LEDs vs. CFLs
February 9, 2012 3 Comments
There are lots of discussions of how LEDs are the ultimate power savers that beats all other methods of lighting. On the other hand, it only beats some lighting methods but not all. Compact fluorescent light (CFL), for instance, has similar efficiency in converting electricity into light to LEDs.
It’s funny that most people thought that vacuum tube technology was useless and CFL is just one of them that is still kicking! After reading some wiki I was reaffirmed that LEDs and CFLs actually have similar principles of operation, that is when you compare them with incandescent light. The two still have some slight differences if you care to know:
*While LEDs have conduction electrons moving inside semiconductor, CFLs have free electrons moving in glass vacuum tube.
*While conduction electrons excite semiconductor bonds in LEDs, free electrons excite gas molecules in CFL.
*While excited semiconductor bonds decay and directly emit light in LEDs, excited gas molecules emit UV light in CFL, which strikes fluorescent powder, which turns UV into visible light.
*There is electrical resistance in semiconductors against electron motion but no electrical resistance in vacuum tubes, but the fluorescent powder does waste energy converting UV into visible light.
I guess that’s why these trade-offs made them similar in efficiency. So what is your take on LED vs. CFL?