When deciding to make the switch from incandescent lighting to a more energy efficient option, you might assume that compact fluorescent lights (CFL) are the best way to go. However, although energy savings are roughly similar except in areas of high energy costs, there are some differences between LED and CFL technology that might influence your ultimate decision.
As has been popularly reported recently, CFLs do contain a small amount of mercury. Containing such a small amount does not take away from CFLs environmentally friendly reputation, and indeed are still an excellent choice over incandescent bulbs. However, for those who wish to eliminate the use of mercury altogether, LED light bulbs may be a better option. Should a CFL bulb break in your home, special handling techniques are required for clean up, as the mercury can escape from the bulb. This is not something to be concerned about with LED light bulbs.
One common concern with LED lights is that because the light is quite directed it can be difficult to use them to light up a room. While it is true that using some LED light bulbs in traditional upright floor lamps can wind up directing a stream of light at the ceiling, there are new bulbs and new light fixtures on the market that can alleviate this problem. However, if this is a concern for you, you might wish to use CFL bulbs in these areas and switch your accent lighting, such as bedside lamps and night lights to LED lighting. This can give you the best of both worlds.
There is also some growing concern, albeit not well documented, that CFLs in particular can create what is called “dirty electricity” which can cause fatigue, migraines, eye strain, and even skin irritation, among other symptoms. If you are concerned about this possibility, or if you think it may be possible you are suffering from it, LEDs might be a better option for lighting your home.
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