Many have benefited from the transition from incandescent to LEDs but still don’t understand its conversion. We have used wattage as a measurement for so long that it is ingrained in us as an accurate measure of light output.
Even the older heads will still look for the watts on a light bulb package. Yet this measurement has nothing to do with brightness but power consumption. Instead, consider its lumens which measure the brightness.
Luckily, LEDs have low power consumption, high efficiency, and emit ten times the brightness of a traditional incandescent bulb while using only one-tenth the amount of energy.
LED watts equivalent is a simple way to link the old and new bulbs by telling us how bright the bulb is according to its wattage. Depending on the bulb, it can have different wattage but the same lumen.
If you are going to replace your old bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs, look for the lumens. For instance, a 60-watt incandescent bulb gives out 800 lumens. So look for an LED that has 800 lumens. This way, you are getting the same amount of brightness as your old bulb.
Understanding Watts And Lumens When Buying A LED Bulb
When purchasing LEDs, the question most people ask is: “How many watts do I need?” The answer is not that important.
Watts represents the bulb’s consumption—how much energy it uses. But there are only two reasons you would ever need to know how much wattage your lamp uses: if you want to calculate how much your electric bill will be or how many fixtures you can put on a single circuit.
But what about lumens? Lumens measure the amount of light emitted by a lamp. They’re far more vital than watts, especially if you want to get the exact light brightness.
|250 lm||25 W||6 W||2 W – 3 W|
|560 lm||40 W||10 W||3 W – 6 W|
|800 lm||60 W||13 W||7 W – 10 W|
|1100 lm||75 W||18 W||10 W – 15 W|
|1600 lm||100 W||23 W||15 W – 20 W|
|2600 lm||150 W||42 W||20 W – 30 W|
Efficacy measures how well a light source converts electricity into light.
It represents the number of lumens (amount of visible light) produced by one watt (unit of electricity) input.
Further, the higher the efficacy, the more efficient your lighting system is, and the less energy you will use to produce the same amount of light.
There are three popular bulbs: incandescent, CFL, and LED. They all put out the same amount of light, but they do it differently.
The incandescent takes 150 watts to put out that a thousand lumens. That means it uses a lot of energy to put out that light — more than an LED or CFL would use (42 watts and 20-30 watts respectively).
That’s where lumens per watt comes in: it tells you how efficient a bulb is at putting out light for every watt it uses.
Color Temperature measures the color of light emitted from a source.
A light bulb’s color temperature tells you how bright it is. The lower the number, the warmer it appears. It looks more white when the number is higher.
Warm light sources have a color temperature of 2000-3000K. This makes them appear yellowish-white in tone.
Neutral White has a color temperature of 3000-3500K and gives off white light with no tint to it at all. It is considered “true” white because it contains all colors within it equally.
Cool White has a color temperature of 3500-4000K and gives off white light with a slight blue tint, making objects look cooler than they are.
Lastly, daylight is 6500K tries to replicate the color of daylight. But it is far from it. The color has less yellow and most of the blue tint.
|Light Source||Color Temperature|
|Wax Candle||1500K – 2000K|
|60W/100W Incandescent Lamp||2400K – 2850K|
|Halogen Lamp||2800K – 3200K|
|Warm White Fluorescent Lamp||3000K|
|Cool White Fluorescent Lamp||4300K|
|True Daylight Fluorescent Lamp||6500K|
|Direct Sunlight||5700K – 6500K|
|Overcast Daylight||6500K – 7200K|
|Clear Blue Sky||8000K – 27000K|
Color Rendering Index (CRI) calculates how well a light source will render the colors of objects. Naturally, it goes along with color temperature when choosing to light your home. If the bulb has a low CRI, it will not look natural.
The higher a light source’s CRI, the more natural it will make things appear. A perfect 100 CRI rating means that whatever you’re looking at will appear exactly as it would under natural sunlight.
Different types of bulbs have different CRIs: incandescent bulbs have a score between 75 and 100; halogen bulbs range from 85 to 95; fluorescent tubes have a range of 60 to 80, and LED lights vary greatly depending on whether they use warm or cool LEDs — but most fall in between 80 and 90 for cool whites and 75 and 85 for warm whites.
Simply put, CRI tells us how the objects in your home will look under your light source. Thus, a low CRI may have your furniture looking dull while a high CRI will give it a more natural appearance.
For example, consider the difference between 80 and 90CRI. With an 80, the objects that have a red peripheral will not appear natural, nor will they bring out the true aesthetic of your decor. Many experts recommend, using 80 CRI in places where you don’t visit often like a storage room.
Compare to a 90 CRI, which will boost your room’s color clarity and will provide you with the most accurate object appearance. They are perfect for work areas such as sewing rooms or the kitchen where identifying the color of objects is important.
Using Lumens, Watts, and Color Temperature To Choose The Perfect Lighting For Your Home
Remember, the wattage will not tell you the bulb’s brightness—-it can only tell you the amount of energy that fixture consumes. When looking for brightness, consider the bulb’s lumens.
It measures how much light that bulb produces. Similarly, color temperature represents the color the lights create. Hence, the lower the color temperature, the warmer the room will look. If you don’t like the warm look, consider increasing its color temp.
However, you should not overlook the wattage consumption in a bulb. All fixture carries a maximum wattage ratting- you can find this number on the packaging or near the socket. You wouldn’t want to put a 110W bulb in a 60W fixture. This can lead to problems, including overheating and melting of the wires. In worst cases, it can cause a house fire.
Comparing LEDs, CFLs, And Incandescent
We’re all about energy efficiency, but if you’re still using old-school bulbs, you’re missing out on the benefits of LED lighting.
LEDs are more efficient than CFLs, and incandescent. They take less energy to produce, resulting in a lower carbon footprint.
LEDs are more durable than other bulbs and can withstand more abuse. They don’t break as easily, so they’re great for high-traffic places.
CFLs are good for some things: they’re more affordable than LEDs. They work well in areas where you don’t need a lot of light—like closets or small spaces. LED bulbs dim better, and you can find them in many smart fixtures.
Moreover, incandescent have slowly phased out of the lighting market. Many people these days are looking for a more environmental option or a bulb that lasts longer and will cost less in the long run.
To Sum up,
LED wattage equivalent helps us get the same brightness of an old and new bulb with the use of watts and lumen. We no longer use wattage to measure the color brightness of a bulb. It’s lumen now.
LEDs can produce the same lumens as traditional bulbs with ten times lower power consumption. Additionally, when lighting your home, consider the CRI, color temperature, and lumens.