We’ve all heard about LED bulbs being the next “bright spot” in the sustainability revolution. But just how bright are they? The technology is now firmly established and many businesses are switching their bulbs to LEDs, bypassing CFLs entirely, or if they’ve already made the switch to CFLs from incandescents, thinking about upgrading. (See this Cleantechnica article for how much more efficient an LED is versus a CFL, for instance).

The challenge is the upfront cost. LED lights do cost more than CFLs. CFLs may use slightly more electricity than LEDs, but is that enough to make the jump? Perhaps not by itself, but there are two other major considerations at play. LEDs last far longer than incandescents, and longer even than CFLs, so the replacement cost is less. But perhaps the most important issue is the mercury. CFL bulbs contain mercury vapor, and broken CFLs need to be handled with care and disposed of properly. In some cases, disposing of CFLs becomes a huge community issue, as this example in Minnesota showed. CFLs, due to the mercury content, have also been shown to be damaging to human skin. LEDs contain no mercury.

Carl Goehner of LED provider HudNut, shows me a really neat exhibit his company has built to showcase the benefits of LEDs. Check it out!


Check out more sustainable business strategies here!

Facebook Twitter Email
Tagged with:
About The Author

Scott Cooney

Scott Cooney (twitter: scottcooney) is an adjunct professor of Sustainability in the MBA program at the University of Hawai'i, green business startup coach, author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), and developer of the sustainability board game GBO Hawai'i. Scott has started, grown and sold two mission-driven businesses, failed miserably at a third, and is currently in his fourth. Scott's current company has three divisions: a sustainability blog network that includes the world's biggest clean energy website and reached over 5 million readers in December 2013 alone; Pono Home, a turnkey and franchiseable green home consulting service that won entrance into the clean tech incubator known as Energy Excelerator; and Cost of Solar, a solar lead generation service to connect interested homeowners and solar contractors. In his spare time, Scott surfs, plays ultimate frisbee and enjoys a good, long bike ride. Find Scott on

2 Responses to LED vs CFL vs Incandescent Bulbs–Cool Video Exhibit

  1. Carl Goehner says:

    Scott Thank you for your great article about LED Lighting

  2. […] you know they are less efficient than LEDs, are less durable, and also contain mercury?!? If not, check out this great video). Provide solar chargers for devices like laptops, tablets and cell phones. Install low flow […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *