When it comes to choosing your options for lighting, some people are faced with a choice between LED and regular light bulbs. In order to fully understand the difference between the two of them, we should know what both actually mean. Q4 LED Solutions came up with this handy guide on how to tell the difference between the two!

LED Light Bulbs

LED stands for Light Emitting Diode, and they appear to be bulbs, but are actually not. LED’s are tiny semiconductors that are encapsulated in plastic which protects the components and help focus the light. LED’s create light when the power is applied to the semiconductors, which are then stimulated by the movement of electrons, creating photons (a light that can be seen by humans).

Regular Light Bulbs

Regular light bulbs are also called incandescent light bulbs. They create light through the use of a filament. When power gets applied to it, the filament will glow, generating heat and thus producing light.

Besides the obvious difference of how each produce light, what other differences are there?


LED bulbs were first used in circuit boards and computers, but have now been installed in traffic lights, lighted signs, interior and exterior lighting and more. LED lights are great for large spaces such as schools, warehouses and gymnasiums. They are adaptable for larger public areas because of their powerful and high energy efficiency.


  • They have a longer lifespan in comparison to any other lighting technology (especially compared to incandescent lights). They can last up to 50,000 to 10,000 hours or more.
  • They are extremely energy efficient in comparison to incandescent light because they waste little energy in terms of infrared radiation (heat) and can emit light directionally, meaning there is few losses from the need to redirect light.
  • They have high light quality.
  • They have low maintenance costs and hassle.


  • LED lights are fairly expensive, although you save money since you do not need to constantly repurchase them due to their longer lifespan.


Incandescent lightbulbs are the most commonly used bulbs on the market and are usually used in residential and interior lighting. It is not typically used in outdoor environments or for large organizations because of their shorter lifespan.


  • They are very cheap to manufacture and to purchase.
  • They are widely available and adaptable to a larger range of voltages, light outputs and currents.
  • They are great for rendering colour.


  • Have the worst energy efficient ratings in comparison to other lighting options. Most of the energy that incandescent light bulbs consume go into generating heat.
  • They also have the worst lifespan on the market with the average bulb lasting around 1,200 operating hours.
  • They are associated with higher maintenance costs because even though they are cheaper to purchase, their shorter lifespan means you have to replace them more often.
  • They are omnidirectional, meaning they produce light in 360 degrees, which is not efficient because half of that light needs to be reflected to a desired area being illuminated.

There are several differences between LED and regular light bulbs, but the best one to choose depends on your personal preferences and the purpose you are planning to use them for. If you have any questions today, contact Q4 LED Solutions, we would be glad to help with any of your lighting needs.