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Difference Between Incandescent lights, CFL Lights & LED Lights

Home owners are often quite curious to know the difference between incandescent lights, CFL lights, and LED lights. So if you are one of them, this is all you need to know.

Incandescent lights

these are the normal bulbs/lights with filaments. The incandescent bulbs contain a wire filament whose temperature rises when current flows through it and makes the bulb glow. This technology was invented by Thomas Edison. These bulbs use up a lot of electrical power. For e.g. a 60-watt bulb consumes 60 watts of electrical energy. However, these bulbs do not have a long life, and their glass or the filament is delicate and can break easily.

They only have a life of 2000 burning hours. They have been replaced by CFL lights.

CFL Lamps

CFL stands for Compact Fluorescent Lamps. They save a lot of energy in comparison to the incandescent bulbs i.e. about 1/5th to 1/3rd of the electricity and produces the same amount of light. These lights are either thin tubes or spiral tubes and are usually milky white in colour.

CFL lights have a long life. However, their life is considerably reduced by switching them on and off.

LED Lamps

These are Light Emitting Diode (LED) that are arranged in a lamp/tube. A LED light has a much longer life and saves more electricity than incandescent lamps and even CFL lights. However, the home owners are very confused regarding LED lights. Although they prefer LED lights for home interior decoration, they do not know how to select one. Many varieties of LED lights are available like LED tube lights, LED bulbs, LED hanging lights, LED concealed lights, LED strip lights and much more. Each type of LED requires different fitting.

It is important for the home owners to know what LED they will use for their house interior designs.

Power Consumption

Out of the three, LED’s are most long-lasting, then the CFL’S and then the incandescent lamps. Incandescent lamps have a life of 2000 burning hours; CFL’s have a life of 4000-6000 burning hours while LED’s last about 25000 burning hours. This concludes that the LED will last for about ten years if used for 4 hours daily and incandescent lamps and CFL’s will last for few years.

The advancement in technology has led to reduced consumption of power. A 100-watt bulb emits the same light as a 9 watt LED bulb.


When the energy consumed decreases, the heating of bulb also reduces. Therefore, if the homeowner touches the incandescent bulb after 3-4 minutes, they might end up burning their fingers. This will not happen if they touch LED bulbs even after 10 hours of its working.

Cost Difference

  • Incandescent lamps are extremely cheap about Rs 15-20 per piece.

  • CFL’s are more expensive than the incandescent lamps. It ranges between Rs 100-600. Higher the watts, higher are the price of the CFL. For e.g. a 42 watt CFL of Philips might cost around 600 but the lower watts may cost around Rs 100-125 per piece. But CFL’s save more energy and last longer.

  • LED’s are expensive. A few years ago, the cost of one LED ranged from Rs.1200-1500 for bulbs between 1-7 watts. But still, they are preferred by the homeowners for modern interior design. However, these bulbs are now available for Rs 600-700 and soon will be launched at a price of Rs 200-300.

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