What's better: LED or low-wattage fluorescent?

Pretty soon, many of the 36 cities and counties in the San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Partnership will be installing new lighting using long-delayed stimulus funds.

The California Energy Commission is due to approve the Partnership's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant allocations of more than $4 million on Wednesday.

Most of the lighting retrofits will be using lower wattage bulbs, such as going from the old industry standard 1-inch diameter T12 bulb to a .8-inch diameter T8 for energy savings.

But there is a better alternative -- in terms of energy savings -- to the T8. It's the LED, or light-emitting diode, version of the fluorescent tube.

In a story today, Houston Neal from Software Advice compared the LED version to the fluorescent standard. Positive: It lasts twice as long. Negative: It costs a lot -- 10 to 25 times as much. Neal estimated fluorescent tubes cost between $2 and $10 while comparable LEDs cost $50 to $100 each.

However, Neal said, "when you account for product longevity, LED tubes are the winner. LED tubes last an average of 50,000 hours (roughly 16 years) while fluorescent T8 tubes last an average of 25,000 (roughly 8 years)."
Here's a bunch of back and forth on ecogeek.org about the subject.

The San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization is a nonprofit dedicated to improving our region's quality of life by increasing its production and use of clean and alternative energy. The SJVCEO works with cities and counties and public and private organizations to demonstrate the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy throughout the eight-county region of the San Joaquin Valley.