In shopping for light bulbs, you likely have heard the terms “wattage” and “lumens.” What exactly do these terms mean and what impact do they have on determining the quality of a particular bulb?
Wattage is simply a measurement of energy; for a 12-watt light bulb, it requires 12 watts of electricity to power the bulb and produce light.
Lumens, meanwhile, refers to the amount of light that is produced by the bulb. A higher amounts of lumens means a brighter room.
The light bulb packaging will have information about both watts and lumens. But how do you use this information to make a selection moving forward?
Look for lumens first, then watts
Think about the room the light bulb will be used in. Are you happy with its current brightness? Does it feel too dim or too overly lit?
You can find out lumens information about the current bulb and use that, along with your observations, to make a decision about what to look for in future bulbs.
With a lumens amount now in mind you can look for bulbs with enough watts to power the light. You also might know the current bulb’s wattage and use that as a starting point in your search.
Keep in mind, though, that if you’re transitioning to LED bulbs the new light will only require much fewer watts than the old bulb. If you had a 60-watt bulb that you’re replacing for a new LED light, you might only need to look for bulbs with 12 watts.