The LED Tube Debate Rages On

You may not believe it, but the debate over whether LED light technology is better than more traditional fluorescent bulbs is still a hot issue. Proponents of LED bulbs claim that the lights are more energy efficient, last longer and are more environmentally friendly. However, there are many that still think the higher up-front costs and relatively undeveloped technology of LEDs make them a less than optimum choice for the average home or business environment.

Before you decide on whether or not to choose LED tubes over fluorescent tubes, make sure you understand the pros and cons of both products. The following are a few categories you should consider when deciding on a bulb, and how both LED and fluorescent tubes measure up.

Lifespan
LED: These bulbs last about twice as long as fluorescent bulbs.
Fluorescent: Although they don’t measure up to LEDs, they still last 10 to 20 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

Efficiency
LED: The leader in efficiency, LEDs use less energy than both fluorescent and incandescent bulbs.
Fluorescent: Again, not as good as LEDs, but still much better than incandescents.

Cost
LED: Expect to pay a whopping $50 to $100 per tube should you choose LEDs.
Fluorescent: Pretty inexpensive ($2 – $10 a tube), which is one of the main reasons people choose fluorescents over LEDs.

Toxicity:
LED: Contains no hazardous materials.
Fluorescent: Contains mercury and phosphor.

While LEDs trump fluorescent in most categories, their high price still keeps some people from making the switch. For more information on the pros and cons of LED tubes vs. incandescent tubes in commercial use, check out Software Advice’s article.

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