The Enlightening Project
Mark Rubinchik
A.R. MacNeill Secondary
Floor Location : M 243 E

When visiting a hardware store, I noticed a large variety of different light bulbs being sold. However, most people were only purchasing the old-fashion Incandescent light bulbs, rather than the newer and more advanced CFL and LEDs. This observation triggered my curiosity into knowing what the difference is between each type. This then lead to conducting my scientific study. The purpose of this experiment was to compare Incandescent, Compact Florescent Lamps (CFL), and Light-Emitting Diode (LED) light bulbs. The main comparison was done using the Soft White sub type. The two additional subtypes, Bright White and Daylight were also tested. A series of tests were conducted on these light bulbs, including operation temperature, brightness, and emission spectrum. To execute these tests, a homemade photo-comparator and spectroscope were assembled, and commercial infrared thermometer obtained.

From these tests came both qualitative and quantitative results, which were then analyzed and converted into the following conclusions:
1. LEDs had the highest efficiency of converting electrical energy into light.
2. LEDs have the lowest life cycle cost, with CFLs being slightly more expensive, and Incandescent costing the most.
3. Soft White Incandescent, LED and CFL ended up being tied for best emission spectrum (in comparison with the human eye sensitivity), with Incandescent being marginally better than the other two. The emission spectrum of both Bright White and Daylight were equally poor when compared to the human eye sensitivity.

The project can be easily expanded as there are still a number of different light bulbs that can be tested. This concept can also be applied to real life as the information on light bulb packages can be misleading, therefore having independent information can be useful in this very common purchase.