Comparison of different types of bulbs: incandescent, compact fluorescent (low consumption), halogen, led

It is obvious that incandescent and halogen bulbs are obsolete given the service life and electrical consumption of other bulbs. LEDs compete more and more with compact fluorescent bulbs, although it may be better to choose a good quality compact fluorescent, rather than a low-end LED bulb. The comparison of the technical criteria is sometimes difficult to compare 2 bulbs. Yet it is an essential step to be equipped with a light bulb consistent and not dangerous to health, especially when the lifetimes of products are counted in decades.

  • How to choose a light bulb?
  • Classic incandescent bulbs
  • Incandescent halogen bulbs
  • compact fluorescent light bulbs – low consumption
  • LEDs (or LEDs)
  • Comparative and equivalent of bulbs: incandescent, halogen, low consumption, led
  • Answers to your questions

How to choose a light bulb?

Limit lighting needs

bioclimatismTo save money on lighting, the first step is to avoid lighting. For that, it is first necessary to think well his house by optimizing the solar contributions (which also limit the consumption of heating), thanks to a bioclimatic design . A good exposure of the house and an unobstructed view can indeed bring you more brightness. Take care, for example, of the growth of trees that can create shade in the medium term. In addition, pieces with light colors and not overloaded furniture avoid unnecessary lighting.

Also be sure to choose your shades, the clearer they are, the more they will reflect the light and increase the brightness accordingly. Remember to dust them regularly, just like the bulbs themselves.

From the need for lumens

To choose the most suitable bulb, you need to know its need for Lumens (lm) and not Watt. The Lumens represent the illumination that the bulb will produce. For that, a quick calculation is necessary:

  • If you replace an incandescent bulb , multiply its electric power by  12 . For example, a bulb of 60w corresponds to 60 * 12 = 720 lumens.
  • If you replace a halogen bulb , multiply its electrical power by  20 . For example, a 35w bulb corresponds to 35 * 20 = 700 lumens.
  • If you replace a compact fluorescent bulb , multiply its electrical power by  60 . Example, a 12w bulb corresponds to 12 * 60 = 720 lumens.

lumen lightingThese values ​​of 12, 20 and 60 represent the light output (lm / W). The higher it is, the better because the bulb will produce more light for less electricity consumption. LEDs are the bulbs with the most important light output, it is usually between 80 and 95 lm / W.

With a production of lumens sufficient to illuminate the desired room, we will instead choose the bulb that consumes the least Watt. To have an idea, a difference of 1 watt, during 730h (2h / day) represents an additional cost of 10 cents of a year.

Color and IRC

The “color temperature” defines the general shade that the bulb will have. Thus, a temperature of 2700K will be slightly yellow, a 3000K a little whiter, while 6000K will be frankly white. Daylight is in the order of 6,400K.
Remember that if you want to create a “warm” atmosphere (living room, stay …), it is necessary to move towards a low temperature (2700K). Conversely for lighting that promotes precision (kitchen, office), we must get closer to natural light with high temperatures (4,000-6,400K).

diagram color temperature bulb

Color Temperature Diagram of Light Bulbs

The color yield index (CRI or RA) indicates whether the color will be more or less natural. The closer the IRC is to 1, the closer the colors will be to colors in daylight. Generally, the IRC is above 80, but without further details.


It varies from 1000h to 50 000h depending on the bulbs. Attention, however, the general life of the bulbs and especially LEDs is very dependent on their temperature. This may vary in significant (but unknown) proportions between laboratory tests and daily use. Better to leave today on a maximum of 25 000h, including when 50 000h are announced.

The service life also depends on the number of ignition / extinction that the bulb can withstand. Again, this is difficult to estimate and verify. Overall, bulbs of the same type have the same resistance to ignition and extinction.

The duration of ignition

The duration of ignition relates in particular compact fluorescent bulbs. Those of bad bill take up more than a minute to light up completely. This can be disturbing, especially in rooms where occupancy is a few minutes.

Characteristics sheet

ledl light bulb test owim 1000lm 11wThe set of different comparison criteria is normally found on the back of the packaging of the bulbs with formats approaching globally of the opposite. If information is missing, it often means that it is too unfavorable and it is better to move to another product.

Calculate the profitability of a light bulb

To calculate the profitability of one bulb compared to another, we must take into account the difference in purchase price, lifespan and power consumption. For this, we have created an excel spreadsheet that is very easy to use .

Why and how to avoid the watches of electrical appliances?

In France, it is estimated that a nuclear reactor operates permanently to ensure the watches of our devices. In addition to this waste of energy, watches are also real sources of savings in our housing. Here are practical solutions to detect, quantify and delete the watches of our devices.

  • Standby devices, a real source of savings
  • Quantify potential savings with energy meters (or consometers)
  • How to avoid the watches?
  • Our tests of so-called “smart” plugs
  • Reduce your electricity bill
  • Where to buy equipment to remove watches from our devices?
  • Answers to your questions

Standby devices, a real source of savings

A device sometimes consumes more in standby than when it is running …

On some devices, the standby power consumes more power than when the device is running. For example (list below), a TV that consumes 70W on and 4W on standby will consume 0.07 kWh / day with 1h of operation and 0.09 kWh / day for 23h of standby, or nearly 30% more ! By eliminating the standby period, more than 50% of the annual consumption of the TV is saved here!

1 watt = 1 euro

With such discrepancies, we quickly understand that we must avoid as much as possible to put these devices in standby. This is all the more telling that you have to bear in mind that 1 Watt consumed for a whole year represents more than 1 €. When we know that some devices consume more than 10W in standby, the electricity bill can drop significantly avoiding the watches.

The wrong stop

You might think that turning off your computer or TV completely is enough. However, this is not always the case, in fact, most devices have a small electrical transformer (which goes from 230V AC to 12V DC for the most part). But if they are connected and even connected to any device, you will notice that they heat anyway. They do indeed work permanently (but not at 100% of their capacity) as soon as they are connected. This is therefore additional unnecessary electricity consumption and therefore again to avoid as much as possible.

Examples of electrical consumption of household appliances

Apparatus Cycle time Cycle (kWh) Standby (W) Off (W)
Dishwasher normal mode 2 hours 1.1 0.7 0
Microwave 2 min 0.04 1.4
Espresso machine 2 min 0.03 0
Toaster (with apparent resistance) 3min 0,035

Examples of electrical consumption of electronic devices

Apparatus Walking (W) Standby (W) Off (W)
Cathode-ray television 100Hz 96cm 110 0.3 0
LED Television 107cm 89.9 0
Plasma TV 116cm 370 0.1 0
83cm LCD Television 100.6 0.3
23 “LCD TV 50 13.2 0.7
Home cinema 16.1 0
TNT decoder 5.8 0.6 0
video recorder 22.3 3.3 0
DVD player 17.9 13.9
PS2 18.5 0.8 0
PS3 125 0 0
Xbox 360 101 1.3
WII 14.5 1.3 0
Desktop) 60 4.1 2.3
19 “LCD screen 34.3 0.6
Box (Orange) 7
TV decoder (Orange) 14.8 14.2
Box (Alice) 11.5 9.8
TV decoder (Alice) 14.8 14.2
Multimedia Hard Disk 7.1 1.7
Laptop 40.3 1.1 0.6
Mini laptop 29.2 0.9 0.3
Printer 7 5.3
Computer speaker 1.9 to 2.9 0.9-1.6
Hi-fi system 17 0.7
Cordless phone 0.6-1.9
Battery charger 3.3 1.5
Archos Tablet Refill 9.5
Mobile phone recharge 4 0.1
alarm clock 1.6

“On”: When the unit is in normal operation
“Standby”: When the unit is in standby
“Off”: When the unit is only turned on
-: The mode does not exist

LED bulbs: great savings Advantages compared to other bulbs

“Lighting too cold, too dark, too expensive: Forget all your prejudices! “

Do you already have LED bulbs at home and do you know the benefits compared to other bulbs?

LEDs are more energy efficient than conventional incandescent bulbs because energy is more transformed into light than into heat. For the anecdote, the term LED comes from English and means light emitting diode.

An LED lamp with a color temperature of 2700 Kelvin produces an atmosphere as pleasant as the old incandescent bulbs.

Opting for the LEDs not only saves money, but also benefits from the maximum lighting that comes with activating the switch. Energy-saving light bulbs take a while to light up at full power.

Less polluting and more profitable than incandescent bulbs

If a 60-watt incandescent bulb is on for 3 hours a day, it consumes 60 kWh per year. In comparison, a LED bulb of the same light intensity consumes only 10 watts. The annual consumption is therefore 11 kWh. The electricity costs, about € 3, are then 6 times lower.

Depending on the choice of LED type, you can save 85% energy, all with lamps with a maximum life of 25,000 hours.