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Can You Replace CFL With LED Bulbs?

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CFLs used to be the best bulbs. However, LED bulbs have emerged as energy-saving lighting options. If you’re like most people, you may still be nervous about this new technology because you aren’t sure whether to make the switch. So can you replace CFL with LED Bulbs? Let’s find out.

Can You Replace CFL With LED Bulbs?

Yes, you can replace CFL with LED Bulbs. Replacing CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) with LED bulbs can help you minimize maintenance time and costs since they use less energy than other lighting options. They also reduce replacement lamp costs. 

Replacing your CFLs with LED light bulbs can also help you reduce your electricity bill. You will see a decrease in power consumption, which in turn will save you money and reduce your carbon footprint.

CFL light bulb

Why Make the Transition?

While LED bulbs are expensive, their long-term savings are worth the cost. On average, a Compact Fluorescent Lamp can last for 8,000 hours while a LED bulb can last for 25,000 hours or even more.  So if you’re looking for bulbs that last much longer, go for LEDs. 

Although CFL light fixtures are the most popular lights you will find in commercial settings like retail stores and offices, most business owners tend to ignore LEDs because they think they will have to start from scratch and purchase new fixtures. 

However, it’s easy to replace CFL lighting fixtures with LED bulbs. The replacement also doesn’t cost more. 

What Are Some Remarkable Features of LEDs?

LEDs have notable features that distinguish them from other bulbs available on the market. Some key features include:

  • Ability to Focus the Light: Unlike CFLs that lose a lot of light intensity when you direct the light beam from a fixture, you can focus LED bulb light and make it shine in one area. What’s more, you won’t lose light in unwanted spots. 
  • Have a High CRI (Color Rendering Index): CFL bulbs have a low CRI and do not display colors accurately. They also produce dull, washed-out colors. On the other hand, LED bulbs make colors pop and are flattering because they have a high CRI. 

Switch to the Simple Upgrade

Before making the move, ensure the LED-CFL configuration works for you. In some cases, you may need to wire power to the socket directly and remove your current configuration. However, we recommend working with a professional electrician to help you transition from CFL to LED effectively.

What to Consider Before Switching From CFL to LED

There are some things you need to pay attention to before replacing your CFLs with LEDs. 

LED light bulb

Check Bulb Options

If you go to a hardware store, check the available bulbs before buying one. Carry your old bulb to compare bulb size and bases, as well as the type to fit into the current fixtures you have. 

This is crucial since replacing CFLs with LEDs can be tricky. You should ensure you have the right pin and base configuration. However, there are several plug-ins LED replacement lighting bulbs that can fit into your current CFL fixture without changing the ballast.

Check Voltage

Its also crucial to check the voltage specified on the bulbs. Ensure the voltage indicated on the LED replacement bulb and CFL matches. The good thing is that some LED plug-in bulbs have universal voltages for flexibility. 

Since CFL fixtures allow a certain wattage that’s specified by the fixture, the replacement bulb should match that. This is because CFL bulbs generate high power which starts the arc that’s located between the two electrodes of the bulb. 

The arc also reduces the voltage to ensure it runs at a steady current.

  • Check the Design of the Original Bulb: Another thing you need to consider is the design of the original bulb, which is basically the mounting base. It can be horizontal or vertical. 
  • Check the Recommended CFL Ballast: Pay attention to the specified CFL ballast for the wattage needed for the bulb. This is critical since CFLs tend to produce a lot of infrared and Ultra-Violet light that can damage delicate materials used in some fixtures. 

CFL to LED Replacement Compatibility

Since it can be tricky to figure out CFL base types, you should be careful while choosing a bulb for replacement. This is because CFLs use a socket that resembles a pin instead of a threaded socket and screw used in traditional or LED light bulbs

Depending on the CFL tube shape, you can find 2 or 4 CFL pin lighting bulbs with matching sockets for the holes. Pin type CFLs come with an identity code. For instance, this is how you will interpret a bulb with this code: T4 G24q- 1.

Replacing CFL bulbs with LED lights

T4 represents the tube shape while 4 is the number of tubes. G24q- 1 represents the base type. Letter q indicates the base has 4 pins. The number 1 at the end indicates the wattage and can be different. Just remember the higher the number, the bigger the bulb wattage. 

LED Replacement Alternatives

There are some LED replacement plug-ins that are compatible with ballast. This means you can plug them into your current CFL socket and use them right away. Other LED replacement types require rewiring the fixture to remove the ballast. Although the pin-type socket remains the same, the bulbs become LED.

Related Questions

Before we finish this article, let’s answer a couple of related questions.

Can I Use a LED Bulb in a CFL Fixture?

Yes, you can use an LED Bulb in a CFL Fixture. However, ensure the socket is the same type and size so that the LED bulb fits into the socket. Also, avoid using bulbs with higher wattages than what is specified for the fixture. 

Do I Need to Remove the Ballast to Use an LED Bulb?

No, you don’t need to remove the ballast to use an LED bulb. LED bulbs do not need a ballast to control the power that’s flowing to the lights. However, removing the ballast can minimize power usage and result in cost-savings.


If you are still wondering whether to switch to LEDs, use this guide as a starting point. The benefits are many to ignore. Although you will pay some money upfront to replace the CFL bulbs in your house, your electricity bills will reduce overtime.