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How does LED work?

philips led bulb

LED stands for ‘Light emitting diode’. A diode is an electrical component with two electrodes, which only allows electricity to pass freely in one direction. Through the constant movements of the electrons in the semiconductor, light is generated.

What are the advantages of LED?

  • Low power consumption – Because it is not necessary to heat up a filament, the main advantage of LED bulbs is the energy efficiency. No energy is getting wasted and it is possible to save up to 80 %.
  • Long lifetime – The average lifetime of LED lamp is about 15.000 to 50.000 hours. Incandescent bulbs on the contrary only 1000 hours. The longevity of the LED products leads to low replacement and energy costs, therefore a fast amortization time is usually guaranteed within one year.
  • Environmentally friendly – In Contrary to traditional light bulbs, LED bulbs contain no toxic chemicals. For example, a broken energy saving bulb is not only harmful to your health (mercury vapor) but also to the environment. In addition, it is special waste, which cannot be easily disposed.
  • Perfect for accent lighting – LED bulbs are available in a variety of color temperatures. The light beam of a LED bulb is generally between 8 ° and 360 °. This has the advantage that a suitable LED bulb is available for every possible situation. This allows you to create specific accent lighting, but also to imitate the look and feel of a traditional light bulb.

What is the disadvantage of LED?

High acquisition costs – The initial investment is higher than for incandescent bulbs. Due to the long life and high energy efficiency of LED bulbs, a fast ‘Return on Investment’ is possible.

How does a CFL work?

halogen bulb

In a CFL, an electric current is driven through a tube containing argon and a small amount of mercury vapor. This generates invisible ultraviolet light that excites a fluorescent coating (called phosphor) on the inside of the bulb, which then emits visible light. CFLs need a little more energy when they are first turned on, but once the electricity starts moving, CFLs use about 70% less energy than incandescent bulbs. A CFL’s ballast helps "kick start" the CFL and then regulates the current once the electricity starts flowing..


What are the advantages of a CFL?

  • Longer lifetime than a incandescent with less energy consumption
  • Many color variations in white: by changing the composition of the fluorescent powder, different types of white can be obtained, from reddish ("warm") to bluish ("cold").

What are the disadvantages of a CFL?

  • Compared with LED lamps, energy-saving bulbs become very hot; they therefore waste energy on heat.
  • A lot of switching on and off considerably shortens the lifespan, as well as a short burning time - and especially the combination.
  • Energy saving lamps are very fragile when touched, especially at higher temperatures. Once broken, toxic substances can be released, and the shards of CFL bulbs are very sharp. That is why it is not wise to store CFL bulbs within reach of children.
  • CFL bulbs relatively quickly lose their light output, and soon no longer burn at full strength.
  • With most CFL bulbs, it takes a while before the lamp burns at full intensity, so that they are switched off less. This then limits the savings.