Is it worth changing from fluorescent to LED?

27 Jan 2008
Reaction score
Llanfair Caereinion, Nr Welshpool
United Kingdom
I have quite a few LED lamps now. Started with GU10 and was mainly because the cold cathode 11W lamps stuck out of the holder too far and were too much spread to read with. And very little difference in price.

Next major swap CFL to LED was in living room 8W to 3W again price wise very little in it so LED made sense.

But last one changed because lazy, £15 for whole fluorescent fitting compared with £17.09 for LED tube.

As I compare fluorescent to LED I find some very good fluorescent I have a 11W folded fluorescent (83 lumen per watt), which is very good lumen per watt, and some LED's seem to be very poor lumen per watt especially where designed to dim or colour change.

In spite of EU rulings I see many LED lamps for sale with no lumen figure given which I assume means they are poor lamps? My LED bulbs which give lumen are 71, 76, 83, and 100 lumen per watt.

I looked up some figures for fluorescent tubes used Screwfix site and a 14W tube was 96 lumen per watt and 70W tube 85 lumen per watt so not really far behind LED and far cheaper. I realise that the output reduces with age, but there does not seem a great advantage.

There were some Small Edison Screw- Filament Candle Shape LED Bulbs with 100 ~ 110 lumen per watt but most were 60 ~ 76 lumen per watt the 11W folded fluorescent was better than most small bulbs. Coiled fluorescent 8W still 62.5 lumen per watt yet I know from my own experience I swapped 3600 lumen of CFL for 2500 lumen of LED and there were brighter.

So I can seen point of LED over very small fluorescent as little price difference, but I hear of firms doing a massive tube change and moving to LED why?
Sponsored Links
Personally for me (or more specifically my wife) it was about the start up time for the CFLs. She didn't like the time that it took for the CFL to get up to brightness, so we moved to LED. At the time (technology may have moved on) I also felt that the size and shape of the LED was more aesthetically pleasing as you mentioned, the GU10 CFL were bulky and didn't fit well in many fittings. I don't have any fluorescent tubes but like you I'm not sure if I would change as the benefit would be marginal.
Personally for me (or more specifically my wife) it was about the start up time for the CFLs.

Agree with this, although a guy at TLC was trying to sell the merits of the new quick-start ones, but I'm a bit of a doubter when I know that LEDs don't have this limitation. I've not seen any CFL that produces light as nicely as this: Got one in my kitchen which adds a nice bit of colour to the cool white pelmet strips.
Sponsored Links
I personally think there is a problem trying to retain old fittings. This 11W
which I use in office is fast to light and at 81.8 lumen per watt gives LED's a far run for their money. The two BC22d lamps
have 63 and 73 lumen per watt for the 9.5W and 11W versions. Also design of the bulb will clearly aim light away from the bulb holder so much will depend on direction and colour of walls and ceilings.

I was looking at a 2D lamp for kitchen before getting the LED tube at 28W it says 73 lumen per watt, but the 2D lamp can have a HF or a wire wound ballast, so no idea what type of ballast the figures are for? With the 12W LED replacement it shows 87 lumen per watt but total output is 1050 lm instead of 2050 lm which to me is not really a replacement.

My son used expensive LED 2" down lighters in his kitchen so good I had to get touch out of the car to read the data on the central heating boiler. Massive 7W each compared with 2W which I used but really no visible signs of extra light. I have done same with my living room 8 x 3W and 2 x 1.4W ask people to work out which 2 are the 1.4W and they can't work it out.

To my mind both fluorescent and LED replacement lamps have problems because the fittings don't really match the lamp. Swap the whole fitting as with 2D or the G23 base bulb shown and the fluorescent does well, I am sure special LED
will also work very well. However the special LED lamps do not tend to have renewable units and this puts me off.

I have said before I got caught out with discharge lighting. I fitted a building with 150W low bay lamps roof quite high around 25 foot so it was cherry picker job to install, so used lighting track so could renew whole fitting if a problem rather than play with bulbs. The result was really good. So then used same lights in a building with 10 foot ceiling it was a complete failure. The lamps simply did not work in such a low ceiling.

In the home we have an added complication, what they look like. The other is so many lights seem to be lacking details, there is a 3W LED replacement for the 11W G23, however no lumen output given. I did find a 5W version with 92 lumen per watt which is quite impressive, but for USA market. Did find a Amazon listing 4W at £12 with 100 lumen per watt v £3 for 11W fluorescent with 82W per lumen clearly the LED is going to be rather dim 400 lm to 900 lm is hardly like for like replacement.

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.

Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local