You’ve probably heard that LEDs are a more energy efficient way to light your home, but what does that really mean? Here’s a comparison between LEDs and other lightbulbs, especially their leading competitor, compact fluorescents (CFLs).

Let’s looks at several things:

1) LEDs last longer:

Watts are a measurement of electricity being used, not brightness. A 60 watt LED would be far too bright for household use. The example bulbs represent what you would probably use in your home.

60 Watt Incandescent bulb: 1 year

13 Watt CFL: 1-3 years

12 Watt LED: 15-20 years

2) LEDs are safer and easier to dispose of than CFLs:

CFLs contain a small amount of mercury. This is not a danger to human health unless the bulb breaks, in which case you must follow certain steps in order to safely clean up the mess. In addition, when a CFL burns out, you must take it to a household hazardous waste center, depending on your state. LEDs do not contain mercury, and can be thrown away or recycled with other household waste.

For more information on what to do if a CFL breaks, go to:

For more information on how to dispose of CFLs, go to :

3) LEDs save money:

LEDs cost more than other kinds of lightbulbs up front, but they save money in the long run. Energy Star estimates the cost per year of bulbs as:

Incandescent: $7.23/year or $72.3/10 years

CFL: $1.57/year or $15.7/10 years

LED: $1.08/year or $10.8/10 years

Everything counts in small amounts, especially when you think about how much longer LEDs last. And when you imagine replacing every bulb in your home or business with LEDs . . . you might not get rich, but it will be money in your pocket.

Overall, LEDs are a cheaper, more convenient way to light your home.