With the drawn-out demise of the incandescent light bulb still occurring, today’s consumers are faced with a choice between LEDs (light-emitting diodes), CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) and halogen bulbs, to illuminate their homes and businesses. So, to discover which type of bulb represents the best option, read this LED Monkey blog...

LEDs vs. Incandescent and Halogen Bulbs

We used to measure the brightness of conventional incandescent and halogen bulbs in Watts.

This meant that if you wanted a brighter bulb, you bought one with a higher wattage.

Consequently, a brighter bulb such as a 100-Watt would could cost a great deal more to run than a relatively dim one like a 25-Watt or 40-Watt.

Then, when low-voltage LEDs started to become more prevalent, that measurement became all but meaningless and was replaced by “Lumens”.

A simple way to remember it is Lumens = Light Output.

Lumens are an actual measurement of a bulb’s brilliance or “luminosity”, whereas Watts simply measure the amount of power it consumes.

Below, you’ll see a table which illustrates the amount of energy in Watts that an incandescent bulb and an LED typically require to generate a similar number of Lumens.

Number of Lumens

LED Bulb (Watts)

Incandescent Bulb (Watts)


0.75 7


1.5 10


2 – 3 15


2 – 3 25


4 – 5 40


8 – 12 60


12 – 15 75


15 - 19 100

As you can see, LED Light Bulbs require far fewer Watts than their Incandescent counterparts, yet they’re able to generate the same amount of brightness. This means, by switching to LED as your main source of illumination, you’ll save up to 90% on your electricity bill.

The Lifespan of LEDs compared with other types of bulb

Another significant factor in the demise of the incandescent light bulb has definitely been its short lifespan, in comparison with newer forms of LED technology.

Indeed, for a number of years, we considered CFLs like the one on the left to be the most cost-effective type of bulb, because they lasted up to 10 times as long as an incandescent.

However, as you’ll see from the table below, LEDs rule-the-roost as far as longevity is concerned!

Type of Bulb

Expected Lifespan (In Hours)


750 – 2000


2,000 – 4,000


8,000 – 20,000


20,000 – 30,000


35,000 – 50,000

In light of the information in the table above, here’s a brief run-down of the longevity of the various types of light bulb.

Incandescent Bulbs

A conventional incandescent light bulb

Incandescents generally have the shortest lifespan of any type of light bulb. Indeed, they’ll normally need to be replaced after around 1,500 hours of use.

However, many people still find them appealing thanks to the relaxing warmth of their light.

As we’ll discover later, LEDs are able to replicate this “warm white” light very faithfully, making them an ideal replacement for incandescent bulbs.

Halogen Bulbs

A slightly more energy-efficient and cost-effective bulb than the incandescent, the halogen will work for up to twice the length of time, while retaining its white, penetrative light until the end of its 2,000 to 4,000 hr life.

While this clinical “cool white” light is useful for carrying out close-work and tasks, LEDs are able to emulate it very successfully, and for a lot longer! Add to this the fact that halogen light sources are due to be phased out in the UK and you’ll appreciate why so many people are switching to LED.

Compact Fluorescent Lamps

Unlike LEDs which come on instantaneously, CFLs (pictured, left) can take a while to warm up and achieve full brightness. However, they’re known to work for quite a long time between replacements, typically lasting from 8,000 to 20,000 hours.

Unfortunately, the harmful element Mercury is an essential part of the CFL’s makeup. When an electric current is driven through a CFL containing mercury vapour, UV light is produced that excites a fluorescent phosphor coating, which then emits visible light.

On average, CFLs contain about four milligrams of mercury, which can be released into the water supply and the soil when it’s broken. LEDs contain no mercury and are therefore a much more environmentally-friendly lighting option.

Fluorescent Lights & Tubes

Fluorescent lights and tubes like those shown below, are a fairly long-lasting option, being able to function for around 20,000 hours.

They are best suited to locations in which they’ll be left switched on for consistent periods of time, such as offices or popular areas of the home like the kitchen or garage.

Fluorescent light bulbs and tubes do, however, have a couple of fatal flaws. They’re prone to flickering which can cause eye-strain and headaches, and they create an incessant buzzing sound which is just plain infuriating!

Fortunately, LED replacements are available in the form of LED T5 and T8 tubes, neither of which flicker or buzz!


LEDs are, by far, the longest-lasting type of light bulb, working for years longer than their more traditional counterparts. And they’re available in a variety of base types, so they can easily retrofit into your existing fittings.

They also come in different colour temperatures, which means you can use them to individually tailor the lighting ambience of your environment to suit its function.

Indeed, people have begun to realise just how versatile a choice of colour makes their LED bulbs, opting for the Warm White (2700 – 3000K) for living and family rooms like the lounge, Cool White (6000K) for bathrooms and kitchens, and Daylight (4000K) for offices and living spaces, too!

Give Us a Call!

If you require any further information about the benefits of LED Lighting, please don’t hesitate to give us a call here at LED Monkey HQ!

You can reach us on 0800 999 7797. Or, you can e-mail us at: marketing@ledmonkey.com.

You can also find us on our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn social media pages, and you'll find solutions to all your LED-related issues on our FAQs page.