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Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) bulbs:

• emit the same light output as incandescent bulbs, but

• consume 90% less power than incandescent bulbs,

• last up to 25 times longer, and

• last up to 10 times longer than CFL bulbs.

  Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)  Incandescent Lightbulbs Compact Fluorescents (CFLs) 
Life span (average)  50,000 hours 1,200 hours 8,000 hours
Watts of electricity used (equivalent to 60 watt incandescent bulb)  2 - 5 watts  60 watts  13 - 15 watts 
Kilowatt-hours of electricity used (30 incandescent bulbs per year equivalent)  188 kWh/year  3285 kWh/year  767 kWh/year 
Annual operating cost (30 incandescent bulbs per year equivalent)  $18.76/year  $328.59/year  $76.65/year 
Contains toxic mercury  No  No  Yes. Mercury is very toxic to your health and the environment. 
RoHS compliant  Yes  Yes  No. Contains 1 - 5 mg of mercury and is a major risk to the environment. 
Carbon dioxide emissions (30 bulbs per year)  451 pounds/year  4,500 pounds/year 1,051 pounds/year   
Sensitivity to low temperatures  None  Some  Yes. May not work under -10 degrees Fahrenheit or over 120 degrees Fahrenheit. 
Sensitive to humidity  No  Some  Yes.
On/off cycling Switching a CFL on/off quickly—in a closet, for instance—may decrease the life span of the bulb.  No effect  Some  Yes. Can reduce life span drastically. 
Turns on instantly  Yes  Yes  No. Takes time to warm up. 
Durability  Very durable. LEDs can handle jarring and bumping.  Not very durable. Glass or filament can break easily.  Not very durable. Glass can break easily. 
Heat emitted  3 - 4 BTUs/hour  85 BTUs/hour  30 BTUs/hour 
Failure modes  Not typical  Some  Yes. May catch fire, smoke or emit an odor.