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Watts vs. Lumens

Watts vs. Lumens


With new technologies come new ways to measure those technologies. Meet the lumen: the unit used to measure the brightness of a bulb. You may have noticed lumens on bulb packages, as the FTC now requires all bulb manufacturers to list information such as the number of lumens in a label smilar to nutrition labels on food. You may also be wondering what happened to watts and why they are being replaced.

The DifferenceLED-Lighting-Facts

Before LEDs, Watts were the standard way to estimate the brightness of bulbs. However, watts only measure how much power a bulb consumes, and with the introduction of new energy-saving technologies such as LEDs, power usage is no longer relevant when looking for the brightness of a light. This is now expressed in lumens, which measure the amount of light they produce instead. The higher amount of lumens, the brighter the light will be.

New Packaging

All bulb packages are now required to display information in a label similar to this one, which includes the brightness in lumens and also life expectancy and the estimated energy cost per year.

Look for Lumens

As more and more energy efficient bulbs enter the market, you’ll start seeing less of the watt and more of the lumen. Use the numbers below to translate watts into lumens to ensure a perfect match when replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDs. Note: these numbers are based on incandescent bulbs only and all numbers are estimates.

150 W ≈ 2600 lm
100 W ≈ 1600 lm
75 W ≈ 1100 lm
60 W ≈ 800 lm
40 W ≈ 450 lm
25 w ≈ 200 lm

For technical questions, don’t hesitate to call us toll free at 866-590-3533. Our customer service and technical support teams are available from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. CDT Monday-Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. CDT on Friday.