CFL vs. LED

Light Bulbs by @jronaldlee
Light Bulbs by @jronaldlee

With the last of incandescent bulbs being taken off the shelf, the choices for hospital lighting are down to Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFL) and Light Emitting Diodes (LED). Some hospitals have their preferences, while other people have no idea of the difference and just need a light bulb. There are significant differences in the bulbs themselves and the price. Both are good alternatives, but there are pros and cons in the battle of CFL vs LED lights.

Hospitals are notorious for their terrible blue, CFL lighting, which studies have shown can lead to lower levels of testosterone and endorphins and even cancer, according to a study done by Stony Brook University. Here’s why more hospitals should switch to LED lights over CFL.

Lifespan

The average lifespan of a CFL bulb is 8000 hours with is a vast improvement over traditional light bulbs, but it is not a good as the 50,000 hours that the average LED bulb last. The LED lasting 5 times as long on average makes the LED the winner in regard to longevity of the bulb. This lifespan reduces the frequency that bulbs need to be bought and changed.

Environmental

CFL bulbs contain toxic mercury, which can become a hazard in various hospitals. They should be handled carefully to avoid breakage and disposed of carefully. LED bulbs are more environmentally friendly and do not contain harmful chemicals. So it is imperative to be very careful when dealing with these bulbs so as not to break the glass and release harmful chemicals.

As far as electric usage, LED bulbs use only 6 to 8 watts where CFL use 13 to 15 watts. The CFL bulb cost more to run because they use more watts of energy.

Price

For an individual bulb the CFL wins for price coming in around $3 and the LED bulb coming in at around $8. But as was mentioned earlier the LED bulb should last 5 times as long so in the long run the LED bulb comes out cheaper. The prices of both bulbs are coming down due to increased availability and competition. Technological improvements should bring manufacturing costs down in the coming years as well.

Comfort and Durability

Some people have complained the LED light is too bright and the CFL provides a softer ambiance to the room. Both CFL and LED are beginning to come out with a variety of softness or brightness depending on the where they will be used. LED were originally best used for directional lighting such a flashlights but are becoming more of a viable options for light bulbs as the technology continues to improves.

The LED bulb have an advantage to coming on instantly where the CFL bulb may come on dim then brighten up as it warms up. CFL bulbs are more fragile and easily broken then the LED bulb. CFL bulbs are more susceptible to extreme temperatures than the LED bulbs.

The world is going to CFL and LED bulbs whether we like it or not. The CFL came out first and got a market hold but the LED looks to be making strides in the consumer market by being more efficient and longer lasting. Both are here to stay and both will continue to improve with time. Both bulbs are more energy efficient than the bulb created by Thomas Edison; the LED is superior in terms of lifespan and environmental impact.

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An Easy Do-It-Yourself Guide on how to Install LED Lights

LED lights are well known to create an awesome environment whether at home or in commercial premises such as small business units. The warmth of the colors and the flickers never gives one enough of the alluring look. Nonetheless, fixing such lights is never an easy task. At times, you may have to spend a fortune to have such LED lights perfectly installed or at other times have a rough time trying to fix the lights yourself. This is particularly so when one does not have adequate knowledge on how such lights need to be fixed in a form compatible with the lighting system in place and the measures to observe to overcome any limitations that may creep in.

This step-by-step guide is a well-thought and simplified guide on how to install LED lights at any place and well designed to take care of necessary safety measures needed for an optimally functional LED light setup. This guide, however, uses LED lights powered by an adapter that is specially designed for LED lights.

installing LED lightingMaterials Required

-LED light strips
-A power adaptor
-Wire strippers
-Solder and soldering iron
-Dimmer
-Scissors
-Lighter
-Current flow tester
-Power cable
-Electrical appliances insulator tape
Some of these appliances can be leased from the stores or borrowed from a friend just in case buying them turns out to be uneconomical.

Procedure

Essentially, connecting the LED strips and the power strips is the most critical point in the installation since how well the setup will function highly depends on how the setup has been laid out. Below is an outline on how to run your installation:-

Step 1 – Cut the power cable to expose the three colored wires that are to be used in connecting the power code to the DC power supply adapter.
Step 2 – Connect and solder the wires from the power cable and the input of DC supply adapter. Adequately insulate the soldered parts to prevent any contacts and put an outer casing.
Step 3 – On the output of the power adapter, cut the power cord to expose the two wires coded red and black. Cut and connect the dimmer’s terminals to the two ends on the red-colored wire. This will ensure that the power flows through the resistors in the dimmer to vary the light intensity of the LED lights.
Step 4 – Fix the LED lights strip on the output of the power adapter past the point where you fixed the dimmer. Insulate the soldered points to avoid contact.
Step 5 – Attach the LED strip on desired sections using pins provided in the LED lights package. Check that all points of connection are well insulated and that the dimmer is at its minimum intensity before testing whether the connection is okay.

Troubleshooting Procedure

If by any chance you find that the LED lights fail to light, simply use your current-flow tester on all points of connection from the point closest to the main power supply. By so doing, you will be able to note the point where there is a fault in current flow. This may necessitate changing the power cable used at that point or soldering the points once again. Here’s a great video from Home Depot:

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