A Guide to Purchasing Equivalent Wattage LED Lights

What is LED Wattage?
LED wattage is the measure of how much power an LED light bulb consumes to produce light. It’s usually expressed in watts, but sometimes you’ll see it written as a number followed by “W.” The printed wattage refers to the power consumption of your bulb; it does not indicate brightness level or anything else about how bright your bulb is going to be.

In the past, replacing a burnt-out incandescent light bulb was an easy task. A person could easily replace an old bulb with a new one of the same wattage. With the growing incorporation of energy-efficient LED lighting, it is not as simple as matching up wattages when replacing incandescent or other traditional light options. Many people who are looking to replace traditional light bulbs with LEDS assume that the wattages of old and new bulbs should match up because they mistakenly associate wattage with brightness. However, the wattage of a bulb does not represent how bright it will be. Measured in watts, a light bulb’s wattage indicates the amount of energy used. Measured in lumens (lm), brightness is what sets one type of bulb apart from another. Therefore, when replacing traditional lighting with LEDs, a bulb’s lumens should be matched to its wattage.

LED light bulbs use only 10% of the energy used by incandescent light bulbs to produce the same amount of light. Simply divide by 10 to find the LED Equivalent watts to incandescent watts.

Incandescent Light Bulb WattageLED Equivalent Wattage
100 Watt10 Watt
80 Watt8 Watt
60 Watt6 Watt
50 Watt5 Watt
30 Watt3 Watt

Halogen light bulbs may be more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs but still require much more energy to generate light. In comparison, LED lights use around 85% less energy. Divide by 8 to estimate the LED Equivalency to halogen watts.

Halogen Light Bulb WattageLED Equivalent Wattage
100 Watt12 Watt
80 Watt10 Watt
60 Watt8 Watt
50 Watt6 Watt
40 Watt5 Watt

When it comes to buying light bulbs, you’ll often find yourself comparing lumens to watts. While watts used to be the standard unit of measurement for brightness, lumens have now taken over. But how do they relate to each other?

In the past, watts were used to measure the amount of energy a light bulb consumed, but this didn’t necessarily correspond to how bright the bulb was. A 100-watt incandescent bulb might have been brighter than a 60-watt bulb, but it also used more energy.

Lumens, on the other hand, measure the amount of light emitted by a bulb. So, the more lumens a bulb has, the brighter it will be. For example, a 60-watt incandescent bulb typically produces around 800 lumens of light, while a 100-watt bulb produces around 1600 lumens.

But how do you know how many lumens you need for a particular room or task? Here are some general guidelines:

For a bedroom or living room, you’ll want around 1500-3000 lumens, depending on the size of the room.
For a kitchen or bathroom, you’ll want around 4000-6000 lumens to ensure good visibility.
For warehouses, you’ll want around 20 lumens per square foot
It’s important to note that lumens aren’t the only factor to consider when buying a light bulb. You’ll also want to consider the color temperature (measured in Kelvin) and the bulb’s lifespan. A bulb with a higher color temperature will produce a cooler, bluer light, while a lower color temperature will produce a warmer, yellower light. And bulbs with longer lifespans will save you money in the long run, even if they cost more initially.

In conclusion, while watts used to be the go-to unit of measurement for light bulbs, lumens are now the standard. Knowing how many lumens you need for a particular room or task can help you choose the right bulb for your needs. Just remember to also consider the color temperature and lifespan of the bulb when making your decision.

Lumen conversion chart