How to save on lighting: LED or CFL?

The first light-emitting diode (LED) lamps began to appear on widespread sale in 2010-2012, and today a wide selection of lamps from various brands is presented on store shelves. Among them are Russian Cosmos and Era, European Osram and Philips, Korean LG, and Chinese Camelion.

The main advantages of LED lamps :

High energy efficiency. With LED lamps, you can achieve minimal lighting costs.
Service life – 30,000 hours or three and a half years of continuous work. With typical home use for 5-6 hours a day, they can last up to 13 years.
LED lamps do not require special disposal and do not contain mercury.
Drop-resistant. Unlike incandescent lamps and compact fluorescent (CFL) lamps, LED lamps are able to withstand drops from low heights, weak shocks, and vibration.

Decrease in brightness over time. With prolonged use, the LEDs burn out and the luminous flux characteristics gradually decrease.
Effective cooling is required to achieve the specified lifetimes. LED lamps are not recommended for use in enclosed luminaires and rooms with high temperatures.
A large percentage of defects.


The first LED lamps, analogs of 100 W incandescent lamps, cost about 1000-1500 rubles or more. And now you can choose a good LED lamp in the range of 200-250 rubles. This means that their cost has decreased by about 4-5 times! This price cut has spurred buyers, and many stores are already phasing out CFLs.


The Chinese Camelion lamp was chosen as an example to determine the economic efficiency of using LED lamps.

High-quality assembly and sufficient compliance of the product with the declared characteristics are the main arguments in favor of this choice. The service life declared by the manufacturer is 30,000 hours. And the period during which you can replace a failed lamp free of charge is 36 months from the date of purchase.


Compact fluorescent lamps

Compact fluorescent lamps, also called “energy-saving” lamps, are usually considered as a reference for comparison with LED lamps.

For example, we will choose light bulbs with an E27 Osram base. The lamps of this company have established themselves as a quality product. Their service life is up to 8,000 hours, and the warranty period is three years.

Advantages of compact fluorescent lamps:

  • small price;
  • stable quality from large manufacturers;
  • emission of light from the entire surface of the bulb, which allows you to achieve uniform illumination.


  • reduced service life with frequent switching on and off;
  • lack of compatibility of most models with dimmers – devices that regulate the brightness of the light of the lamps;
  • unstable operation at low and high temperatures;
  • pulsating lamp light;
  • the content, albeit insignificant, of mercury in the lamp bulb;
  • the need for special disposal.

Cost and return on investment

To calculate the economic effect from the purchase of a particular lamp, we need to determine the comparison conditions:

Let’s assume that the lamps will be used at home. Their daily work will be 7 hours a day.

As objects for comparison, we select CFL lamps Osram DST Mini Twist 23W / 827 E27 (hereinafter referred to as CFL) and Camelion LED A65-17w-845-E27 (hereinafter referred to as LED lamp). They are roughly identical to 100-watt incandescent light bulbs (arguably the most popular for home lighting).

The conventional cost of electricity is 5 rubles per kilowatt.

As you can see from the comparative table, the level of luminous flux does not differ too much, but you will have to pay much less for electricity because the LED lamp is 26% more economical. The savings during use should significantly exceed the difference in price, which was only 22 rubles. Obviously, the LED bulb wins in this comparison.

Let’s calculate the cost of owning an LED lamp compared to a CFL. To do this, you need to take into account several factors:

  • the cost of purchasing lamps according to the service life. Since the maximum service life of an LED lamp is 30,000 hours, we will take it for the compared period and calculate the number of CFLs that have exhausted their resource during this period;
  • the payback period for the difference in price, since the savings will begin after the compensation of this amount;
  • power consumption for 30,000 hours and the approximate amount spent, based on the accepted cost rate.

During the operation of one LED lamp, four CFLs will be purchased, and the total purchase costs differ by more than three times. Evaluating savings in use should take into account not only differences in power consumption but also differences in price.

The difference in price is small, and the payback period will be 3.5 months with daily work for 7 hours.


It’s time to calculate how much you can reduce electricity costs during the period under consideration and summarize by adding them up.

The difference in power consumption is the main advantage of LED lighting systems. Applying the conditional tariff – 5 rubles / kW, you can determine the expected savings: Adding up the costs of buying lamps and paying for electricity, we get an idea of ​​the total savings over the entire period of using the LED lamp:

Comparison results

The comparison revealed that the cost of ownership of an LED lamp is one-third less than that of a compact fluorescent lamp. By choosing an LED lamp instead of a CFL, you will get:

  • savings on the purchase of CFLs that have exhausted their resource: during the operation of the LED lamp, you would have to buy 4 compact fluorescent lamps, the benefit will be about 500 rubles;
  • the difference in price will pay off in 3.5 months;
  • savings on electricity bills – for 30,000 hours of operation you will pay at a tariff of 5 rubles / kW 2760 instead of 4155 rubles. Bottom line: 1,395 rubles in savings.

It is important to understand that a similar effect is achieved only when LED lamps are installed in luminaires that are used for a fairly long time every day. The result will improve if you install LED lamps in the bathroom, living rooms, hallway, and kitchen – where the light needs to be lit often enough and for a long time.

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