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electrician santa rosa cfl vs ledIt’s great that we have lots of options for lighting our homes besides old incandescent bulbs, which rack up higher energy bills and create many times more CO2 emissions than other choices. But is there one new lighting choice that is clearly the best of all?

We hope this comparison: CFL vs LED will help you to make the right decision on which energy saving option is best for you.

Many people are asking their electrician in Sonoma and Marin Counties to help them decide between CFL and LED bulbs. Both are energy efficient and help reduce emissions. Both can be used wherever you would have previously used incandescents. To compare CFL and LED bulbs, let’s focus on the key differences between them.

CFL Lights

More than four times as efficient as incandescents, CFLs are excellent for many lighting needs. They take a few minutes to reach full brightness, but that can be pleasant when entering a dark room. They often seem dim in recessed lighting, however. On the plus side, don’t worry about CFLs not working in extreme temperatures: they only struggle under -10 degrees or above 120, so they’re good to go in Northern California.

Key stats on CFLs:

      • 13 watts = 60 watt incandescent
      • 8,000+ hours of life
      • contain mercury: breakage can be hazardous and disposal must be careful
      • cost has dropped significantly since introduction

LED Lights

Light-emitting diodes create light by passing electricity through a semiconductor. There’s no chemical component and they don’t burn out like filaments. In fact, LEDs are typically twice as energy efficient as CFLs and ten times greener than incandescent bulbs! The main knock on LED bulbs is that they are directional; that is, they don’t naturally scatter light but instead point in one direction. Many LED options overcome this, and in some cases you may even find it preferable to control the lighting more.

Key stats on LEDs:

      • 6-8 watts = 60 watt incandescent
      • 30,000+ hours of life
      • no chemicals
      • availability and cost rapidly improving


It’s clear that LED bulbs are more cost efficient in the long run compared to CFL bulbs, despite costing dollars more to purchase. Both are vast improvements over incandescent bulbs and as an electrician in the Santa Rosa, CA area we’re happy to recommend either one. The brightness, light color, and esthetics of the bulb itself might influence your decision. Perhaps you’ll even use both of them for different locations. Technological trends seem to point to LED bulbs improving more, however, so we’re expecting these bulbs to become the norm over time.

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