G5 is a fluorescent lamp for lighting showcases, suspended and stretch ceilings, for accent areas. MR-16 is a fluorescent spotlight with a G5.3 base. Candle and Globe with E14 base.

CFLs come in a variety of styles and shapes. Some have 2, 4 or 6 curved or spiral tubes. The surface area of ​​the tube determines how much light the lamp produces. Supplied with standard dimensions for easy installation in common home applications.

General equivalents between CFL and conventional lamp: 5W = 25W, 9-11W = 40W, 13W = 60W, 19-20W = 75W, 23-27W = 100W, 32W = 135W, 42 W = 150 W.

technical characteristics of LED lamps

Replace the incandescent light bulbs in your home with CFLs. Specialized stores have a huge selection for your programs. Read the package! All the information is on it: power is actual and equivalent in W (W), color temperature in K – it is used to choose warm and cold tones of light – brightness in lm, manufacturer, dimensions and type of base.

Sometimes the color rendering index (Ra) is indicated – this is very important for obtaining high-quality light. Lamps below Ra 81 distort the real colors around and this quickly tires the eyes. Brightness – Lumen, higher in lamps with high energy consumption W. You can choose according to these indicators. For the same W consumption, choose lamps with a large number of lumens.

LED lamps have found application in design developments for interior design of rooms, landscape, pool lighting, creation of accented areas, various spotlights. Battery lights with LEDs have practically replaced incandescent lamps. LEDs are used as emergency lighting.

LED lights pay off in the long run. Already today, they are in demand to equip stretch and suspended ceilings with original lighting. But the main purpose of LED and other energy-saving lamps is to equip autonomous systems that receive energy from natural sources. Solar, wind, portable generator sets are low-power sources of energy, devices and equipment that work with a light load are suitable for them.

Which energy-saving light bulbs are better: pros and cons

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