Choosing a Light Source Infographic

When choosing a light source, there are many options on the market with just as many variations within their operation or results. Here are the key points you need to know about each option to help make the decision process easier.

Incandescent

Pros

  • Offers a warm glow that is pleasing to the eye
  • Affordable upfront costs
  • Can run on line current instead of requiring a ballast

Cons

  • Short-lived with most lasting around 800 hours on average
  • Inefficient energy wise with most lamps consuming around 100W to create only around 15 to 25 lumens per watt
  • Produce high levels of heat which makes the bulb hot to the touch
  • Is only available in a warm color temperature

Linear Fluorescent and CFL (Compact Fluorescent Light)

Pros

  • Uses almost 75% less energy than incandescent
  • Affordable
  • It is available in several types ranging from tube lights for troffer-style fixtures to more traditional bulbs for small lamps.
  • Offers a lifespan of up to 20,000 hours
  • Offers a better color rendering index than incandescent

Cons

  • They are less effective in outdoor settings because of lumen loss in colder temperatures.
  • While they offer a better color temperature range than incandescent, they are still rather limited.
  • Can often flicker when they have reached a certain point in their lifespan.

Metal Halide

Pros

  • Offers a high lumen output with a reasonable wattage.
  • Can handle all climates from extreme cold to extreme heat without malfunctioning.
  • Offers a 20,000-hour lifespan.
  • Is ideal for dirty, rough areas such as warehouses or manufacturing plants.

Cons

  • May have a warm-up prior to reaching full illumination.
  • There is a slight possibility of these lamps imploding which may be a safety hazard.

Induction

Pros

  • Maintenance free for the most part.
  • Long life of up to 100,000 hours.
  • Performs well in any climate.
  • Offers an improved color rendering index over metal halide, incandescent, or fluorescent.

Cons

  • Higher cost than other options on the market.

High-Pressure Sodium

Pros

  • Higher lumen output.
  • Works well in a range of climates and conditions.
  • Reliable performance makes it ideal for street lighting or other outdoor areas in need of long-lasting illumination.

Cons

  • With an average of 25,000 hours, it offers a shorter lifespan than other options on the market
  • Lower color rendering index.
  • Only emits a yellow light as opposed to anything higher on the Kelvin scale.

LED

Pros

  • Offers the best energy efficiency on the market by losing little to no wattages to heat production over illumination production.
  • Available in a wide range of color temperatures on the Kelvin scale.
  • Offers a lifespan of anywhere from 50,000 to 400,000 hours.
  • Offers superior dimmable capabilities.
  • Provides superior color rendering indexes over comparable options.

Cons

  • They can cost more than other options up front, but they will return that investment over time.