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Lumens vs. Watts

When shopping for new lighting, you may come across a variety of terms. By far the most popular term in past decades has been wattage. Wattage is the amount of electricity consumed by a light source. Recently, however, wattage has been replaced with a new term: lumens.

Lumens are a measurement of brightness. They tell you the intensity of light that is produced by a bulb. In today’s lighting market, manufacturers are focusing more on efficiency, making it difficult to decide just what bulb provides enough light, making being educated on lumens crucial.

Before the increase in LEDs, fluorescents and more energy efficient bulbs, watts were a reliable method to choose the amount of brightness a bulb would give off. For example, a 60-watt bulb would produce a certain amount of light, and a 100-watt bulb would naturally, be a bit brighter than the 60-watt and so on.

The chart below can aid you in choosing the bulb that will provide the right amount of light for your fixture!

How Many Lumens Do You Need? More Lumens = More Light
If you used to buy this in incandescent Look for this much light in lumens LED (most efficient) CFL (more efficient) Halogen (more efficient incandescent)
100 W 1600 up to 22 W up to 26 W up to 72 W
75 W 1100 up to 20 W up to 23 W up to 53 W
60 W 800 up to 12 W up to 15 W up to 43 W
40 W 450 up to 9 W up to 11 W up to 29 W
Lumens vs Watts: Output and wattages based on most common products available for each medium screw-based light bulb. Actual light output may vary by product.
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