If you’re researching new globes to purchase or perhaps you’re thinking about upgrading to a new globe, we can help you with a handy comparison of fluorescent vs CFLs vs LEDs.

Most residential properties are lit by these fittings at least somewhere in the house, if not throughout. You might also have incandescents or halogen downlights. Since they’re some of the most common fittings and globes we will do a quick comparison of them and see who comes out on top.

Fluro vs CFL vs LED

A summary of Fluorescent tubes:

Not commonly installed now, they were very popular decades ago and just after the Millenium.


  • They’re Omni-directional
  • They’re cheap to buy


  • They need to warm up, so they’re not bright straight away
  • They flicker as they degrade – based on the more they’re used.
  • You’re limited by their elongated, tube shape
  • They contain tox Mercury and can mean they are hazardous and difficult to dispose of.
  • Because of their tube design, they emit 360 degrees of light. This generates light waste because you don’t need to light the fitting area.
  • Following this, roughly 15% of the emissions are lost due to energy dissipation and heat.
  • Generate a lot of heat
  • Only 7,000-15,000 hours
  • High maintenance: They fault often and need replacing regularly.

Results for Fluoros: 2:9 (2 pros, 9 cons)

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A summary of CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lights):

A globe that gained in popularity due to its technological development in comparison to the outdated incandescents, plus state-wide incentives to upgrade to CFL.


  • 10,000 hours lifespan – a bit better than fluoros
  • Generate a pleasant ambient light
  • Can be used in place of any incandescent globes, increasing efficiency, light quality, and lifespan


  • Turning CFLs on and off repeatedly does decrease their lifespan so they’re better in infrequently used locations.
  • Not suitable for use outside unless fully protected
  • Arent suitable for direct spotlights, ambient light only
  • They contain tox Mercury and can mean they are hazardous and difficult to dispose of.
  • They’re a perfectly suitable light globe, but they’re not AS efficient as LEDs.

Results for CFLs: 3:5 (3 pros, 5 cons)


Light Emitting Diodes – the latest lighting technology available.

A summary of LEDs:


  • Extremely long-lasting
  • Almost all energy consumed goes into direct lighting with almost no waste and no exterraneous lighting generated.
  • Lowest emissions generated of all lighting technology (uses less energy to generate light)
  • Generates very little heat
  • A Lifespan of up to 100,000 hours (decades)
  • They’re expensive to buy, however, the VEU program means they could be free
  • Maintenance costs: Zero, may never need replacing


  • If you can’t get LEDs supplied for free then they can be expensive

Results for LEDs: 7:1 (7 pros, 1 con)


It’s clear from the results – LEDs are the winner and what we would always recommend. If you want to upgrade your lights to LED, give us a call 1300 788 776 or see our FREE LED Upgrade page for more information

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