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LED vs Fluorescent

How does a LED tube work

philips led bulb

LED stands for ‘Lighting 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 a LED tube?

  • Mercury Free – Unlike fluorescents, LEDs contain no mercury. This makes them safe for the environment.
  • Directional Lighting – LEDs offer directional light (illumination exactly where you need it). On the other hand, fluorescents have multi-directional light, which means some light is lost in the fixture and other unnecessary places.
  • Better Efficiency – The newest LED tubes are around 40% more efficient than fluorescent lamps.
  • Quality Light ­- Today’s LEDs produce light in a variety of color temperatures similar to fluorescent, but don’t have any flickering issues that can happen with fluorescent.
  • Lifespan – The average life of aLED tube is 50,000 hours, versus only 30,000 hours for an average fluorescent lamp.
  • Shatterproof - LED is made of polycarbonate which is unbreakable. Other than the old fluorescent lamps, which are made of glass and therefore extremely breakable.

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 fluorescent lamp work

halogen bulb

A fluorescent lamp is a low-pressure mercury-vapor gas-discharge lamp that uses fluorescence to produce visible light. An electric current in the gas excites mercury vapor, which produces short-wave ultraviolet light that then causes a phosphor coating on the inside of the lamp to glow.


What are the advantages of a fluorescent lamp?

  • Low production costs, at least the tubes, not of the ballast.
  • Good selection of desired colour temperature (cool white to warm white)
  • Diffused light - 360 degrees - good for general lighting

What are the disadvantages of a fluorescent lamp?

  • The flicker of the fluorescent lamp can be imitated to humans (eye strain, headaches and migraines)
  • Flicker of common fluorescent light looks poor on video, and creates an ugly greenish or yellow hue on camera.
  • Diffused light (not good when you need a focused beam such as in a headlight or flashlight)
  • Poorly - cheaply designed ballasts can create radio interference that disturbs other electronics and they can create fires when they are overheat
  • There is a small amount of mercury in the tubes

Which one do you choose? LED tubes or fluorescent tubes?