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Ask Our Experts: Pro’s and Con’s of Today’s Lighting Options

February 8, 2015 | 6:24 pm
An LED bulb that looks very similar to the old-fashioned incandescents we all know and love.
An LED bulb that looks very similar to the old-fashioned incandescents we all know and love.

Question for Our Experts:

What are the pro’s and con’s of the various lighting types available today?

Our Experts’ Answer:

The Short Answer

Your choices can be mind-boggling, and each one has its own unique pro’s and con’s. Generally, LED lighting is an all-around good choice for consideration, as it exhibits low cost of operation and long replacement cycle times – and its pricing is on the decline. Even so, other lighting options (such as fluorescent, high-intensity discharge, and even incandescent) have their unique upsides and may be appropriate depending on your unique situation.

The Detailed Answer

There are a plethora of lighting choices on the market today, even for the average homeowner who doesn’t need any type of specialty bulb. Some common options include incandescent, fluorescent, light-emitting diode (LED), and high-intensity discharge lighting (like metal halide or high-pressure sodium). Each type has its own pro’s and con’s. We’ll cut to the chase and examine the highlights of each here:

  • Incandescent bulbs are the old-fashioned lighting option that we all know and love. Despite their familiarity, their downside is compelling. Comparatively, they exhibit a high cost of operation. Additionally, they are largely being phased out by the industry; today, it’s very difficult to find higher-wattage incandescent bulbs available for sale. Thus, for now, incandescent bulbs may be a consideration only for very low-wattage needs.
  • Fluorescent lighting is also familiar to most Americans today. It’s important to note that fluorescent lighting technology has changed over the years – today’s bulbs aren’t the same as those being sold even a decade ago. Today’s fluorescent lighting exhibits a relatively low cost of operation. One downside is that fluorescent bulbs must be discarded in a special manner due to the potential for hazardous waste exposure (you can check with manufacturers and local authorities for proper disposal procedures and drop-off locations). Fluorescent lighting is often most appropriate for older light fixtures, offices, and applications that require very high output (such as warehouses or buildings with high ceilings).
  • LED lighting is relatively new on the scene, especially for the average consumer. LED lighting, however, is generally an all-around positive option. LED lighting exhibits a very low cost of operation and bulbs last much longer than other options on the market. Thus, they don’t have to be replaced as often – sparing you the hassle and saving money in the long-run. What’s more, LED is an appropriate consideration for most applications.

Some in the industry predict that LED options will constitute a major portion of lighting market share in a year or so. Whether that turns out to be true or not, it is the case (at least for now) that prices for LED lighting are coming down quickly.

The Bottom Line

At the moment, LED lighting seems to be the wave of the future, as it exhibits low cost of operation and long replacement cycle times – and its pricing is on the decline. Even so, other lighting options (such as fluorescent, high-intensity discharge, and even incandescent) have their unique upsides and may be appropriate depending on your unique situation.

For professional assistance with this and other home maintenance work, Tuckey is the local expert to call. Keep our number handy – you never know when you might need us! Call (717) 524-1136 or visit www.tuckey.com for more information.

[Photo By Mj-bird (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons]


DISCLAIMER: This article is provided as a reference guide only. A qualified, professional contractor like the Tuckey Companies should handle all interior design, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, remodeling, metal fabrication, and restoration projects. Information presented here is of a general nature that may not be applicable in all situations. Tips, articles, and accompanying information do not represent an official recommendation of the Tuckey Companies.

All material Copyrighted (c) by the Tuckey Companies, 2018.

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