Fluorescent vs LED Lights: Which is Better?

The convenience of using light is one of the advancements of technology. With its giant leap, lighting technology developed a way to produce light even at night.

For centuries, humanity relied on candles and torches to see at night. Even castles and homes in medieval times have enormous chandeliers that are used to light up rooms, corridors, and halls. 

Choosing the best lighting equipment for production floors, offices, and other potential commercial lighting setups greatly affects worker productivity, safety in the workplace, and the customer’s comfort with the shopping experience. 

Today, tubular LED lighting and tubular fluorescent lighting are some of the most common light sources widely used.

However, the difference between tubular LED lighting and tubular fluorescent lighting is hard to identify unless you are inclined with the lighting industry.

Even at the first glance, the tubes look identical but in reality, they are entirely different. Although illumination is their primary function, each has its distinct material and composition.

Let us discuss and find out the similarities and differences between these two lighting objects and find out the pros and cons as we delve into them respectively. Whether fluorescent lighting or LED lighting has its edge, let’s find out the things we need to understand between the two.

LED Light

Light-Emitting-Diode (LED) emits light using a semiconductor light source when electricity flows. The semiconductor releases energy in the form of photons while recombining electrons with electron holes.

White light is produced when a current passes a layer of light-emitting phosphor or multiple semiconductors on the semiconductor device.


LED light was first discovered in 1962 where low-intensity infrared (IR) light was first documented and gave birth to the earliest LEDs.

As time passed by, LED replaced the use of small incandescent bulbs. LEDs offer lower energy consumption and have a long lifespan.

Its improved physical robustness, faster switching, and smaller size made it a preferred material for fairy lights, aviation lighting, general lighting, automotive headlamps, camera flashes, horticulture grow lights, and even medical devices.

Fluorescent Light

The use of fluorescent lamps or tubes utilizes low-pressure mercury-vapor gas-discharge lamps to produce visible light using fluorescence.

Fluorescence is the use of absorbed light or other electromagnetic radiation after the emission of light from a substance. Because emitted light has a longer wavelength which results in lower energy, unlike absorbed radiation.

A fluorescent lamp is composed of a small amount of mercury contained inside a partial vacuum.

By applying a specific electrical discharge, the mercury atoms emit ultraviolet light. As ultraviolet light is produced, a coating of a fluorescent material called phosphor absorbs ultraviolet light and produces visible light.

During the 1939 New York World’s Fair, fluorescent lights were first introduced. Since then, constant improvements like using better phosphorus, more stable internal discharge, and more convenient shapes have made fluorescent lamps more popular. 

Analyzing their Differences

Although fluorescent tubes are more cost-effective compared to incandescent light bulbs, LEDs proved to be more efficient than fluorescent tubes. For instance, a fluorescent tube powered by 18 watts generates 650-850 light lumens and would emit the same brightness as a 7-10 watt LED or more. 

Fluorescent tubes offer wide variations of color temperature that affect the warmness or coolness of light. However, fluorescence produces a hum that can be bad at times, irritating to consumers or workers in an establishment which affects work output.

On the other hand, LEDs solved this problem and at the same time, offer the same brightness as fluorescent tubes.

Fluorescent tubes last an average of 25,000 hours, or about 8 years while on the other, LEDs could last as long as 50,000 hours, or about 16 years, more or less twice as much as a fluorescent tube. It means to say that using LEDs would be more cost-effective because it will save you from maintenance costs before the next replacement. It’s also smart to take note of some handy maintenance tips so you know you are assured that you’re doing it right.

Despite being able to produce bright white light, fluorescent tubes don’t offer the same quality as LEDs when it comes to color rendering index. For instance, a store office in Scottsdale looks lifeless because of the dull bluish-color lights, a bad choice for commercial lighting.

On the contrary, LEDs offer color options to enhance the mood and atmosphere of each respective indoor space. You can even add air purifiers to your living room to maximize the cozy and home-sweet-home vibe that LED lights have to offer.

In addition, LEDs have promising figures when it comes to color rendering index, giving the ability to produce “real” color when used. A lot of manufacturing companies produce LED variations like the neon manufacturing processed by Gindestar, a reputable manufacturer of quality LED lights.

With its flexible design, this light source can be easily installed almost anywhere. Fluorescent contains argon and mercury while LEDs don’t contain any harmful chemicals.

If a fluorescent light suddenly breaks, its chemicals will be exposed which is harmful not only to the body but also to the environment. 


Whether you choose fluorescent light or LED, it always depends on the consumer’s preference. Always bear in mind the kind of space you want to illuminate.

If you plan to install lights for market space, consider the efficiency of the materials you use. Simply putting a light source is not enough to be prudent especially when it comes to having a tight budget.

Proper investment of resources is a key to business. Hence, when using lights to either advertise your product or for office work, always put in mind the quality of output it brings.

Does it light up the way you want it to? Does it give ample light for work?

Nonetheless, the debate between fluorescent tubes and LEDs is an unending topic around the globe. Each offers its benefits and sooner or later, the advancement of technology will pave the way for a better outcome.