LED vs Fluorescent Lights – What are the Best Options Between the Two?

If you’ve been looking for a more energy-efficient way to light up your property, then you’ve probably stumbled upon LED and fluorescent lights. Both options have their pros and cons and do share some similarities. At the same time, they both have significant differences that could make one better for you depending on the application. Let’s take a look at both fluorescent lights and LEDs, what they are exactly, and see which one would be the best for your needs.

LED Lights

LED lights use particles and semiconductors to create light. In contrast, fluorescent lights use gas while incandescent bulbs use a filament. The particles in the semiconductor are charged negatively and positively. When power is on, these particles move from the negative to the positive layer in the semiconductor and emit photons through holes on the surface of the material. This is how light is created.
LED Lights

Fluorescent Lights

Fluorescent lights were created as a response to incandescent lights which were largely energy inefficient and lacked durability. Fluorescent bulbs used gas, usually argon, to produce light. The energy flowed between electrodes located inside the bulb. There is a tiny amount of Mercury in the light bulb that absorbs this flowing energy and releases it back as photons. Normally, it would be impossible to see these photons with a naked eye. However, there’s a thin coating of phosphorus over the bulb that transmits these photons as a form of white light.

Are They Interchangeable?

No, they aren’t. Both options will be better in different situations. But, in all cases, LEDs will always be the most energy efficient.

If you want to want to learn more about what makes LED lights so great and how they differentiate themselves from other options, check here.

LED bulbs last much longer than fluorescent lights. They also emit less heat and are more energy efficient. While fluorescent lights will cost you less to buy, you will need to replace them more often. Know, however, that both of these options leave incandescent lights in the dust and are much closer to each other than that to incandescent bulbs.

Is there an Area where Fluorescent Lights are Better?

Like we said earlier, fluorescent lights will have lower upfront costs, so that could be an option for someone who’s budget conscious.

Besides that, however, LEDs have them beat in almost every single category.
Is there an Area where Fluorescent Lights are Better
They produce better light. They last up to three times as long. They consume less energy, and they have longer warranties. They’re also more weather resistant, which makes them a better option for outside lighting. They could be the only option of the two if you’re consistently dealing with cold temperatures. LED lights can handle temperatures in the minus -20s while fluorescent lights won’t go lower than the 10 to 14 degrees mark.


So, when all factors are considered, it’s clear that LED lights are usually the best option. That doesn’t mean you should completely dismiss fluorescent lights, however. It just means that you need to take a close look at your needs and budget and see which one works the best for you.