Fluorescent, and LED Light Bulbs
At Jacksonville Light Bulbs, we believe that customers get the most satisfaction when they know as much as possible about the bulbs they buy. When it comes to understanding the different types of light bulbs, we can help.
First, the broad categories of light bulbs in order from least efficient to most efficient are as follows: incandescent, compact fluorescent (or CFL), and LED. The incandescent light bulb is the "old-school" light bulb, and it has been in service since the times of Thomas Edison. This classic device consists of sealed glass around a tungsten filament. In Edison's day the filament was made of carbon but other than the switch to tungsten and a tighter vacuum seal this bulb hasn't changed much over the last 140 years.
The compact fluorescent light bulb is what most folks recognize as the "spiral" shaped light bulb. CFLs use a gaseous mixture (mostly argon and a tad of mercury vapor) to emit light through a phosphorous (fluorescent) coating. LED light bulbs are similar in size and shape to their incandescent and CFL counterparts except they use Light Emitting Diodes to produce light rather than halogen gas through a tungsten filament. The diodes often consist of a COB (chip on board) system. The LED chip is placed directly on a printed circuit board which then transforms and regulates current to provide power to light the LED. Understanding what makes one light category more efficient than the other is a little tricky.
When the chemical reaction that produces light occurs, there are two outputs of that reaction: light and heat. Incandescent bulbs release only about 10% of that output as light. The other 90% output is heat. This means that only about 10% of the actual energy produced by an incandescent bulb is light.
The light to heat ratios of compact fluorescent and LED bulbs are significantly more efficient than incandescent light bulbs. This explains how the amount of light produced by a 60 Watt (W) incandescent light bulb is the same amount of light produced by a 13W compact fluorescent bulb and an 8-9W LED bulb.