How Energy Efficient are LEDs?


When considering the energy efficiency of LED devices it is important to look at how well the device and fixture work together to provide light. LEDs are sensitive to thermal and electrical conditions and must be carefully integrated into lighting fixtures. Poorly designed fixtures using even the best LEDs may be no more efficient than incandescent lighting. Learn more about how LED luminaires can be compared to traditional lighting technologies.

This chart shows typical luminous efficacies for traditional and LED sources, including ballast losses as applicable.

Typical LED Efficacy Compared to
Conventional Lighting Technologies in 2010
Product Type Typical Luminous
Efficacy (in lm/W)
LED cool white package 130
LED warm white package 93
LED A19 lamp (warm white) 64
LED PAR38 lamp (warm white) 52.5
High intensity discharge (high watt)
Lamp and ballast
Linear fluorescent
Lamp and ballast
High intensity discharge (low watt)
Lamp and ballast
Compact fluorescent lamp 63
Halogen 20
Incandescent 15

Source: 2011 DOE SSL Multi-Year Program Plan