Fluorescent Lighting vs Incandescent Lighting

Fluorescent Lighting or Incandescent Lighting?

Lighting has been in the news in Canada recently. Since 2013, the federal government has been proceeding with a plan that will eventually make most types of incandescent light bulbs unavailable in Canada. But not all Canadians understand the difference between a fluorescent light and an incandescent light. What is incandescent light? Why might the government encourage one form of lighting over another? These are questions our Pro Ace electricians get asked with some frequency. So how can Vancouver, North Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, Langley, and Surrey residents choose the best form of lighting for their business or home?

What is Incandescent Lighting?

Incandescent lighting is the type most familiar to us. Inside the bulb is a wire filament, made of tungsten. When the bulb is connected to electricity, a current runs through the filament and lights it up. Incandescent bulbs are available in voltages from 1.5 volts all the way up to 300 volts.

What is Fluorescent Lighting?

Fluorescent lights are tubes that are filled with mercury gas. When an electric current runs through the bulb, it produces a reaction that causes the mercury in the bulb to produce light.

What are the differences between incandescent and fluorescent lights?


Fluorescent lights are far more efficient than incandescent lights. Incandescent lights use a great deal of energy to produce heat, and they require more electricity for the same amount of lighting. Because fluorescent lights don’t produce so much heat, they are four to six times as efficient as their incandescent counterparts.

Environmental concerns

Because they are more efficient, fluorescent lights are better for the environment. There are also concerns that the tungsten inside of incandescent bulbs is becoming scarce. This is the reason that both the Canadian and American governments have been gradually phasing out the manufacture and sale of incandescent lights.


Fluorescent lights are generally considered safer because they don’t heat up as much as incandescent lights do. It’s important to note though that fluorescent lights do contain mercury. Used or broken bulbs should be recycled at an appropriate facility.


Fluorescent bulbs last longer: at least 6000 hours and up to 35,000 hours. Incandescent bulbs last an average of 2000 hours and so must be replaced more often.


Fluorescent bulbs are more expensive to purchase than incandescent bulbs, since they cost more to manufacture. They cost less to operate though, since they use less energy and last longer. As fluorescent bulbs become more popular, they are coming down in cost, and the cost of a fluorescent bulb may eventually be comparable to the cost of an incandescent light.

Contacting Pro Ace Electricians in Vancouver BC

Do you have questions about lighting solutions for your home or business? Pro Ace electricians are trained and licensed to provide service throughout the Lower Mainland — including Vancouver, North Vancouver, Richmond, Burnaby, Surrey, and Langley.

Our Vancouver electrical contractors are experts in the types of lighting available and can help you make decisions for your individual situation.

Contact Pro Ace at 604-293-377 with your questions on any lighting issue, to have your lighting inspected, or to have new lighting installed.