IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


5th August, 2023 Science and Technology

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  • Traditional bulbs will become increasingly hard to find in the US, following a law that did not ban the sale of incandescent bulbs, but required bulbs that used between 40 and 100 watts of electricity to gradually become more energy efficient.


  • Incandescent and LED bulbs are two common types of lighting technologies used for residential, commercial, and industrial applications.
  • While incandescent bulbs have been widely used for over a century, LED bulbs represent a more recent and energy-efficient advancement in lighting technology.

Incandescent Bulbs

Traditional Technology: Incandescent bulbs work based on a simple principle: passing an electric current through a wire filament, which heats up and produces light due to incandescence.

Light Spectrum: Incandescent bulbs emit a warm, yellowish light, which is often preferred for ambiance in certain settings.

Energy Inefficiency: Incandescent bulbs are highly inefficient, converting only around 10% of energy into light, while the rest is wasted as heat.

Short Lifespan: These bulbs have a relatively short lifespan, typically lasting around 1,000 hours.

 LED Bulbs

Light-Emitting Diode (LED): LED bulbs use semiconductor technology, where electrons passing through a semiconductor create photons, generating light.

Energy Efficiency: LED bulbs are significantly more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs, converting around 80% to 90% of energy into light.

Light Spectrum Control: LED technology allows for easy control of the light spectrum, enabling different color temperatures and light qualities.

Longer Lifespan: LED bulbs have a much longer lifespan, lasting up to 25,000 to 50,000 hours or more, depending on the quality of the bulb.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages of Incandescent Bulbs

  • Low Initial Cost: Incandescent bulbs are generally cheaper to purchase initially compared to LED bulbs.
  • Warm Ambiance: The warm and soft light emitted by incandescent bulbs is suitable for creating cozy and inviting atmospheres.

Disadvantages of Incandescent Bulbs

  • Energy Inefficiency: Incandescent bulbs waste a significant amount of energy, leading to higher electricity bills.
  • Short Lifespan: The need for frequent replacements can result in increased maintenance costs.
  • Environmental Impact: The high energy consumption and short lifespan of incandescent bulbs contribute to higher carbon emissions and environmental impact.

Advantages of LED Bulbs

  • Energy Efficiency: LED bulbs consume much less energy, leading to reduced electricity bills and lower carbon footprint.
  • Long Lifespan: Longer lifespan results in fewer replacements and lower maintenance costs over time.
  • Environmentally Friendly: LED bulbs are eco-friendly due to reduced energy consumption and fewer hazardous materials in their construction.

Disadvantages of LED Bulbs

  • Higher Initial Cost: LED bulbs may have higher upfront costs, but their long-term energy savings usually offset this.
  • Blue Light Concerns: Some LED bulbs emit a higher proportion of blue light, which may have potential health implications if not properly controlled.


The comparison between incandescent and LED bulbs highlights the remarkable differences in energy efficiency, lifespan, and environmental impact. While incandescent bulbs are being phased out in many regions due to their inefficiency, LED bulbs offer significant advantages with their superior energy-saving capabilities and longer lifespan. The widespread adoption of LED technology contributes to a more sustainable and environmentally responsible approach to lighting, promoting a greener future for generations to come.


Q. Compare and contrast incandescent bulbs and LED bulbs, elucidating their respective technologies, energy efficiency, light spectrum, lifespan, advantages, and disadvantages. (250 Words)