If you are getting ready to start a lighting upgrade project in your home, you might be wondering which lighting to choose and the pros and cons of LED versus Incandescent Light Bulbs. 

Here is a comparison article on how they differ to help you decide which direction to go.

What is Incandescent Light?

The best way to define incandescent light, found in older traditional light bulbs, is a glass structure with a wire filament that is heated to result in visible light.

The Pros and Cons of Incandescent Light Bulbs

Since incandescent light has been around for a long time, the light bulb industry has had plenty of space to perfect its application and use.

In fact, incandescent light can harness impressive color and clarity on the Color Rendering Index (CRI). This index provides a tool of measurement on how light impacts color on a natural or artificial level.

  • The Pros – Incandescent light bulbs are most notably known for being affordable for the consumer and equally affordable to produce for the manufacturer. The bulbs can be used with both AC and DC power sources as well. You can purchase incandescent bulbs in a variety of color levels, like soft white; and they come in various voltage, such as 120 or 60, depending on their intended use.
  • The Cons – Unfortunately, incandescent light bulbs are incredibly energy inefficient. 90% of the energy they consume is lost through heat generation. These types of bulbs are also known for having a short lifespan. Most standard incandescent light bulbs average 750-2000 hours of use. The bulbs tend to have an omnidirectional pattern, meaning it produces light at 360 degrees. This proves to be inefficient because the light dissipates creating the need for additional lighting which results in energy loss.

What is LED Light?

Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are a newer addition to the lighting landscape and have quickly become popular for both indoor and outdoor applications. The LED light structure consists of two electrodes that flow in one direction when electricity is applied.

The Pros and Cons of LED Light Bulbs

  • The Pros – LED lights have a longer lifespan than incandescent lights giving them about 50,000 hours of use. These light bulbs make for a low maintenance option which is great for the can lights in those high ceilings. LED light is more energy efficient than incandescent light because it produces less infrared radiation. They can be made to generate various colors on the light spectrum, without filtering the light like traditional lighting.
  • The Cons – One of the more substantial complaints with LED lights are their upfront cost. These light bulbs tend to be more expensive which means you may spend more money upfront on a project such as a kitchen or a bathroom. When LED light bulbs hit the marketplace years ago, some people complained that the light emitted seemed artificial or too intense. After years of development, LED makers have created alternatives that eliminate this criticism.

As you approach your next lighting project we hope this snapshot into incandescent vs. LED light bulbs has been helpful. We believe the biggest take away is the energy efficiency of LED lighting compared to incandescent lighting.

Further, while you may spend more money up front with LED lights, incandescent lights may prove to be more expensive over time.  Scott Home Inspection can help with this decision process – learn more about our Energy Audit Services.