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Mar 14, 2016

Understanding The Differences Between Fluorescents And LEDs

Sponsored Content provided by Joe Marston - President, Wilmington Winlectric

As the president of Wilmington Winlectric, I get a lot of questions. One of the questions I am asked the most is typically phrased as follows:
“Is it worth it for my business to replace our fluorescent bulbs with LEDs?”
The short answer, my friends, is “Yes. Yes it is.” Brevity is the soul of wit, after all, but that’s a little off-topic. The main reason it’s a good decision to replace fluorescents with LEDs is efficiency.
LED bulbs use less than half the watts that a fluorescent bulb uses, approximately 6 watts of power compared to 14 watts for a compact fluorescent. Also, LED bulbs can last up to 60,000 hours before burning out. This is a stark contrast to fluorescent bulbs, which only last for about 10,000 hours before needing to be replaced.
What that means is that six compact fluorescent bulbs would have to be used to match the lifespan of one LED bulb. This fact is an effective remedy for one of the main objections that people have when it comes to LEDs; namely, that the initial cost is too high.
Considering that the savings associated with purchasing a fluorescent are quickly eroded over time, it is easy to see why business owners with a watchful eye on the bottom line prefer to use LED bulbs. The point is compounded after contemplating the time and hassle involved with driving to a store six times to purchase replacement bulbs, then going through the process of changing them out.

Since fluorescent bulbs contain mercury and harmful gases, it can be a pain to dispose of them properly or to recycle them. Fluorescent bulbs have a glass casing, which makes it easy to accidentally break them and release the toxic chemicals contained inside.

LED bulbs do not contain anything toxic to the environment and have a plastic casing, in most cases. This is another reason that LED bulbs are a better choice if approaching the problem from an ecological mindset. 

Adding to the appeal is the fact that LED bulbs produce very little heat. In an environment such as ours, where a significant portion of a business owner’s costs are generated by a need to remain comfortable regardless of soaring outside temperatures, the savings associated with choosing an LED bulb over a fluorescent could be substantial.

According to, incandescent bulbs release 90 percent of their energy as heat, and compact fluorescents release about 80 percent of their energy as heat. Moreover, since LED bulbs are comprised of light-emitting diodes, the light they produce can be targeted for one direction.
With fluorescent bulbs, light is emitted all the way around the bulb, therefore only about 60 percent to 70 percent of the light that is produced gets used. The remaining 30 percent to 40 percent is wasted.
From an efficiency standpoint, LED bulbs are a win. This makes them a solid choice for the business owner looking to maximize profits. The efficiency advantage that LEDs have also makes them a great choice for business owners interested in preserving our natural environment and creating positive word-of-mouth in the community.
Converting to LED isn’t as simple as changing a light bulb, unfortunately. Fluorescent tubes need a ballast, while LED bulbs do not. This factor alone can add significantly to the complexity of choices a business owner makes when switching. To schedule a consultation about how to replace your fluorescent lights with LEDs, please call (910) 742-7029, email [email protected], or visit    
Joe Marston is a seasoned entrepreneur and the president of Wilmington Winlectric, a leading distributor of lighting solutions and electrical supplies. Offering reliable guidance and trusted insights, Wilmington Winlectric serves clients in the industrial, commercial and residential markets. Wilmington Winlectric is a locally-based provider of consultation services as well as lighting solutions, controls and electrical equipment. To find out how Wilmington Winlectric can benefit your business, call (9100 790-1909, email [email protected], or visit

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