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Why LED Lighting Is Better Than Fluorescent Lighting In Cold Climates

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Why LED Lighting Is Better Than Fluorescent Lighting In Cold Climates

Whether you have outdoor lighting to help you get into your home or workplace or you have lights in your garage or shed, you should consider how the cold affects your lighting. Not all lighting is created equal, and some types of lights will continue working even during a cold snap, while other lights can’t even handle a regular Calgary winter. LED lighting is especially beneficial for use in cold weather, as this type of lighting not only works well in lower temperatures, it actually works a bit better. Meanwhile, fluorescent lighting struggles to keep up and can leave you without light during the dead of winter, the darkest time of the year.

LED Lighting Versus Fluorescent Lighting In Cold Weather

Fluorescent lighting has a shorter lifespan than LED lighting while at room temperature. Fluorescent lighting also tends to have a shorter lifespan when in temperatures colder than typical room temperature. Combined with the fact that fluorescent lighting also loses some of its lifespan every time it is turned off and on, it is clear that LED lighting lasts far longer than fluorescent lighting. LED lighting can last for anywhere between 50,000 hours and 100,000 hours, whereas fluorescent lighting typically lasts for approximately 10,000 hours, not including the reduced hours caused by the cold.

Because LED lighting has a much longer lifespan than fluorescent lighting, it does not need to be replaced as often. This helps to save you money since you don’t have to buy as many lightbulbs, but it is also convenient and even safer. With fluorescent lighting, bulbs often can’t make it through a full Calgary winter and need replacing after 5 or 6 months. Replacing outdoor lighting typically means climbing on ladders in the cold and snow and dealing with tricky outdoor lighting fixtures.

Start Time
Fluorescent lighting takes longer to start up than LED lighting. While this isn’t as noticeable when inside, once you try to use fluorescent lighting outside or in a garage, it becomes apparent. Fluorescent lighting needs some time to warm up before it can start working, and when the temperature is low, this warm-up time is extended.

The actual amount of light emitted from fluorescent lighting is altered when the temperature drops. Fluorescent lighting relies on mercury vapour but the pressure of mercury vapour drops in cold weather and leaves less mercury available. This lack of mercury leads to lowered emitted UV rays, meaning less visible light and ineffective lighting of your outside space.

Whether It Works
While the above-listed differences between how LED lighting and fluorescent lighting act in the cold are all true, some forms of fluorescent lighting simply don’t work in the cold. Fluorescent lighting tends not to work in temperatures below 10℃. This isn’t due to the light itself, but to the ballast it uses. If you replace the type of ballast used in the light fixture, fluorescent lighting should work in temperatures below 10℃. But that doesn’t mean fluorescent lighting will work in all temperatures. Even with an electric ballast, fluorescent lighting often doesn’t work below -20℃.

Get LED Outdoor Lighting Before Winter

LED lighting is superior to fluorescent lighting for exterior lighting use. LED lighting will last much longer and is more reliable than fluorescent lighting, especially when a cold snap hits Calgary. To switch your exterior lighting to LED lighting, Fluorescent Man Lighting And Electrical can perform an LED retrofit. Our team of lighting experts can also help you set up or install effective exterior lighting. If you want to avoid the disadvantages of fluorescent lighting within your home or business, our lighting specialists can perform an LED retrofit indoors as well. Whether you want to improve your indoor or outdoor lighting, call Fluorescent Man Lighting And Electrical at 1-403-863-8529 or fill out the online contact form.


Q: What are the drawbacks of LED lighting?
A: The initial cost of LED lights is generally higher than that of fluorescent lights, though LED lights are more cost-efficient in the long run. Fluorescent lighting may be less expensive for short-term lighting solutions, but LED lighting is more affordable for longer periods.

Q: How can fluorescent lighting be changed to LED lighting?
A: You will likely want to change whatever lighting style you have to a similar one. For example, if you are changing tube fluorescent lighting to LEDs, you should use tube LED lighting as well. But you may want to consider your budget and your lighting needs before you decide. To learn more, read How To Convert Fluorescent Tube Lighting To LED Lighting.

Q: Is an LED retrofit a better deal than just buying a new light fixture?
A: Yes, it is a significantly more affordable option. LED retrofits exist for those who do not want to purchase a whole new lighting system for their home or business. Instead, an LED retrofit will upgrade your current fixtures and will save you money in the long term. Schedule a free consultation with a lighting contractor to get an estimate for an LED retrofit.

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