How To Shop for Light Bulbs

Still shopping for light bulbs based on watts?  If you’re not confused by the packaging yet, you soon will be.

You see, purchasing a light bulb based on how many watts it uses (i.e., assuming a 60 watt light bulb is brighter than a 40 watt light bulb) is quickly becoming outdated.

With high-efficiency light bulbs like CFLs and LEDs, watts (which measure the amount of power consumed) are not necessarily equivalent to light ouput.  Some 11 watt LEDs can produce just as much light output as a 40 or 60 watt incandescent.

For an easy way to put lumens into perspective, use the chart on the right provided by the Federal Trade Commission.

As you can see, if you are replacing a 60 watt incandescent light bulb, you should look for a light bulb rated at 800 lumens.

Emily Widle

Emily Widle

Emily graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a degree in journalism. She enjoys scouring the news to report on the latest in the lighting industry as well as bringing valuable remodeling tips and exemplar home projects to light.