If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that I spend a lot of time talking about the benefits of LED lights – and specifically, the benefits of using LED lights in outdoor landscape lighting systems.
That’s because LED lights are so superior to other forms of lighting. An LED bulb, for example, will likely last hundreds to thousands of times longer than an old-fashioned incandescent bulb. LEDs are dramatically brighter and sharper than incandescents. And LEDs consume just a fraction of the energy that a comparable incandescent bulb would use.
But that doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been some new-technology competition for the LED bulb.
Competition From CFLs
Another form of new lighting technology, the CFL bulb, has been competing with LEDs to be the go-to technology for replacing incandescent bulbs.
CFL stands for Compact Fluorescent Lighting. And like LEDs, CFLs offer significant advantages over incandescent bulbs:
CFLs use less energy than incandescent bulbs (but more than LEDs)
CFLs last longer than incandescent bulbs (but not nearly as long as LEDs)
CFLs also come with a distinct disadvantage: the bulbs contain mercury, a very dangerous heavy metal. So disposing of a CFL bulb, or cleaning-up a broken bulb, must be done properly.
In spite of that significant disadvantage, though, overall CFLs offer significant improvements over old-fashioned incandescent bulbs. That’s why they’ve been competing with LEDs for the job of replacing incandescent bulbs worldwide.
But CFLs just took a huge step back in the competition with LEDs.
GE Says Goodbye
One of the leading sellers of the CFL bulb, General Electric Lighting, has dropped the CFL from its product line. During 2016, GE will gradually phase-out the CFL bulb.
It’s simply because LEDs are far superior. To quote GE’s announcement of the news (in the form of a break-up letter): “I’m in love with LED!”
So the company that invented the coiled CFL has decided to jilt that technology for the superior benefits of LED lighting.
What That Means to You…
What does that news mean to you as a homeowner?
Well, it will obviously reduce the choices you’ll have in the products available to you for replacing incandescent bulbs. But there will still be plenty of CFL bulbs on the market, even without GE’s CFLs, so that isn’t such a big deal.
The more important impact of GE’s announcement is that it provides another indication of LED technology’s superiority over the competition.
As GE noted when it announced the news, “Today less than 10% of consumers have tried LED; by 2020 more than 50% of residential sockets will be LED, while CFL spirals will decline by 3x over the next 4 years.”
So the writing is on the wall. If you’re looking to replace incandescent bulbs with better technology – in your landscape lighting system, for example – your best choice is LED technology. GE’s news is just one more indication of that truth.