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Differences Between LED Bulbs and LED Fixtures

What are LED Bulbs?

Light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, are a light source similar to fluorescent, incandescent, and CFL lighting. LEDs are notably efficient, producing more brightness per watt used when compared to competing light bulbs. LEDs can be bought as bulbs of varying shapes and sizes depending on their intended use.

 

What are LED Fixtures?

LED fixtures are similar in design to traditional lighting fixtures. However, they are specially designed to work with LED light bulbs, whereas some traditional fixtures are incompatible with LEDs. Examples of fixtures include ceiling lights and track lighting.

 

Differences between LED Bulbs and Fixtures

Physical Design

1. Typical LED bulbs look similar or identical to traditional fluorescent, incandescent, and CFL light bulbs. They come in a variety of sizes and are usually interchangeable with traditional light bulbs. However, some sockets may not support LED lighting, particularly when changing from fluorescent to LED lights.

2. LED fixtures come in a wide array of sizes, shapes, and styles. They are as varied as traditional lighting fixtures, and can be used both indoors and outdoors depending on the materials making up the fixture. Examples of fixtures include ceiling lights, sconces, chandeliers, recessed lighting, track lighting, accent lights, panels, and lamps. Fixtures may come with LED bulbs in place, or the bulbs may need to be bought separately.

It’s possible to convert certain existing fixtures to LED fixtures. Notably, fluorescent lighting can be converted to LED lighting with some rewiring and the removal of any ballasts in the fixture.

Ease of Installation and Replacement

1. Most LED bulbs are interchangeable with traditional light bulbs, so they can simply be swapped into an existing lamp or fixture. They are also easy to uninstall and replace, as they usually only need to be unscrewed by hand from the connection. The simplicity of installing LED bulbs makes them preferable to LED fixtures in rentals or other places where installing hardware is limited or prohibited.

2. LED fixtures should be thought of as physical updates to a home or building. Unless the fixture is a standalone lamp, it will most likely need to be properly attached to a ceiling or wall using hardware and tools. Installing a new fixture is much more complex than replacing an old light bulb with an LED one, but this method allows for greater design customization and lighting options.

Average Lifetime

1. The average lifespan of an LED bulb is around 20,000 hours. This is significantly longer than the lifespan of traditional bulbs, which usually last between 1,000 and 10,000 hours (fluorescent and CFL bulbs, respectively).

2. An LED fixture should last for many years, as long as it is kept safe from any weather or wear-and-tear it is not designed to withstand. For example, using an indoor LED fixture outdoors may cause rusting or electrical shortages. As long as the fixture is used properly, the material makeup of the fixture should be robust for years of usage. The LED bulbs within the fixture, however, will need to be replaced occasionally.

Cost

1. LED bulbs are typically more expensive than comparable CFL or incandescent bulbs. However, the cost is still in the same range as traditional bulbs, and the average price for LED bulbs has decreased over time.

2. Like any light fixture, LED fixtures are much more expensive than simply buying replacement bulbs. There may be costs for installation and supporting hardware along with the expense of the fixture itself. However, fixtures are a long-term investment that shouldn’t need to be replaced regularly. The bulbs within them will need to be replaced occasionally, though.

Table of Differences Between LED Bulbs vs. LED Fixtures

 

Summary  of LED Bulbs vs. LED Fixtures

LED bulbs and fixtures are both used for lighting. LED bulbs serve as the actual lighting source, while LED fixtures are the physical hardware that the bulbs are placed in.

  • LED bulbs and fixtures can both replace traditional lighting sources. Most existing sockets are compatible with LEDs so that they can easily replace an older lightbulb, but some sockets may need to be replaced or updated to support LEDs. LED fixtures, excluding lamps, need to be installed into a building, making their installation and replacement more difficult than that of bulbs.
  • LED bulbs are usually more expensive than traditional light bulbs, but they are much cheaper than buying an entire fixture. Both LED bulbs and fixtures are designed to last a long time, with the bulbs needing replacement after about 20,000 hours of use and the fixtures only needing replacement if they are damaged.

 


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References :


[0]Image credit: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:LED_bulbs.jpg

[1]Image credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/light-fixture-lighting-interior-918450/

[2]Kimberly Alt. “LED vs CFL vs Incandescent vs Fluorescent: Which Shines Cleanest?” EarthsFriends. July 11, 2017. https://www.earthsfriends.com/led-vs-cfl-vs-incandescent-vs-fluorescent/

[3]Francine Pitassi. “Plug-and-play LED bulb vs. LED fixture: Pros and cons to consider for your next project.” Lighting Insights. December 14, 2017. https://insights.regencylighting.com/led-lamp-replacement-vs-led-fixture-which-is-the-best-choice

[4]“Comparing LED vs CFL vs Incandescent Light Bulbs.” Viribright. https://www.viribright.com/lumen-output-comparing-led-vs-cfl-vs-incandescent-wattage/

[5]“Understanding the Different Types of Light Bulbs.” Elemental LED. https://www.elementalled.com/understanding-the-different-types-of-light-bulbs/

[6]“LED Lamps vs. Integrated Lighting Fixtures.” Illumicare Group Limited. https://www.illumicaregroup.com/why-led/led-lamps-vs-integrated-fixtures/#

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