LED vs Fluorescent Lumens - Which is Brighter?
In terms of LED vs fluorescent brightness, both lamp types are capable of outputting extremely bright and clean light over a reasonably wide area, depending on the exact specifications of the tubes and fittings being used. However, the key difference is that LED varieties can generate the same level of brightness at far lower wattages than their fluorescent equivalents.
While overall brightness - measured in lumens - may be the same when taken as a single standalone measurement between equivalent LED or CFL lamps, this means that the LED version is achieving this brightness at a far lower rate of energy consumption, heat generation, and day-to-day running costs. You can see in the comparison chart below some rough equivalents for lumens/wattage between fluorescent and LED lamps designed to light the same area to the same degree of brightness.
The Cost of LED vs Fluorescent Lighting
Speaking of relative costs, when it comes to LED vs fluorescent lighting, there are two important factors to consider. Firstly, the initial price of LEDs is generally slightly higher, to begin with. However, as this newer technology becomes more commonplace, the initial cost difference is actually starting to reduce fairly quickly.
Perhaps more importantly when considering overall expense and budgeting, though, is the fact that LED tubes are so much more efficient and cost-effective over the working life of the lamp itself. Because they run at much lower wattages to produce the same lumen output as their fluorescent equivalents, LEDs are far cheaper in terms of energy bills. Additionally, this lower power consumption means less heat and far slower rates of degeneration, meaning that a single LED tube light is typically expected to last anywhere from 3-5 times as long as an equivalently rated CFL version.
Since the cost of an LED lamp is unlikely to be anything like five times that of a fluorescent tube, the LED version very quickly becomes a more cost-effective option despite being slightly more expensive on day one. Average estimates suggest that real-time savings are typically achieved in less than two years of standard use.
Other Advantages of LEDs Over Fluorescent Tube Lamps
- LED bulbs are more environmentally friendly, both in terms of energy use and manufacturing materials/processes - and this also applies to disposal (LED lamps contain no mercury)
- LED tubes are more directional - one of several reasons why they’re more efficient is that they don’t bounce light in a 360-degree radius, half of which is ‘wasted’ if they’re installed on a ceiling or wall
- LED versions are easily dimmable with the correct setup, whereas fluorescent lamps are typically either on or off
- LED tubes are sold in numerous different colour temperatures, ranging from cool or ‘daylight’ models to warm white
- LED tubes are far less fragile than fluorescent equivalents, being made of rugged plastics rather than thin glass
LED vs Fluorescent Tube Comparison Chart
The following LED vs fluorescent tube comparison chart should help you to quickly identify some of the equivalent values and strengths of LED tube lights when compared to the older CFL standards:
Wattage Equivalency Chart